Patricia Gannon: Women and alcohol: The untold story

Most American women drink at home, but not for the reasons you might think.

Of all the freedoms society accords women in the United States, they still don’t have the liberty to drink alone at a public bar. To accomplish this sortie, they must enlist the aid of a man or other women.

For a woman to drink alone in public still means wearing a ‘“for sale” sign or worse, “fire sale.”

“I just always feel so unladylike,” said one woman, imbibing expensively in a safe zone at a table with other women. “My mother taught me never to sit at a bar alone.”

Men can, and have, drunk alone at bars since time and bars began. You will see plenty of them doing this on any given day at all hours with no thought but that they like the ambience of being at the bar.

A woman can’t, for society assumes if she’s alone, she must be waiting for someone or something or someone to offer the something. This is a leftover reminder of Wild West days when men went to saloons to negotiate the something with the professional someone they found there.

So, like Third World women forbidden to go out unescorted by a male relative, women drink at home or at private gatherings. Alcohol has and perhaps always will have strict societal rules. But this is the same across all cultures. For instance, according to a scholarly treatise on the subject, it is customary for Gypsy women in Eastern Europe to always drink brandy before their rubbish-picking expeditions.

If you think about it, ladies, there’s not much difference between that and going to a bar.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Landreth and Landry wow Lafayette

South of I-10 we really have it made. Native son Sonny Landreth brought his slide guitar to the Hilliard to jam alongside Dickie Landry with proceeds to benefit the museum. “We’ve sold so many tickets,” said Hilliard store and tour guide Cindy Hamilton of the numerous early birds outside. Sponsored by College of the Arts Visual Arts Department, Francis Pavy, Megan Barras and LMNOP, LLC, the two entertained a crowd including museum Director Lance Harris and wife Nicole, curator Lee Gray, musician and culturalist Todd Mouton, muralist Robert Dafford, still-recovering legislator Ron Gomez and ever-attractive Carol Ross, wine wizard Rosemary Parisi, Penny McGeehee, artist Shawne Major, Jim and Lise Ann Slatten, and Alaska-friendly Jim and Michelle Hale, who just stepped off the boat from Juneau. A little Sonny will warm you up, my friends.

It’s a magical night

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s vocal music department sang for its supper and a lovely night it was, not only for fundraising but for mothers everywhere. The Friends of Music honored Ann Knight, their long-time sponsors and Mother’s Day all in one fell swoop with an elegant Hotel Acadiana buffet and after-dinner serenade. Only the second event of its kind, last year’s gala raised $24,000 for ULL music scholarships and competition awards. “It all goes to students,” said Mona Burris. “This has turned into a phenomenal event.” Among those paying homage to all of the above were ULL choral music Director William Plummer, Shawn Roy, Bob Pastor, Sandy and Mitchell Landry, professor emerita Ann Dobie and husband Walter, founding mother Sue Lein, ex-pat New Yorkers Stephie and Arnie Auerbach, and photogenic Karen Greene and Beth Krantz, who said Homebank reserves a front-row table every year for the mothers of music students and they’re eternally grateful.