I took an Uber home from work the other night. Not just because it was 12:30 in the morning. Not just because I had had a shit 14 hour day. But also not only because I had bought three bottles of wine and a six pack of new IPA that I had wanted to try.
My driver was curious about why I had so much, asking if I was having a party. I told him the beer was for me, the wine was mostly a self-defense purchase.
He cocked an eyebrow at me in the rearview.
So, I explained it to him. It’s not like it’s a secret, I’ve been situationally talking about self-defense for decades.
The other day, I had entertained a guy that I’ve been chatting with for months. We’ll trade emails, message each other on asocial media – if either of us has resisted the urge to delete our profiles versus throwing our phones into the nearest volcano out of frustration, and straight up old school texts.
He finally shows up, and I get it…he lives in BFE and he knows I’m not going there.
See? I can be patient.
Anyway, I ask him if I can get him something to drink and suggest a beer – I was totally profiling. This guy restores classic cars – which are surprisingly not the cars that come to mind when I say “classic” – from the 80s. Talk about feeling old. Er…classic. Anyway, in response to my offer, he asks if I have any wine.
I make this face.
And then I look at my wine assortment. It’s all from the aforementioned trip to Hood River with The Silver Fox, Little Buddy and 2.0 – in other words, not something I want to open and not finish or open for someone who wont appreciate it.
I find a $20 bottle and open it. He makes the same face back at me as I unscrew the top.
I poured him a glass and told him to stow that face. He tasted it. I could tell he thought it was great. Obviously.
I pour myself one and take a sip as we visit.
He’s chattering on as he takes a couple of big quaffs and tells me about his poetry. Really? This guy blows profiling out of the water.
LOL. He just texted me.
Anyway, I get a second sip in and when I put my glass down, he downs his, puts the glass on the table and climbs me like I’m a cat tree.
It’s not that I’m not open to being wrong about my gut assessments of people based on their look, I quite enjoy it. But this was really good wine. I wouldn’t have minded sitting a little longer and enjoying it and any more surprises he had tucked away in his personality.
But the anyway was nice, too.
So, I tell my driver this and he laughs and asks how much the wine was. “Two bottles were $10 or less, well, actually they were both less than $10 because of my employee discount. The third was a $20 Pinot to replace the one I sacrificed, even though I don’t like that variety much.”
He’s still laughing and I ask what’s got him going and he tells me my life sounds like an episode of Seinfeld.
But he loves the concept and tells me that he can’t wait to share it with some winemaker friends of his.
I tell him to have at it and that the concept actually dates back to my days working with Bridal Registries. Couples would come in and I would help them register, looking over their registry before they left, to make sure they didn’t do anything weird like register for 12 place settings of dinnerware and 10 place settings of flatware.
One of the things that I would always check for was whether or not the couple had registered for a crock pot. If they hadn’t, I would tell them that they would be happier in the end if they did.
“That’s not really how we cook, though.” was invariably the response.
“Doesn’t matter” I would tell them, “register for one or you’ll get four because your guests will assume you were just too dumb to remember this ‘vital’ piece of kitchen equipment.”
<Couple looks uncertainly at each other>
“If you register for it and get it, you can return it for something on your registry that you didn’t get, right?”
<Couple nods, still not really seeing where this is headed>
“If you don’t register for one and end up getting four, you’ll have no idea where they came from, no proof of purchase and then you’ve got four crock pots in your closet that you never use.”
<Light bulb goes off>
“Think of it as self-defense against well-meaning friends!” and I mentally cracked my knuckles.
And that’s my Chrisism called “Self-Defense”. Simply managing the outcome you want to achieve. That’s kinda Gandhi of me, now that I see it typed out.
I gotta leave the house for a while and run errands, but I hope to be back to explain that 14 hour shit day. We’ll see how that goes, Mercury is in retrograde, after all.