Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just Rewards

So yesterday was my last day off before I board a plane for my trip with my fellow wine loving bloggers to Friuli. I had the whole day to make lists, shop and pack, prepare so I would be able to sail through the rest of the week without a care in the world. I got up early, glugged down my much needed coffee, checked and sent emails….the regular morning routine but with a slight sense of urgency considering all the things I wanted to get done and this being the very last day for me to do it.

Still savoring my coffee I swished down the hall, my way too big but much beloved jammie shirt slipping off my shoulder as I tugged at the bottoms to keep them from getting caught beneath my feet. Yes I know, they can be a pain in the ass but when I slip them on….feel the way too much fabric fall heavy against my frame, well I forgive them their little exposing and trying to trip me quirks. I love them and relish in feeling so tiny when they swallow me whole. I swung open the hall closet doors, stood before the light bulbs, batteries, photo albums, the unopened boxes of poker chips (a impulse purchase after watching a marathon of Texas Hold ‘Em) random bits of stationary and my stash of quick dry nail polish. “I know that thing is in here” I muttered while lifting and shoving things this way and that all the while tugging at my jammie shirt when it got jammed between stacked boxes and wedged underneath the dusty albums containing snapshots of my life.

I was growing increasingly irritable, the tugging and yanking, the boxes of crap, the books full of photos I never look at, all conspiring to keep me from finding an essential tool for my trip. I huffed, shuffled, tugged….there was some sneezing, and I ended up storming into the kitchen flinging open yet another cabinet and grabbed a couple of trash bags. Back in the hall I began my dig. Chucking all but one of the boxes of poker chips, why I kept one I can’t tell you, the four sheets of fancy paper with flowers beautifully pressed into them, sure they were pretty but they were now covered in dust and honestly, what the hell am I gonna do with four sheets of flower paper?! Crusted nail polishes, half used and now expired sun screen….bunch of useless crap that I decided it was time to purge.

Once the “garbage” was excavated I found myself standing amidst the piles of life that I felt were worthy of keeping. I got down on my knees, oh and you don’t want to know how the jammies bottoms protested to this maneuver, and began really taking a look at the things that were spared in my dumping rampage. With a damp cloth in my hand I began dusting the photo albums and before I knew it I was settled in. Light bulbs and batteries still at my feet, my back pressed against the wall in my tiny hallway, jammies gathered in a pile around me…turning the pages, laughing, gasping….crying a little as the snapshots of my story, my life, flashed before my eyes and filled my heart. My mother at a spring formal, my little sister’s many stages of hair and contagious smile, my maternal grandparents never smiling, me….tiny and hopeful playing in the sand, my son, his sweet face changing and maturing with each flip of the page. Growing, losing teeth, learning to swim, making me laugh….always making me laugh.

I closed the books and began reloading the closet, no closer to being ready for my trip but freer of clutter and dust and feeling like my soul was fed a little. A bit more courage and comfort swelling around me and challenging my jammies for boss of my frame. I tossed the big bag of purged items by the front door and on a whim returned to the hall to check the bottom closet and there, nuzzled between the paper towels and extra toilet paper I found what I had been looking for, my travel alarm clock. Freaking sweet! Three hours later and I had one task checked off my list.

The rest of the day went pretty much the same; me finding things that would distract me from the tasks at hand. I do this shit every time I’m going on one of these trips….every fucking time. I need to pack? Okay well I should check the interwebs for what the weather is going to be like….another three hours, and many a lame ass facebook update later and all I have is, “Get hat” on my list of things to pick up at….the mall. Oh holy mother of all most dreaded outings, I have to go to the mall?! Oh I need a drink….

So at some point on Monday afternoon I sent a text to Merritt asking, (that would be begging but I’m trying to sound all in control and shit) her if she would be my wingman at the mall, on Tuesday, after work. She took pity on me and agreed so I was off the hook for the rest of the day. I put the trip and it’s needs aside and spent the rest of my last day off before I leave sipping on Sainte Marie Entre-Deux-Mers, a deliciously invigorating little white Bordeaux, and watching crime stories on television….

“Okay, we’ll get dinner and a drink or two then head to the mall” now this sounded like it was a perfect plan, the “what could go wrong?” bells never went off but the second Merritt and I stepped our two-cocktails-in asses in the mall I had the feeling we were doomed. Now I happen to be one of the conflicted women that hates all the goo; all that stinky, smeary junk that is designed to make us look “purty” but refuses to leave the house without it and even worse, I am convinced that the expensive junk is better. Sigh. As I lumbered my buzzy, after work ass to the Lancome counter I found that everyone else, and their mother was also in need of the expensive smeary junk. What the hell?! There must have been twelve people in line, just at the counter I needed mind you and they had only two…heavily painted, women working the flooded counter. Perfect. Okay another confession, I buy and wear the expensive goo but um, I have no idea which one if the bo-jillion offerings are my shade, style or age defying whatever the fuck. Gawd I hate the mall.

After some shrugging, huffing from the over worked counter lady, matching…which is just squirting different shades of face goo on my wrists, that being the same as my face and all…me waving people to go before me, and finally a shaking of my head and pointing at a tube of makeup that looked close enough and I was at the register. I was feeling sweaty and assumed it was the endless questions and embarrassment of spending that kind of money on face glob while not knowing what kind but I looked over at Merritt and she was sporting a glossy sheen as well…odd. “Oh you’ve spent enough to get two gifts with purchase” the painted lady told me, fuck. More choosing. I looked at the veritable buffet of choices; a lipstick trio, makeup brushes..blah, blah, blah and then I saw a long squishy tube. “Is that lotion?” I asked, my face glistening with moisture. “Yes it’s our…” “I’ll take it, it’s on my list!” I shouted. Bag of makeup goo and gifts shoved in my backpack and Merritt and I were on the escalator, heading on up to the clothing department….sigh.

Now I’m not sure any of you have tried to slip on “Skinny jeans” when your thighs are sweating but for those that have not had this particular pleasure…well it kinda makes you even sweatier, and feel as far from skinny as one can possibly get. Hopping, shifting, jiggling, stuffing and then looking at yourself in the mirror, well this does not a happy shopping day make. Whimper..

Got some pants, face junk and discovered that not only does the mall think we all want to feel like we are in the Caribbean while shopping, they don’t enforce the 9:00 PM closing time for every store. Fantastic. Half the stores were closed as we trudged from one end to the other, our buzz way gone and shiny faces wearing the glossy gaze of, “we just need a hat”…wretched. What a wretched day of not getting my shit done.

I got home, dumped off my couple bags and discovered that the overworked painted lady neglected to slip my “Yay! You’re a sap and spent retarded amounts of money on our crap” gift with purchase lotion in my bag….Argh! No hat and no lotion. Two days down and I have some pants I really didn’t need and face makeup, oh and I found my travel alarm clock. Guess who’s going back tomorrow? Oh I need a drink….

Times like these call for the one thing that can soothe my inner angst. The one beverage that can hit my, “Oh it’s going to be just fine” button and take away a day of sloth AND a night of sweaty mall walking, Champagne.

While picking wines for me Rose Champagne class last Friday I came across a wine that I had not only let slip under my radar but was on the fence about carrying anymore, NV Godme Grand Cru Brut Rose. I’d loved the wine in the past, really dug it actually but for some reason it had been sluggish to work its way off the shelf. Part of the reason being the that most people coming in asking for Rose Champagne are looking for something juicy, round, full and forward, hell that’s what I’m looking for most of the time too and Godme does not fit into that Saves or Billiot style of sumptuousness. I tossed the wine in the lineup to see where it was and to, well to decide its fate at The Wine Country.

In! So in. Not only did the Godme Rose sing that night it was in fact the star of the show for me. In a lineup of forward fruited, curvy wines this serious Rose just came off so brilliantly…plenty of up front fruit but with a core that was loaded with citrus and spice. Tremendous layering of flavors that exposed themselves a little more with each little sniff and every deeply satisfying sip. If anything can squash my grumbling mood and make me forget what I’ve yet to do, it’s this absolutely captivating wine….

So here I sit amongst my bags of crap, sweat finally dry, putting lotion back on my list of shit I have to get, sipping away on a wine with remarkable complexity, texture and vibrancy but with an almost soulful and damn sexy knack for exposing just enough flesh, at exactly the right time. The forward fruit slipping off its shoulder exposing a flash of tender but multi-layered “life” just underneath. Damn….

I’m getting my jammies…


John M. Kelly said...

Sam, umm... that last picture of you? Looks like you grew your hair out since I last saw you. Also, those jammies might be OK for Vegas in summer but for Friuli in winter? Well, you are seriously going to freeze your ass off. But - and this is from a friend - girl, you need to eat a sandwich.

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh yeah, I look JUST like that. Not even close. I was trying to explain that Godme....damn sexy wine for sure.

Anonymous said...

My verification word is "jamis" (jammies).

I hate the mall, more than almost anything else. All the crap, everywhere you look miles and miles of stuff... it's overwheming. And I will avoid it at all costs.

If you're brave enough to go back, take your Lancome receipt, and they'll give you the freebies.

But, really, is going back worth it?

Samantha Dugan said...

Another Day of Crazy,
I'm being punished. That has to be it. Cannot believe that I have to go back but I still need a goddamn hat and a pair of shoes. Wish me luck and you can bet your ass I will be buying another bottle of Champagne for when I get home. Grumble....

Anonymous said...

Ah... this is paying the piper BEFORE you dance... luckily, that's a hell of a dance you've got coming up in Fruili.

Alfonso Cevola said...


if it makes you feel any better, I go through the packing thing every time I pack. And I have been on the road all year!

btw- they have stores in Italy - pretty civilized place, in case you forget something. don't stress over it, we'll find it over there.

Valerie said...

I like your plan to return the goop and buy a bottle of bubbly, even if it does mean returning to the depths of hell (i.e. mall). Pack a few basics, like a Pashmina, essential for wandering Europe & serves as a great woobie on plane/trains too. Man - I'm already packing in my head and not even leaving for another 6 weeks - it's a major PITA, and somehow I never get it right ... other than the Pashmina...and my own waiter's key. Buon viaggio and happy sipping!

Samantha Dugan said...

Another Day of Crazy,
I'm totally punkin' out, going to Target to try and finish there...just could not face the mall two nights in a row!

Good to know I'm not the only spaz. I'm grateful to have you guys there to help should I need lotion or what have you. Also way thankful that not every second of the trip is scheduled (as all my other trips have been) so should I need something there will in fact be time to get it! Remind me to tell you about a certain needed shopping issue on my last trip....was 4 days before there was enough time to find a store...ugh!

I'm much more a zip-up hoodie kinda girl, that being said hoddie is in fact on my list. I just can't begin to really think about packing until the night before I go, just a thing for me and as Alfonso pointed out, if I forget something I've got my credit card and some cool cats that shall help me acquire it. Getting so freaking excited...

Charlie Olken said...

Not to worry, Sam. There is always something that does not make on the trip. Alfonso is right. If you really need it, you can probably buy it over there. And what is better than shopping once? Why shopping twice, of course.

Have fun. Write often. Send postcards. Be bad--at least part of the time.

Samantha Dugan said...

Charlie My Sweet,
Shopping twice is just a reminder that I fucked up somewhere along the line...therefore punishment. Thankfully I'm not the wig out sort so if I am missing something I am pretty sure I can wing it and do without.

I hope to write often, have so much to learn and share that I am already bubbling over with excitement. Be bad? Me? Not sure I can pull it off but for you, I'll give it a try...

Sara Louise said...

Putting skinny jeans on when I'm sweaty makes me feel like a sausage.

Nancy Deprez said...

I like the expression you just coined - "age defying what the fuck." Gaffaw!!! Some marketing genius decided we need to defy age with their $100 in a tube. Hate hate hate the mall as much as you do. I get a little nauseous when I'm in the environment, feel a lack of oxygen, the colors on the racks make my head spin, and I have to run out for air. Unfortunately, usually without getting what I came in for.