A few weeks ago my boss Randy Kemner wrote a small piece for the newsletter about the things we can control. It was just after that horrible shooting in a Colorado movie theater and how he and his wife spent the evening with their closest friends and while the sadness and shock of the moment were still with everyone, just how much joy they found being close to people they care about, sharing something they love, food and wine. Resonated with me on a level that is still working its way through my armor and many fibrous layers. He intended to make a point but I know for a fact he didn’t intend to send my head and heart reeling the way he did. First of all he already has me so tightly wound around his effusive and exuberant voice he didn’t need to write anything to make me swoon, he was just talking from the heart and sharing his real life dealing and the discovering of the sweetness of the moment. It touched me and made me stop, for days now, and think about the things that are close enough to actually affect me….evaluate the things that are merely just hanging out there in the maybe and someday.
Been a political monster the past week. So wrapped up in the rhetoric and arguing, the kind that pulls my lips back hard against my gums and shows my true fangs. Fuck with my right to do with my body as I see fit, tell me that there are types of rape that are less egregious, or that some fairy dust fed part of my womb, that doesn’t exist will protect me from a legitimate rape….well, I’m going to get fierce, pissed off and will verbally rip the nut sack off any fucktard telling me they know better and that I should just trust them. These arguments are in fact worth my time, venom and rage. They will affect me and all the women that come after me. Didn’t fight this hard, for this long, knife against my flesh, bat to my jaw, face smashed against a brick wall, forcefully exposed chest rubbed raw and bleeding as someone’s idea of legitimacy was imposed upon me, just to have some bloated, rich white man tell me what I have the right to do with my body….what my granddaughters and great granddaughters can do with theirs. This fight is worth the time I’ve spent sending letters, stupid Facebook posting and vowing of my time to march, vote and share my story. I used to feel shame for what happed to me, over and over again, but now…the only thing I’m ashamed of is that this glorious country of ours would employ or vote in even one sick fuck of a human that thinks we as the “gentler sex” aren’t capable of making choices, no matter how horrid, for ourselves. I’ve got your gentle right here asshole, come see me….and you can bring another halfwit with you, let’s make it a fair fight.
So yeah, been seriously involved and wrapped up on that front, and with good reason but when I’m quiet, when the laptop is off, when there isn’t some new asshat comment in my grill making me wonder, “If your daughter were raped by a black man would you be half as vehement?!” Randy’s sweet words of appreciation and rather grounded observation of what really matters slip in and awake my subconscious. Reminding me of what does in fact matter in the right here and now of my life, the things I don’t have to rage against…the things that bring me joy in the face of the ugly, hate filled and self-serving. I can fight for my rights, try and fight for those of other women too afraid, but the truth is, I have my own silly fears, still, that pale in comparison but still plague me, the same kind of “I know better than you” kind of bullshit and head patting that are dripping with lies and omissions…taking a moment to reflect and simmer in the beauty that has come from all I, we, struggled for, the small things that make the fight worth it? Can’t help but find a much needed expulsion of warm, tight chest filled breath and the spreading shoulders that come with it. I find myself sipping slow, taking long drags, on those things, people, moments that make all the fighting, shock, confusion and struggle seem like tiny bits of penance and horrific blood stained battles, pleads of “please don’t” feel like they are a million miles away…so long as there is this to keep me fighting, hoping and believing….
Teaching my son about wine. Figuring out what moves him, flips on those switches and gets that palate vibrating for more. Knowing that I have within my feeble knowledge, the tools to help him become a force to be reckoned with in our field. Empowerment..
My much adored summer tomato sandwich. White bread, Best Foods mayonnaise, sliced sweet summer tomatoes with a pinch of salt. There is not one other thing, not even the sound or smell of the ocean that can evoke as powerful an emotion. I shun tomatoes nearly all year because I need to preserve this glorious and head spinning bit of perfectness.
The relief filled roar of laughter when I let an “F Bomb” drop in one of my classes. Wine people deemed stuffy and all, I let a passion filled “fuck” fly and the whole crowd laughs and feels more welcome. An early lesson that has served me well….
Finding a new issue of Saveur magazine in my mailbox. I rip off the plastic like it was goddamn Christmas morning, spending hours lost in words strung so beautifully together that they make me crave each and every single bit of food or place they are writing about. Letting my toes twist and head swim as I dream of writing for them someday…
Always feeling like the least attractive woman in any room but…having a suspicion that if I did my thing, let the true me out, I could captivate and seduce anyone I wanted. Probably total bullshit but it serves me well in bar situations and fuels my Dave Matthews fantasies.
Being able to make my beloved Ronnie, the coworker I adore, laugh his ass off on a daily basis. Don’t care if I have to make poop schedule comments, I crave his laughter and am willing to make an ass out of myself to get it.
Reading the email I get here on this blog. Some of the things you people have shared with me take my breath away. I know why I do this but am rarely convinced that anyone cares…until you write me. Been humbled here more than I can tell you and just so you know….those moments are with me each and every single moment of every day. They make me stronger and encourage me to keep going forward….so this is entirely your fault. See what I did there?!
Reading the face of an ancient native American woman as she fed me Navajo fry bread when I was too young to truly understand. Each wrinkle in her tired and hard life upon me as my young teeth took bites of the most ethereally light and airy bit of dough I had ever known. A start…
How aroused I am when I feel the not used enough muscles in my forearms force an opener into a cork. Watching the bulge and twist of the strength beneath my skin, the way it gets all my other parts ready…drives me wild.
Writing a sentence that makes me think, “Damn”
Knowing I have been in the cellars of, tasted, more great wine than most of the wannabes that wax on and on and on about wine. Until you’ve had a revered Burgundian producer ask your birth year and run off to retrieve a bottle…shut up. I’m getting tired of trying to down play my experience and what I’ve tasted, been a part of…..time for me to embrace the good fortune that has been shed upon me thanks to the likes of Randy Kemner, Kermit Lynch and Michael Sullivan. I used to feel embarrassed but now, in the light of all these other “specialist” I think it is time to let those lips pull tight against my gums and call out the BS when I see it.
Having one of the wees from next door run over, in his Paul Frank jammies, to bring me cash for the gift basket that we made for his grandma. Sweet big and wide open face full of a new day’s promise, big smile as he finds me in my jammies too. Not to mention coming home to find….
Feeling the strain of opening five cases of Champagne because 70 people just had to be at our Champagne and Fried Chicken event, in my wrists. I’ll twist away over and over again for those events…they “feed” me just as much as they fed those 70.
Making “that” face at my husband at least once a day for the reward of hearing, “Fuck, you are the sexiest woman, like ever”
My mother teaching me to really cook. How even something as simple as Egg in the Hole can be masterful when prepared with the right ingredients.
Working retail which has taught me patience and appreciation on a level I couldn’t have expected.
Gratitude, for still being here considering some of the horribly misguided decisions that fueled my youth, stuck a snarl in my jaw, had me facing that brick wall questioning what got me there….
Knowing that there is a breath of fresh air and empowerment beneath the next cork and being ready to jump in.
Drinking and feeling....truly lucky.