(Occasionally, I’ll post a story or commentary on a non-religious theme. This story is one of them.)
My mother did not drink. Not wine, much less beer. But we kids knew that she had a bottle of Christian Brothers Brandy stashed in the kitchen under the counter next to the refrigerator because she used to make -on very special occasions– a cocktail called Peacock Punch. The punch was a concoction of whipped egg whites and local Cream Soda, with ice cream floating in it. Then her brandy was added.
When mom decided to be festive, let’s say on Thanksgiving or even Christmas, she’d make “Peacocks.” The cocktail was served in a big clear glass punch bowl and only the ladies partook — in the kitchen. I never saw my dad or one of my many uncles grab a champagne glass to try out mom’s specialty drink. The women would smile and toast their glasses and drink the sweet fruity mixture which gave them permission to take a little alcohol.
The men drank shots of whiskey and downed beers.
My Uncle Rich decided one day to raid the liquor cabinet for my mom’s Christian Brother’s Brandy. He poured a huge glass and downed it. Then, another. In twenty minutes he was sleeping in the front room in an easy chair and mom’s bottle of brandy was empty.
Mom was angry at Uncle Rich for three reasons: First, he went into the liquor cabinet without asking permission. Secondly, He emptied the entire bottle, and thirdly, which might have angered her the most, was when one of my aunts told her that her freckles were coming out. My mother had very fair skin, always wore a hat outside and avoided the sun. However, inside or out, when she became angry, her freckles appeared in all their glory. She hated those freckles.
We are pretty sure dad had it out with Uncle Rich because Uncle Rich never again raided the liquor cabinet. Come to think of it, mom never again made peacocks, An era had ended.