My Mom’s Best Drinking Stories, Ranked

My mother would like you to know she no longer drinks (for real, one glass of wine and that girl is asleep as hell) and these stories are from a “past life.” I would like you to know I think that the woman in these tall tales still lives in my tiny, bespectacled, aggressively kind and over-the-top supportive mom. Sometimes I think we’re more alike than either one of us want to admit. So, without further ado:

7: My mom and her friend Cindy drank 2 margaritas a piece at some hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint before realizing they were Everclear margaritas. They went to the movie theater to try and sober up. The year was 1990, the movie was Ghost. My mom and Cindy both open mouth sobbed during the majority of the film.

6: My mom was out with her sister, Ruth. In the dead of the night, Ruth’s husband was awoken by the sounds of what he thought were shrieking children. He followed the sounds down, through his apartment building, to discover my mom and aunt drunkenly playing leapfrog in the pool.

5: Speaking of my Aunt Ruth, she was blonde and flirty and supposedly got more male attention than my mom. One night at a bar, some guys came over to their table to talk to them, positioning themselves in between the two women. Eventually my mom realized that all the men had their back completely turned to her, focusing their attention on Ruth and blocking my mom out of their conversation. My mom locked eyes with her sister, pulled her top up over her head, and flashed the back of the dude’s heads. My aunt doubled over laughing, the dudes missed the joke.

4: My mom went to a Bachelorette Party for a family friend in the early aughts- most of the other women in attendance were in their 20s, she was… not. This is relevant only because she had, by and large, stopped drinking at this point but still looooooved to dance. They went to some dance club in San Antonio, and shots were continuously making the rounds- as they do at Bachelorette Parties. My mom was having none of it, but didn’t want to seem unfun or uncool- so when she was passed a shot, she would hoot and holler, cheers with the other ladies, and then pass the shot off to a random stranger nearby. Later, the other women would comment on how everyone in that bar seemed to want to dance with my mom.

3: My mom, while visiting DC, left her friends at the bar at 4AM to go visit the Lincoln Memorial with a Secret Service agent she had just met. He said he was Secret Service, anyway, and he had a gun. So hopefully he was telling the truth, otherwise she maybe just hung out with a serial killer. But she didn’t get murdered, obviously, because I don’t have a ghost mom.

2: My mom attended one of my many going-away parties when I moved from Houston to Chicago- this one at a particular dingy dive bar favored by me and my friends. My mom sang karaoke (Rocket Man) got tipsy on Jersey Pina Coladas (Malibu Rum and pineapple juice) and refused my notion that this “wasn’t really a dancing bar.” (Conga line.) The bartenders still ask me about her sometimes.

1: My mom won a Jaeger drinking contest in a genuine German beer tent without ever drinking any Jaeger. My dad and the other officers in his battalion had just attended a Hail and Farewell (a military going-away party wherein the point is to get the kind of drunk civilians don’t even have the clearance for) and my mom met up with them a beer tent after she got off work. They were already well into a Jaeger shot-drinking contest and my dad’s commanding officer insisted my mom join in. They had a pile of little airplane bottles of Jaeger to pull from. In the final round, the Commanding Officer knocked back bottle after bottle of Germany’s pride- that syrupy, licorice hellfire. And to the crowd’s dismay, my mom kept up! Shot for shot! Because she was only pantomiming drinking and tossing the full bottle into her purse. Lucky for her, everyone was too drunk to notice the mime or hear her purse clinking around for the rest of the night.

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for showing me that settling down doesn’t always mean- well, settling down.

Article by Paige Wharton