Parents, Children and Alcohol

I’m not blaming the liquor, or the teens. This is not a story about teen drinking. It does involve parents, their children and alcohol. I recently spoke with a neighbor who said she was mad at her son and his wife.  It seems she loaned them money. They said they would pay her back at a certain time and that didn’t happen. My neighbor also said her son’s wife was, at times with her,  rude and insulting. I met her son and his wife at a backyard picnic. They seemed nice, not mean at all. I thought to myself  “what lousy kids”.  A few months later i went to Sunday brunch with my neighbor and a second neighbor. When we got home from brunch, second neighbor invited me over for coffee. She told me that she was mad at her son and his wife. It seems she was not invited (actually invited too late to make it)  to her grandson’s baptism. She also mentioned that HIS wife hated her.  What the heck is going on with kids these days? That might be the obvious question here but it’s not. That’s because there is more to the stories. The Sunday brunch i mentioned earlier included free champagne. Second neighbor had a bit of it. Neighbor did not hold back. When we left the restaurant, neighbor could barely walk. This irritated second neighbor. She mentioned that she had been around folks who were “drunk to the eyeballs” and she’d had enough of that. It’s not the first time that i have seen neighbor in that condition. I know her well. I’d only met second neighbor once before and having a cup of coffee with her gave me a chance to listen to her “speak from the heart” in the way that people who drink might do. Neighbor and second neighbor have children who don’t respect them because they are alcoholics. The  wives, who either witness their mother-in law drinking or maybe they are just annoyed from listening to hubby complain,  have even less respect. The money and the baptism are just fuel for the feud. Neighbor and second neighbor have a lot in common. They are nice to people. They love their pets(they both have two dogs) and they would do anything for them. They are both over sixty. Their sons and daughter in-laws at one time lived with them out of necessity. I’ve seen both come to tears when talking about their relationship with the wives, who they blame in part for fueling the friction by, and apparently at the wrong times, “siding with their husbands” and though i have never seen second neighbor heavily drinking,  she and neighbor  say their sons have called them drunks.  This is not the end of the story–in fact it’s just beginning.

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