Buffalo AUNTics

If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.”

This was the quote from Shaw in the beginning of the program of Misalliance that I saw in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and I giggled thinking about my daughters and wondering if I am being a warning or an example. Whichever way the wind blows I hope they will glean that life is to be lived to the fullest.

I spent time with my delightful niece Stephanie and her dog and cat in Buffalo, NY. She is the age of my daughters and as I was enjoying her, I was missing them too. Stephanie lives in a lovely neighborhood and I relished eating out (she’s quite adept at picking perfect restaurants) and going wine tasting. It was wonderful to spend time with her away from the typical boisterous family gatherings, getting her all to myself to learn her rhythms, hear her dilemmas, and join in her antics.

She is a busy working nanny, but in the afternoon we went wine tasting to a region that specializes in sweet wines. Now I am not big on sweet wines, so most of my tasting was taking a few sips and dumping the rest. Stephanie likes sweet wines so I was happy that she was getting the benefit of trying them. We are both smart enough to not want to drink and drive, and even though we didn’t have much alcohol after one winery, we immediately tested our alcohol levels with the new breathalyzer that she bought online. This was a novelty item to me so I was enthusiastic and intrigued to experiment. Stephanie blew into the thing first and found that her alcohol level was surprisingly at .12, well over the legal driving limit. I was at .04. Now these devices may not be very accurate, but we decided to go for a walk and see if our levels would change. So off we went down the country roads, gabbing, and waving at neighbors.

Forty minutes later we were back at the car and breathalyzing again. She was down to .04 and I was at 0! I laughed at the thought of a little battery operated deal deciding our fate for the afternoon. The walk was beautiful, so accurate or not, I was happy with the results. Doing a little internet searching I found, “To get an accurate reading you need to wait 20 minutes after drinking, eating or smoking before blowing into the device. And the manual emphasizes that users not use breathalyzers as a tool to determine whether you should operate a motor vehicle.” So we had done it all wrong, but had a great time in the process. The object lesson? Well…

“The hard part about being a bartender is figuring out who is drunk and who is just stupid.” Richard Braunstein


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