I haven’t run across any really creepy social developments in a while … and then along came this installment of a weekly advice column in The New York Times:

My husband grabbed our son’s lunchbox and filled it with beer as we were leaving for an 11 a.m. birthday party for a 1-year-old (whose family we don’t know very well). I told him it was inappropriate to take alcohol to a children’s party. He said he had had a rough week and would take them out only if another father he knew wanted one, too. I said if the hosts wanted alcohol at their party, they would serve it. Then he called me judgmental and boring, and refused to go. Wasn’t I right?

Is this really a thing? People go to parties with a couple of secret beers just in case it turns out to be a lot more boring than they can tolerate? How’s that not a warning sign of chronic alcoholism?

Even more disturbing, though, is the answer from the advice columnist, Philip Galanes:

“Of course you were right,” comes the reply. “It’s sketchy to bring booze (unbidden) to a baby party.”

If he’d stopped right there, he could have pretended that common sense had won the day. If he had stopped. For whatever reason, though, he felt it was necessary to elaborate:

But would it have been so terrible to let your husband hang on to his last shreds of cool, letting him play rebel with a lunchbox in front of the other dispirited daddies (and mommies)? Of course not.

It doesn’t sound as if Hubby proposed turning the party into an ecstasy-fueled rave, and the guest of honor wouldn’t have had a clue who was sipping what. Still, I understand your desire to act appropriately and not commandeer other people’s parties.

But so many requirements of modern child-rearing, like giving up precious stretches of weekend for strangers’ children, can be soul-sapping and deeply at odds with our youthful fantasies about adult life. So be flexible and tolerant where possible.

Yeah! Don’t be such a killjoy! You know this party’s going to be a drag, and it’s just a couple beers, so hey! Loosen up!

Ye gods.

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