Drinking With Men

Drinking With Men is the title of memoir written by Rosie Schaap. (I’ve c&p’d my review below.) Today is “Happy Hour Friday” with my bff. I can hardly wait to get his call via FaceTime. He’s said as much to me – that he looks forward to HHF every week.

My Drinking

I’ve chronicled in this blog beginning here. Lately my consumption has increased 50%. Blame that on the shutdown? Sure, or maybe quitting therapy in November?

Your Drinking

is “up to you.” My recommendation is you do a “pivot”. Whatever your drinking patten, or habits, are? Switch. See what happens? Because The times they are a changing. For sure.

Maggie was all in on wine, whiskey, and White Russians
Maggie & me, drinking in Colorado.

Drinking With Men 

Rosie Schaap has written a very honest, insightful, accurate, readable, and interesting memoir – and she’s just in her early forties. Three cheers and five stars, and boy does it make me yearn for the “good old days,” when I was young. Ms. Schaap opens with the statement that she has probably spent 13,000 hours in bars.

Well, my number is 50,000.

See, I used to tend bar, in my 20s, 30s, and 40s; and I can say with certainty that she tells it as it was, and probably still is, but to a lesser degree; as it seems coffee shops and tea houses have replaced the “neighborhood bar” as informal community gathering places; and also people, in general, seem less inclined to talk with each other face-to-face with loosened minds and tongues, with friends, co-workers, and neighbors —preferring to chat or text or blog online on their electronic devices (laptops, tablets, & smartphones) with anonymity (often), leveled out by prescribed pharmaceutical drugs— with strangers— in safety without risk of being exposed or caught for who they truly are.


Which is, of course, ironic because one of the “rules” Rosie accurately writes about is that it was protocol, in the bar, for conversation to remain “superficial.” But the difference is that most real (meaning unscripted and unmeasured without an agenda) communication is non-verbal. Ninety-three percent of communication is tonal and gesture, as well as unseen vibration. It’s true. And that is disappearing with the rise of electronic communication, concurrent with the decline in social drinking, and the neighborhood bar. I find that sad.


Many reviewers of this book declare that they think Rosie is an alcoholic. She doesn’t, as she described it, meet my definition. Yes, on occasion she would drink to excess and make herself sick; but she’d never drive, become delusional, hostile, aggressive, or threatening, or miss work or other obligations. If she’s an alcoholic, she’s a functional one so … So what. She’s wrote a heck-of-a book, and seems to have found a place where she’s happy and comfortable. Cheers.


One last mention. Rosie Schaap is the daughter of Dick Schaap, a famous sports reporter and writer, back-in-the-day. He was hard working, tenacious, and very good at what he did, but not hard-drinking as the stereotype would suggest. He was also, as the stereotype does suggest, not much involved with “parenting.” He was always working, and Rosie’s mother and father divorced when Rosie was a young child. Rosie was sent to a “shrink” regularly. Why she doesn’t reveal. So Rosie knows things a lot of kids don’t, and one thing she knows is about the Freudian defense mechanism sublimation – the distraction from sexual desire by altruistic behavior, often creative. As a young student, she suspects this being behind the poet Yeats’ work; and looks at sublimation introspectively. She “loved” hanging out with older, smart, creative men, drinking in bars with them, without a sexual component – she was “one of the guys.”

This is a very, very, very good memoir. (2013)



Maggie, much as I loved her, couldn't control her drinking, and now is in AA. Ironically deemed an unessential "business".
Maggie’s down, out, & no fun.

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