The HangoverApril 5, 2012
Cultures of all origins have consistently made the transition from childhood to adulthood a particular point of emphasis. Whether symbolic or ritualistic in nature, there are distinct moments in life when a young kid presumably makes the plunge into maturity and responsibility. At 13 I was Bar-mitzvahed in all of it’s awkward, attention-filled glory. My pale chubby cheeks, my hounds tooth print suit, and my insecurities were all captured for eternity in the photos, while the hundred or so guests, most of whom I knew little of, made a point to congratulate me over and over again on this distinctly important day. A man I was not. Before or after. Trust me, I can show you the pictures.
So why such introspection for a liquor blog post?
My past Saturday morning began in a bit of a daze. My eyes struggled to focus on the cable box display. It’s either 7:33 or 9:38. But the difference doesn’t make a difference. The final moments of the previous night’s Nobler Gathering start to play back like a rental VHS being rewound for return. It was another fantastic night filled with multiple bottles of bourbon and rye and by all accounts I should be feeling worse than I am. Sure, as I sip on my giant glass of water, my hands tremble slightly but there comes an almost tranquil clarity with this hangover. For breakfast, thick cut bacon, 3 cups of coffee, and the shakes only exacerbate this lucidity. Is there anything more connected to “growing up” than our relationship with alcohol?
All “vision quests” into adulthood, assume that at one moment in time, maturity and responsibility simply begin. But it is a humbleness that must occur for these two prominent components of “growing up” to really take shape; after all, age is just a number. Well, maybe more than any other cultural activity, alcohol consumption can humble you. Waking up with little memory of the night before, only to find out later the fool you made of yourself is in its essence, humbling. Being carried home by your friends as you mumble, vomit, and berate testing all senses of loyalty is humbling. But most of all, at some point, drinking for the sake of drinking becomes humbling. And all of these moments have their corresponding hangovers.
I started this blog claiming to be passionate about liquor, particularly in the historical context now almost 80 years post-prohibition. But in reality, the Nobler Experiment is about a love for life; the moments we create and share together. This was never clearer to me than this Saturday, the day I loved my hangover!