Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Finding My Proper Pairing

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second hand emotion? What’s love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”

The raspy voice gurgled from the speakers, the warmed-by-the-sun driver’s side seat of my car curling perfectly around my sides causing me let out an audible groan as my spine melted into the seatback and my fingers flicked the turn signal. I pulled into the left hand lane….the beginning of my weekend starting just on the other side. Between glances at oncoming traffic and shifting of my tired rump around in my seat, looking for that perfect spot where the ass to seat cushion fuse together in a pillow like plushy-ness, I reached for the remote control to my satellite radio. Eyes still on the road my hands fumbled through the contents of my center console, “Gate clicker. Parking pass. Tissue….ewe!” before my fingertips fell upon the sleek little dial changer remote thingy. Edging out into the intersection I could see Tina’s fierce gams in black high heels, black leather skirt, faded denim jacket and wild mane of spiky, straightened hair as her lips curled into…..
“What’s love got to do, got to do with it?’ my instinct was to change the channel, never liked the song and goddamn MTV, (aka the church of the 13 year old in 1984) played the video to freaking death, not to mention my mother would sing, (never a good thing, got my horrible signing voice from her) it at the top of her lungs, complete with awkward dance moves, whenever it came on. Inching deeper into the intersection but still going nowhere my head was swirling with hugging seat backs, the still warmth from a car sitting all day in the sun, spiky hair, raspy voices, awkward dance moves and…sandwiches of boiled ham, plastic wrapped cheese food and cans of black cherry soda. What the fuck?! Somewhere in the two minutes from leaving The Wine Country’s parking lot and waiting to make a left on Sterns Street I was transported back to the corner house on Orange Ave in Bixby Knolls, 1984.
We had just moved out of the house where my mother, sister and I would cower in fear in the rooms just off the kitchen. The big beautiful house full of big dreams, (my mother’s mostly) sad souls and reigned upon by a miserable man that found great pleasure in tormenting a ten year old girl. Knowing she would be too afraid of breaking her mother’s heart to tell her about the nights where I would cry silently, hanging over the bathroom sink as I tried to wash the Taco Bell bean and cheese burrito, the one he smashed in my face and laughed as he told his cronies, “Watch this, a pig will eat anything” out of my hair before she got home. Too afraid to answer her, “What’s wrong baby?” questions…until the day I saw him, tight lipped and grabbing my baby sister by the arm, digging his dwarf like tiny fingers into her pudgy flesh, eyes narrow as he hissed at her through clinched teeth, her big blue, nearly two year old eyes shocked but already defiant as she tried to pull herself away. She and her bright light, intoxicating laugh and sweet heart were next on his list. Swallowed my fear, of all the repercussions and spilled on his emotional terrorism. Within weeks we were moving our few belongings into that corner house on Orange Ave.
The light turned yellow, I made my left and dropped the remote back into the console. I listened to Tina snarl and croon, her words acting like snapshots landing in my lap, the stark white interior of a new space, a television in the front room that I was allowed to watch, my mother’s bumbling hip thrusts and off pitch belting out of a song that spoke to her. The turning of the key in a deadbolt and walking into a kitchen after school, kicking off my shoes and dropping my shit wherever I wished, flipping on the television and dancing about  as I made a sandwich of boiled and pressed ham, slimy sheets of cheese, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?” blaring above my, “C’mon MTV, isn’t there another video you can play?” mayonnaise and tangy yellow mustard, washing it down with a black cherry cola and for the first time in years, eating without the wrench of fear banging around in the pit of my stomach. To this day one of the sweetest pairings I have ever tasted; boiled ham and plastic wrapped cheese sandwich, black cherry cola and, freedom.

 The song ended and I discovered, much like oysters, Beaujolais, lamb chops, spicy mustard, Chardonnay, Loire Cabernet Franc and stepping out from behind my armor, it simply needed to be heard…and felt, at the right time for me to fall madly in love with it. Tina’s words hovering, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”……my answer, “Has everything to do with it” at least for me and my pursuit of happiness, of pleasure.
Been steering clear of many wine blogs lately. Not sure if it’s just me but I'm beginning to feel as if I come from a different strain than many of my wine blogging brethren. I skim but get hung up on rants about who’s got it wrong, who’s being a douche, who’s qualified to make proclamations about wine and I am about 3 years over that bullshit. Over it and none of that cantankerous quibbling speaks to the side of wine that drives me wild, the parts that inspire the kind of lust and want that drives me come here and smear my desire all over you. Not sure if any of you have noticed but there had been a long ass lag in sensual posts from me and I think much of that came from spending far too much time trying to “get” or understand what everyone else is talking about. Be a part of a more "serious" conversation that has ended up leaving me voiceless and without an inkling or slightest bit of itch, to come here and share my particular....peculiar brand of wine speak.
 Feels like I had been pulling the covers over my shoulder and tossing out the old, “Um, not tonight” far more than I ever dreamed I would. I miss feeling slippery, feeling my skin pull tight and the words drip from my fingertips.  It was becoming very clear that the, “What’s love got to do with it?” crowd so huffed up on their own hot air that their emissions had been fucking with my desire, to not only write but to join in what was once an active and interactive community. Now that right there, that is some serious bullshit. Bullshit and it’s about to stop. Not getting into anymore one sided conversations with people that think they have the right to tell me how I should be doing wine, that their way is the only “factual” proper and honest way. Not going to put my bits to sleep reading the pseudo-spiritual yammerings and winery or PR firm fed fluff pieces. Too old in this business to get myself tangled in that. Plus, it doesn't move me. Have at it dude, you enjoy your factoids and leave me to savor, flick, touch, ooze and fondle. I shan't cross your path and it is now time for me to scoot those fuckers off of mine. 

My little nibbles of want are beginning to tingle again....
I am in love with wine and
Love has everything to do with it. 
Least for me.


Winey The Elder said...

And love has everything to do with it from this side too.
Do you mean it or is this just post Dave euphoria (insert emoticon). Our paths to beloved wine are different, although maybe not that dissimilar. Our paths to HERE are different but maybe not that dissimilar. (Got my own cowering in closets stories, sadly). But that our paths merge, even for a bit and if only on occasion, well that sweet Samantha "keeps me hangin' on" - to steal from another diva from days past.

Thanks for being "different" for being you. Works for me!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
There isn't a single writer out there doing what you do here. A piece like this has more meaning, and more impact, than a month's worth of posts on anyone else's blog. Your writing gift is profound, and your instincts about wine, and what matters about wine, are pitch perfect.

It is hard to write a blog and not get caught up in noise of the Poodles barking. I, also, hope that you have had a real breakthrough in your feelings about your work. It's amazing stuff, filled with wisdom and passion and wit, and anything that gets in your way, well, I'd like to destroy it.

You not as different as you think. You speak for a lot of people who love wine but hate the pontificating and proselytizing that surrounds it. We need what you do, and we love what you do.

I simply adore you.

Samantha Dugan said...

Winey My Sweet,
I guess it could be a post Dave haze but I doubt it seeing as they didn't play one song from GruGrux which frigging felt like a dagger through my soul! Love that whole CD, am connected to it in ways that will tug at my heart forever and not one, not one song. Sigh. Course it was still a magical evening and I know that while we will never meet, Dave gets me.

I do feel like I am emerging from the self imposed gag order I've been struggling with. Feel like I've been running to try and keep up, both creatively and in some cases, emotionally and the past couple nights have found me reflecting, questioning, why am I chasing something that has no place for me? Do I even want it? Becoming clear to me that the only things I truly have to offer are my palate, my heart and my integrity....not willing to compromise any of that, for anyone. Fought too hard to find this voice of mine, wrestled with those that urged me to use it and goddamn it, I deserve better. Think I'm just getting around to feeling and remembering that. Thanks for being there/here for me Winey, I love you for it.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,

Looks like once again we were just crossed paths there, like the good old days.

Nope, there aren't many people writing the kind of stuff I do here, and I'm sure most of the world is thrilled about that. It's not important nor is it meaningful to more than just a handful of us...but it is for that handful that I come here. I'm not doing any of this for junkets or awards, to get a job in the wine business or earn a fan club, I came here to see if I could write in a way that did in fact touch some people and spoke to them in wine language that makes them feel, crave and want...I've failed plenty, probably mostly but there have been times when I can actually feel someone through their comments, can see, through the screen that I was able to move them and to give that up would be a failure that in the end would hurt me. It's obvious that I have come to love this place and my tiny little group of visitors, the thing that I was neglecting was my own heart and what I want and need and it turns out, I need to speak, out, loud. I adore you too Ron Washam.

Thomas said...

Oh, if you would listen to your elders...this elder...and gather these thoughts into a book.

While I am certain your wine blog provides you with a good outlet, I'm equally certain that you have things to say--and a way to say them--to a wider audience.

I'm here to help when you are ready. I'm going to need something to do after I finish my latest book, because after five books in thirteen years, I feel tapped out for now.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thomas My Dear,
Funny thing, you are not the only elder saying that exact same thing...got a few youngers on me about it as well. Beginning to wonder if you folks might be on to something, at the very least an idea and an outlet for me. A place to put my time and energy that might do me some good. I'm listing love, to be honest with you sweet Thomas, I'm quite simply afraid. Another thing I need to concur it seems and I thank you for the not-so-gentle nudge...you bossy thing you. xoxox

Thomas said...

Afraid of what? You put your thoughts on the blog. Putting them in a book is the same thing--only better.

Samantha Dugan said...

Yeah but the blog has what, maybe 40-50 regular readers, if that? Plus you folks have always been so sweetly welcoming and supportive of me. But honestly I think I fear being laughed out of an editor's office, or worse and more likely, them saying, "Why should anyone care?" and knowing they are probably right. Least that's what pops in my head when I wonder what's stopping me from doing what so many think I should and a couple even seem to want me to. Just stuff I need to mull over.

Thomas said...


Risk is risk. We take them every day. Maybe the biggest risk we take is the one that questions our self worth, but the creative artist has no choice.

Everyone is a critic, and that holds true for editors. You have to want to write a book and you have to believe in both your ability as well as that you have something to say. You can't concern yourself with being criticized. You will be criticized before and after the book is completed--maybe more so after it is completed. You should see some of what people have said about me and my writing, and you should see the rejections from editors that I've piled up over the years! They don't matter for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is only their opinion. It does not define who I am and what I can do.

If you can overcome the fear, you have nothing to worry about. It's a matter of wanting to do it, and believing that you can...and taking the risk.

Sara Louise said...

Sometimes I don't know what to say after reading your posts, I'm feeling stuff (especially about the burrito bit and then the sandwich + black cherry cola bit), it's just hard to put words to those feelings. So I'll just say I'm here and I hear you. x.

Samantha Dugan said...

What you said, it's perfect.