“We take Sam!” first picked. I was first picked, this meant only one thing, fucking dodge ball. Ugh. What sadistic asshole thought this was an appropriate game for grade schoolers? Just sayin’. So as the chunky kid I was rarely picked first for anything when it came to schoolyard games, I was the girl that mastered the rings. I could swing my heavy body through the air, weightless and free for the whole recess period. Yeah, just one more thing those little snots gave me crap for, “Oh No! Sam’s first in line, we’ll never get a turn” yeah that’s right bitches.
The bell would ring and I would bolt, fat little legs motoring, shorts bunching up on the insides of my things…the way they do, you know, when the flubber gets to shaking…the outside of the short legs are fine, impervious to the quake that is apparently happing between the thighs. Huffing, face beet red, sometimes a little snot bubble escaping as my face and lungs felt like they were about to explode. This particular look, well looking back now…not so much my favorite but at the time, worth it. I just needed to get to that wooden plank that hovered above the sand, my launch pad, before anyone else did. Once those blistering hot or icy cold, depending on the season, rings were clutched between my calloused and blistered palms….I was, if only for fifteen minutes, alone in my skin and in my head. My feet off the ground, my body pulling and swinging, moving forward, the clank of the metal ring I had released hitting the one I had left just before….my arms reaching for the next. Those countless minutes, those complied hours on those rings taught me a lot about balance, about not looking back and about just how good it felt to be weightless and flying.
Now dodge ball. This was just another reminder that I didn’t quite fit. I was always picked first for this brutal game. Always chosen for my brute strength…I could sail that red rubber ball like Randy Johnson, and for my very clear rage. You fuck with the snot bubble, calloused hand, often yanking her shorts from her crotch girl enough…well she is gonna lose it and hurl a big rubber ball at you, and when taunted enough, she won’t miss. I played, I hit hard and I always helped my team win but I never felt good about it…okay that’s a lie, Lisa A, you deserved it. But for the most part I was kind of like one of those gentle giants, like a cross between the Chunk and Sloth characters in the Goonies movie. I didn’t want to hurt anyone and never really relished in winning at the expense of others. That being said, felt really fucking good to be picked first and to have, “your friends” (or those little bastards) see you as good at something for once.
Dodge ball was always a required, as in a physical education thing, never picked it and as would be the pattern for the rest of my schoolin’ days, I loathed P.E. Couldn’t use the “I have cramps” bullshit in 4th grade so I just sucked it up, pummeled my fellow students, went back to class…3 minutes the hero and then things were right back where they were. I was still the poor fat kid, they still poked fun at me while I stared out the split windows at the rings waiting to feel my feet come out from underneath me. Weightless and alone in my skin…..
So I began “Wine blogging” three years ago, damn…cannot believe it has been that long, hoping to shine a little light on The Wine Country, maybe get some attention for the store that has for years been my…well, my grown up set of rings. To talk about the wines that make me swoon, the winemakers and importers that have touched me, to make wine more human….touchable. Not some fancy beverage that requires years of study to understand. I wanted people to see the connection between the soil, the person that tends it, the soul that imports or distributes it…maybe the silly snot bubble girl that picks it for the store. The dinners, the stories, our customers, their love and loss…I’ve told those stories to remind anyone that happens upon this silly blog that there is a very human and honestly, a very loving side to this somewhat indulgent and buzzy making elixir.
The late night rants. The posts written after a bottle consumed alone, its purr still making me hum and its fingers in my back as I spill my lust and adoration through my fingertips. It’s what I’ve done and while I often wondered if I’m actually reaching anyone, I’ve just tried to stay on track…my couch my launch pad, the laptop keys the rings against my palms. Sailing along trying not to get sucked into the same old same old. There are hundreds of wine blogs where people can go to read the latest wine business news, win tickets, talk about phonologic ripeness and the hundred point scale. No one needs me to do that and truthfully its part of this business that has never interested me nor has it made one iota of difference to my customers. Hell, the only people I know that read most of the wine press is other industry people…you know the ones that like to tell me, “Oh this got *# points” while they are trying to sell me something. Means fuck all to me. I need to know the wine…feel it and have it tell me if there is someone I can sell it to.
So while I swung my way around the wine blog world I met and fell in love with some people whose opinions and intellect I found so compelling that I was aching to explore the world they loved and spent hours spilling about. Explored, tried to learn and embrace, feel them through a shared wine moment. Plugged along doing just that, tasting, travelling, expanding my palate and while I appreciate that part of the exchange I always felt as if I was being picked for dodge ball again. Everything is just fine just as long as I am smoking from the same pipe but should I interject with my comments about balance, ripeness or a plain affirmation of, “Yeah I hate that” and I am back to snot bubble girl with short pant legs creeping up my thighs. Anyone have a big red rubber ball?
I’m not only irked, I’m quite frankly embarrassed to be a part of this. I lost my shit about Food & Wine magazine and their…ra-tar-did-ness and now the smug and “I know better” bullshit that I have read in wine blogs this past week make me want to just hang it up. Okay I can “open my mind” to the stuff you dig but should I disagree or god forbid, (insert very snobby gasp here) drink and appreciate beer…well then I’m stupid. Nice….
Very progressive Very liberal
Very exclusive…. One big red ball in the face and it stings like a mother f’er Should you need me, I’ll be playing on my set of rings Out here where I belong…. Still "writing" Still sharing wine stories But caring less about being picked first.....