La Maria

As I sit on my couch watching TMZ and sipping a glass of red wine while waiting for my boyfriend to come home with the tomatoes that I need to finish my dinner salad, I’m trying to think of a new topic for my blog. And just now….big slap across my forehead! Yes, alcohol! I might as well keep the momentum going (see my tribute to vodka below). So I figured right now is just as good as any other time to reveal to my readers (and to my kids that I don’t currently have but hope to have one day) that I loooooove alcohol. Yup, mommy’s a lush! Ok so I’m no alcoholic but I honestly can’t imagine life without wine, beer, whiskey, or any kind of cocktail out there! I mean, omigod, how can one live without the simple joy of a nice red glass of wine over dinner, or a nice cold foamy beer on a sunny day at the beach, or 5 cocktails on any given Saturday night? Preposterous, I say!!  Life would be so empty and depressing. Plus, I don’t really trust people who don’t have a visible vice such social drinking or a Facebook addition. Unless they’re a recovering alcoholic in which case….dude, awesome job at staying sober but, oh man, sucks to be you on a Friday night.

Anyways, so here’s the deal: I grew up in a place where if you’re old enough to find your way to a bar then you’re old enough to drink. No questions asked. Today I believe the notion of “liability” may have hit the market and things may be different. But back in the early 90s you could just walk yourself into a bar and order whatever. The key was in finding the courage to walk into a super crowded and smoky bar. And reach the top of the bar to order, of course. So there I was, probably about 14 or 15 having my first drink. Eww I will never forget it: banana liquor. So gross it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it so many year after. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in Belgium at the time but was in Romania vacationing at my grandparents’ house, about an hour South of Bucharest. My brother and I went out one night with a bunch of our friends at this place we all called Maria’s (in Romanian that would be La Maria – cracking up just thinking about it since Maria was actually a man). So anyways, Maria was one of the very first men in that small town to build a bar business – on the street level he operated a small convenience store and right underneath it there was this tiny little room with concrete walls and completely empty where kids would bring a stereo and cassette tapes, and get the party started. And we danced and drank and had the time of our lives. This was about 20 years ago and yet I can so clearly see those images in front of my eyes like it was yesterday. Oh man, the heavy metal ballads were so in at that time! We used to slow dance on Whitesnake’s When the Children Cry and rock PM Dawn’s When It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. Yup! And there were a bunch of us, both girls and guys anywhere from 14 to 20 something year olds, from various backgrounds but united in our goal: to experience uncensored fun. And we did! Oh yes, we did.  Most of my posse still lives in that beautiful little town and are now married to each other and have beautiful babies. And I see pictures of their kids on Facebook and they remind me of us as some of these kids are the spitting image of their mothers and fathers.  Except most likely they won’t get to drink before 18 and definitely won’t get to dance to When the Children Cry in a dark, empty basement La Maria.

So to all my childhood friends out there who gave me the most amazing childhood memories and helped me grow into who I am today I say “I love you guys”!

Awe, now I’m all mushy and sentimental:(

I still love bananas just not in liquid form

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