Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Trying To Change Your Mind

Nine hours days, trying to fit in as much work as I can before I take off for a trip that has my heart both pounding and honestly…fretting. “Sam can you work the long shift on Wednesday?” my response, “Oh yeah no problem”. I am a product of my environment, my mother’s daughter and I will put off whatever needs attending to on my end when someone else needs me….but truth be told, part of that gives me a bit of an excuse as to why. Why I wasn’t dressed to the nines. Why my legs aren’t shaved. Why my nails are shaped like uneven humps and go unpolished. Why my teeth aren’t blaringly white….any why can be answered with, “I was just too busy”.

I started to feel the little nibble in the back of my mind, the little glimpses of, “How long have those deep scratches been on the lenses on my glasses?” the “Holy crap my clothes all suck” about a week before I was to leave for this trip. Felt it before I met Michael Hughes, (Midtown Stomp) and Ben Carter, (Benito’s Wine Reviews) as well. Just something about being yourself in front of people that don’t have all the information, aren’t given the option to give you a once over and decide if they want to continue that makes me a little uneasy. Makes me alarmingly aware of all my glaring outward flaws and that right there, well it makes my tummy feel all squishy.

Got home tonight and instead of carefully inspecting my clothing, mapping out my outfits, I had a couple glasses of wine and ran outside to hunt for crickets with Tyler. My loving and ever adorable Tyler that could give a rat’s ass what I look like, (although when I curl my hair he thinks it’s cute…he told me) and doesn’t bat an eye when he comes to my door at whatever in the morning and I am makeup-less and in my jammies. He is there to see if I want to play, if his Sam wants to play and the me that he loves is the same dressed, made up, in a cute little shirt or in a giant pair of ripped up jeans and sporting bed head. I think I was seeking his laughter and inquisitive chatter as a hug this evening, a reminder of sorts…it’s me that he comes to see. Not my face, my body, my clothes or my hair…just me.

“I would love it if you brought a Chablis that might change my mind” a comment from one of the people I am going to meet this weekend. One of the reasons I am still writing, still feeling vibrant and wanted. He was asking for something that for a brief second made my stomach cinch up and roll with knots. Could I change his mind? Could I bring a wine that I knew would shift his palate or in any way make him love what it is I love? No. The answer was no. I don’t stock wines that might shimmy between old world and new. Wines that don’t wear a place name or show each and every little piece of themselves and aren’t trying to be anything they are not. I walked my little Burgundy department and as I poured over my Chablis I knew…I couldn’t change his mind. The things he loves, the richness, the full texture, the succulent fruit, well those things are not…and should not be what shines in the wines I bring in the store. Just as I loathe hearing, “It’s Burgundian” when someone pours me a California wine, I don’t want to hear, “It’s Carneros like” when someone pours me a Chablis. It isn’t what it isn’t and we should love it for that.

It was so easy for me to just write back and say, “I can’t change your mind but I can bring you a Chablis that drives me wild, makes my bits tingle in the way its flavors remind me of spending a day at the beach” Just ask that he appreciate it for what it was, understand why it pleases me and be open to learning what it is that moves me. Knowing all that I do about him and feeling secure that while it might not be his thing he was willing and open to listen, to hear and feel me….just as he has been for, shit close to a year now? So as I stood in front of my closet, fussed over my basket of face goo trying to determine which things would show better, make me show better….make the quickest “impression” I had to laugh, like really laugh. I was making myself a nut job trying to “place” in a blind “tasting”. Stupid….

Chablis should never be judged for being a Chardonnay. It should be recognized, appreciated or not for what it is, a cold climate white wine that is lean, savory and often full of racy acid. It should never be called Chardonnay, it’s Chablis, has been for a very long time and while some in the region have lost their minds and tried to compete with the wine equivalent of the Kardashian’s there are still some folks that are in their jammies….without makeup and I for one, love them for it.

I just zipped up my suitcase full of my lame and ugly clothes and I have this boarding pass in my hand. A warm climate woman that is…just what she is, about to board a plane and finally be face to face with some cats that have read, known and seen her just this side of bare naked but never seen her before. I can’t let myself be held up to some unrealistic standard, never have here and not sure what or why, (other than being a woman) I let this plague me. Let this trip make me fearful and insecure. They have felt my footprint, know my history and something about all of that makes them adore me anyway…

I’m on my way guys and I just wanted to say….thank you. Thank you pushing me, challenging me. For reading and writing me even though I don’t quite fit. My odd shape, my um…mug, my clumsy attempt at girlie, my French leaning palate. You still come, still read, still comment and your support of me and what it is I do here, well it made me feel like that bottle of Chablis I am bringing to share with Charlie. It is, I am…what it is.

Cannot wait…..


Benito said...

Have fun up there, and spread a little of that Sam magic with your adoring fans. :)


Samantha Dugan said...

No magic here kid, just the same chick that stays up too late, drinks too much and is often nibbling on her own foot. Was wishing for a little magic last night but in the not-quite-light-of-day I just have to deal with what I got. I'm amazingly lucky to have all you people in my life, being a very real part of my life. If a sweater with a little hole, the gaps in my teeth or my pudge is going to change anyone's mind then well, so be it. Thanks for the nod kid...means a lot.

Anonymous said...

None of that is going to change anyone's mind, silly. We adore you for who you are, not what you wear.

Samantha Dugan said...

Another Day of Crazy,
That's what I was gettin at....jackass.

John M. Kelly said...

It's going to be 95+ here on Saturday - flip-flops and t-shirts. And you think YOU have anxieties over which wine to bring? Well I've just decided to say "f**k it: here I have wines I like, and here I have people I like (even if we disagree about what wines we like generally) so mix the two and presto we're all taking taxis home.

Sara Louise said...

Have fun Sam! And just be wonderful you :-)

Romes said...

Look out boys, here she comes, and she is just as fun, warm, funny and great as you think she will be!

Just give her a big hug and all the "crazy" will go away. And Sam, stop being "crazy", you are amazing!

See you in a couple weeks and the hubby said he is all in for the end of the month tasting and he can't wait to meet my LA homies!


Thomas said...


Give all the guys a kiss for me, and then pour that Chablis down Charlie's pants.

In any case, what you said about a wine being appreciated for what it is and where it comes from--EXACTLY.

To me, any winemaker trying to emulate is a copycat, not a winemaker.

Have fun up there where it's 95 F. Here, it's only 88 today!

Anonymous said...

Ha, you're going to scare your lurkers off if you go around calling people jackasses... dipshit.

vickibarkley said...

Yes, that Sam magic. It comes in bottles labeled "Chablis," "Premier Cru," "Champagne," "St. Joseph," "Grand Cru,"

as well as floppy jeans, blond curls, a keen wit, and much fun!

Have a great time!!

Samantha Dugan said...

Simply cannot wait.

I'm trying chicka but seeing as I am oh so good at "fail" I just gotta stick with it right?!

Been tasting some really nice things up here too...yeah I said it.

Oh but it would be so much better if Ron poured the Chablis down Charlie's pants no?

Thomas said...


I suppose it would be better that way, but please get pictures of the event

k2 said...

Did somebody lock you in a room for 24 hours and force you to watch E's Fashion Police or something? If someone told you you suck, the Southern Bloggers' contigent will get in their cars and head to CA to deliver this person's head on a pike to you with pleasure. Don't let the bastards get you down Sam. Be happy on the inside and nothing else will matter.

Samantha Dugan said...

No pictures kid, you ought to know that about me by now!

Well that is just the sweetest thing. No darlin, I wouldn't be up here if I believed anyone was going to tell me I suck. These are perfectly lovely men, I was just getting caught up in silly crap because somewhere in this crazy head of mine I feared that I didn't deserve such attention. Such a chick....

V said...

had a French tasting yesterday for Cal drinkers. First wine was the Louis Michel & Fils Montee de Tonnerre Chablis, which i think shows good tipicity. A few liked it, some, not-so-much. Gotta take your wins where you can. Hope you had a great trip!

Charlie Olken said...

Glad I did not read this blog before meeting Sam. Might have gone into hiding at the thought of Ron Washam pouring Chablis on me or in me.

Well, actually, Sam poured a lot of Chablis in me along with a lot of Champagne (Camille Saves and Billiot), and we, her assembled followers and admirers poured a lot of good stuff into her.

Some four hours later, we finally took leave of each other. Now we can put faces to names and depth of personality to senses of personality.

Should I comment on the Chablis? Nah. But, I can comment on the Pastis. You all remember that I lost a bet to Sam over some silly basketball game between teams from Boston and LA. All I know is that some tall skinny guys from LA beat the heck of out my tall skinny guys from Boston.

Well, I promised Sam to drink Pastis if the LA Lakes won and she promised to drink CA Chardonnay if the Beantowners prevailed.

Never one to let an opportunity pass, our Sam showed up with a bottle of Pastis and an evil grin. Not my thing, Pastis because I am not a licorice/fennel lover in any of its guises. But, I will give Sam this. I liked the Pastis--at least a little bit.

As for the Chablis, I like acidity as much as the next guy--but apparently not as much as Sam does. No problem. To each his or her own. There are no right answers if you like it and it does not give you a headache.

I have every confidence that Sam will return and tell you all that I loved the Chablis--and that's OK. I like Chablis; I just also happen to like CA Chardonnay and don't think that liking one is mutally exclusive of liking the other.

And, of course, I adore Sam. There simply is not better, more personal, from-the-heart writing anywhere in the wine blogosphere.

By the way, I have beaten Sam into print with at least one tale of the evening with my blog posting this morning. If you are interested in the wines and wine service, follow the link to my blog by clicking on my name.

Sip with Me! said...

Hope you had a marvelous trip, and despite your wardrobe, I bet you were the belle of the ball. Hope you kiss and tell! :)

Samantha Dugan said...

Exactly. We all have different tastes in everything and wine is so very subjective. My goal in bringing that Chablis to Charlie was to explain...through what he was tasting what it is that I happen to love. From reading his comment here I would say he now understands my palate just a little better.

Charlie Love,
What a lovely moment for me to see you coming towards we...see you smile, hear your sweet greeting then feel your arms around me. Was very hard for me not to get choked up but I think my nerves helped a little.

Now I would never go and tell anyone that you liked the Chablis....was gonna brag about the Pastis moment, (still might) but I didn't get the feeling that you were in anyway wooed by the Piuze Chablis. The thing I loved was being able to taste across from you, see that you were understanding me a little better and after listening to your comments about the two Champagnes I think I too now have a better understanding about how your palate works. Very cool that.

You did beat me to the punch recapping the evenings events and it was such an honor to sit at that table with such fine palates, all those years of intimate wine knowledge, and such truly remarkable people. You Puff Daddy are a lovely man.

Dave said...

Some observations....

CPuffdaddyO said:

"Might have gone into hiding at the thought of Ron Washam pouring Chablis on me or in me."

OK, "in you" could be a problem, but is the ABV level high enough to be flamable given external application?

"I lost a bet to Sam over some silly basketball game between teams from Boston and LA"

Seriously? Boston and LA have pro basketball teams? (Go Kings... yeah, right!)

Seriously, hoping to hear more about your get together. If the stars align, I will get to meet our darling Sam the end of next month. Charlie, you and Ron are on my bucket list if you're willing and available on our future trips back to our beloved H'burg.



Samantha Dugan said...

Trust me, the "darling" part goes right out the window after a couple glasses of can just ask these cats now. I'm sure my beloved Ron could not plop my ass off at the Santa Rosa airport fast enough, poor bastard.

It was truly a night, a weekend to remember for me and I have been trying to write about it this afternoon but seeing as Charlie did it so well been hard not to recap his recap.

I very much look forward to meeting you at the Sullivan events in October kid and do take the time to check out Charlie's post about our meeting.
Hugs to you dear friend and I will see you in about a month!