My in-laws can drink me under the table.
—Claire Danes, on “British pub culture” and, more specifically, on husband Hugh Dancy’s comparatively hard-drinkin’ parents.
I just love this quote. I know “celebrity gossip” is moralistic, always quick to finger-wag at fast-and-loud living; after all, every other story is Car Wreck this and Trainwreck that. Still, there is something so endearing about prim Claire Danes loosening up and learning how to shotgun a Guinness (or cider, or whatever it is you Brits slam in the morning before you take the Tube to your fancy jobs).
Danes’ entire quote, in context, from Pop2it:
She tells OK! that since marrying Hugh Dancy, she’s embraced British pub culture with a particular enthusiasm.
In fact, she says she now struggles to politely sip wine at parties when she’s back in the States. “I’ve been in training for a number of years now. They’re not kidding [in Britain],” she says. “My in-laws can drink me under the table. I’ve now come to really enjoy pub culture but there was a transitional period where I was sort of like, ‘What is this?'”
The difference, she says, is in the lack of distraction in England. “They sit in one seat and drink for about seven hours straight,” she says. “[Americans] drink, but we drink and do other things, like, we drink and eat or we drink and dance or we drink and, like, take a walk and go drink somewhere else. They talk, and that’s probably why they’ve produced such witty, clever people.”
I haven’t hopped the pond since I was 16—so I was way too young to acquaint myself with so-called “British pub culture”—but this quote really rings true to me. I do remember that social norms are scarily different here, insofar as we in the U.S. recognize “familiarity” upon first introduction as good “people skills”; abroad, a wide grin and too-soon hugging could be construed as, if not unmannerly, outright sinister. Is this an accurate read, Europeans?
And that social rigidity explains the need for a culture of “socially acceptable loosening-up,” AKA drinking in one spot for seven long hours. (Or as I call it, ‘dating’!)
Ohhhh, I’m totally JK’ing, you guys, but only sort of. Please, somebody explain “pub culture” to me. **Hangs head; scarfs an entire Shepherd’s Pie in shame**