Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Care About Your Body....I Want Your Soul

It happens at least once a month if not more often, “Are you two sisters?” the question that leaves both Merritt and I completely baffled and wondering what the hell? Now I adore Merritt and think she is simply beautiful but c’mon….sisters?! Merritt is not only a coworker but one of my closest friends and most trusted confidants but I’m damn near old enough to be her mother, a fact that was pointed out years ago when her own mother was conspiring to try and hook her up with my son, (he is in fact a wee bit too young for her and she was totally weirded out because she sees Jeremy like a little brother. See? Insert close enough to be her mom thing here) I would love to look like Merritt but the truth is, we couldn’t look more different.

We’ve spent a couple years now trying to figure out just what might give people the impression that this blonde, green eyed Irish chick and a half Japanese girl with black hair might be related, and not just related but so closely related that our parents might in fact be one in the same….did they take turns or something? Did the sixteen or whatever years, (yeah that’s me NOT counting) in between rejuvenate pop’s sperm to finish coloring in the lines? Did the years of fermentation cause the darker hair and brown eyes? It’s crazy and it has been bugging us for awhile now…

So here are the facts at face value; Merritt and I are both thick bodied and have lots of junk in the front, (Merritt also has the junk in the trunk and of this I am forever envious) neither of us exude that “come hug me” vibe and we both wear square, black rimmed glasses. As far as aesthetics go that is where the similarities end. Sure we share a snarky sense of humor, hers much more adorable, mine a little more raw but for the most part snark is what we do well and saucy is not at all unfamiliar to either of us but still….sisters?

I’ve often kidded and called my glasses my Clark Kents but it’s only now that I am beginning to see just how camouflaging they actually are. I had no idea that those frames, hers and mine could hide or deflect so much. Cover so much. Or that people are so short sighted that they call off the memory and investigative dogs so quickly. Kind of depressing really, to have two so different and complex lives reduced down to big boobs, a thick body and black frames.

Merritt’s dark wavy hair, often studded with a bunch of flowers tucked near her ear, stark and noticeable against her pale white flesh and enhanced by her big, very round and tremendously expressive brown eyes. A remarkably beautiful girl that wears her father’s frame, her father’s calm, her father’s comfort and knowledge with all things electronic. A life spent in a machine shop fondling tools while her driven and passionate mother worked in kitchens making herself one of the finest chefs many of us has ever known. The fortitude for hard work that came from helping that mother prepare and serve many a dinner in strangers homes….a sweet face that grew up knowing both the revelry of foie gras and the feeling of scrubbing the counters before slipping off and letting the “hosts” enjoy the rest of their dinner party. A comfort in her skin unlike any I have ever known in a woman so young, or many twice and thrice her age. She is not only a friend but there are parts of this young girl that make me admire her on a level that is simply impossible to articulate. Half Japanese, half Pittsburgh…all her. She deserves more than to be lost behind Clark Kents or reduced to just another Sam.

I took a second to look at my face before coming here. To really try and see what it is that others see…hard for me as I am not a fan of spending too much time in the mirror but in the interest of giving this post its due, I did it. Behind my Clark Kents there are green eyes and long features, the ones that were a constant reminder that I was unlike my siblings. I don’t look like the rest of the family, I look like my father. My long nose and full mouth, the green eyes and very straight hair….those were all him and while I knew very little of him I can remember my mother telling me that he was the sexiest and most crave inducing man she had ever met. I recently heard one of those things that maybe we aren’t supposed to….the fact that my grandparents wanted my mother to leave my father and move to England where they could help care for the two of us and while I let myself feel a little guilty that the man that sired me was so intoxicating to my mother that she wouldn’t or couldn’t leave him, there was some pride in the fact that I can see her in my face too. My smile is hers. My gestures all her and I find now that rather than feel guilty that she didn’t snap up the chance at a better life for herself…she followed her heart and even if she never knew it, she inspired me to follow mine. Did not work for her but her heart and face are here with me always.

My scars, I see those right off and while many never even notice them I wear them in my walk, the way I speak and sadly at times, the way I guard myself. My heart, spirit and pride were once twisted upon a tightrope, hell I was twisted up there too and while I’m not sure I would love reliving the break ins, the broken face, the whimpering soul, the fear, well as odd as it might sound I would do it all again if it would get me here. I slip on my glasses every day but behind them is the face of a woman, scars and all, that just aches to be loved and accepted…wearing the walk and snark of a woman that has been challenged and has done the best she can. Not raised in a machine shop, not brought up on lug nuts and leftover lobster. I’m not Merritt and big tits aside, she’s not me.

“Oh Yummy” what happens every time I pour some deeply extracted wine for a customer. Forget that they haven’t tasted it, haven’t even smelled it but that dark color in the glass is all they seem to need to ensure that the wine is “the best thing ever”…grrr. Get the same kind of deal when I pour some little Pinot Noir from Alsace, “Oh it’s thin” what the hell?! You haven’t even tasted it yet, how the fuck can you make any intelligible deduction about its texture or weight when you have yet to put it in your mouth? Has this really happened? Have we all become so blinded by flash and shinny that we have all become magpies? Blinded by the first little sliver or impression and not willing or able to see beyond that?

We have a wine at the shop and seeing as I don’t wish to ruffle any feathers I shall leave it nameless but, well it is quite frankly like cough syrup in the glass. Deeply purple, sluggish to move around in the glass and as saturated as any wine I have ever come in contact with. So we pour this freak of nature and everyone losses their shit over it. I get to hear what a massive and huge wine it is and I stand there, behind my Clark Kents, wondering what the hell they are talking about?! Yeah it’s a chunky wine but it’s also flabby, profoundly soft and as far from my idea of big as you can possibly be. Big boobs and black rims….dig deeper and I promise you, there is much to learn.

I love Merritt and think she is as remarkable a human as I have ever met but, she’s not me, I’m not her and if you won’t or can’t get past the first impression….well, you are missing so much with people and with wine. Judge each my their merits and trust me, they each have a story worth knowing and a soul worth sharing…..


Thomas said...

Right on.

Samantha Dugan said...

and on and on....sheeh I was wordy last night!

Sandra said...

My goodness you are such a talented writer Samantha. And you're smart. And you are pretty. And I happen to find the black-rimmed glasses look very naughty. Oh, and you have junk in front. So jealous!
But mainly, probably you and Merritt have spent so much time together you have taken on each other's subtle nuances which make people see your similarities rather than your differences.

chris said...

Like wine, a friend's depth of character is what counts.

Samantha Dugan said...

Why thank you, for all of that. Not sure about the rest by you are likely correct about Merritt and I acting so much alike that people see that in us. But now that just doesn't fit into the wine point I was gettin' at. Thanks for the comment girlie.

Exactly what it took me like far too many words to say. Wonderfully said....

John M. Kelly said...

"...a nation of magpies..." - I'm stealing that. Love it. I've fought against that impulse my whole life - the tendency to be distracted by the next shiny thing. When I tell people about this character defect I usually do a silly imitation of a cat batting at a ball of string.

In practice I am just the opposite, and I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that most of your customers are too.

You are asking us to look past the big boobs and black frames. Aren't your customers entitled to ask the same of you? Just because someone gushes over a taste of The Prisoner doesn't mean they don't have good taste in other areas, hidden depths, and un-guessed-at experiences?

Some of us pouring our wine-stained souls out here on the interwebs rail against the tendency of others to dismiss all California wine as being overwrought "freaks of nature" - and point to myriad examples of domestic wines that are carefully crafted for balance and food-friendliness. The same could be said of the people on both sides of the wine purchase transaction.

And really, can't you feel a bit of compassion for the folks who think they like the cough syrup, buy their wines by scores, or want the "best" wine in the shop? Don't you just want to gather these lost souls to your ample bosom and tell them "there, there - I feel your insecurity, understand your limited experience, and hear your cry for help"?

Samantha Dugan said...

I don't mind it when people taste and love some glopular style wine, not at all. What I do ask is that they maybe taste or smell it before they make up their mind.

I fear I may be getting the reputation of someone that shit talks on big gooey wines and I'm the first to admit that for my personal consumption that style is not for me but I never assume my way is right, better or more informed...not ever. Drink your Orin Swifts and Turleys until your teeth are stained, just don't ask me to and don't assume that what you SEE in the glass is all that's there. "Gushing over taste" I get, gushing and assumptions by sight....well, I don't.

Valerie said...

Serously love your writing. While we are alike (seemingly, from our exchanges in the blogosphere) in that we are both women who take limited to zero crap from people, I admit, I totally 'lose my shit' over some of those obscenely big wines - albeit the ones that won't let my pull my nose from the glass. To this day that Shafer Hillside Select someone brought to "the night before mid terms dinner" my first semester at wine school was the 1 wine that 'threw me down on the bed & had its way with me". I have since forgotten the '64 Margaux, the '95 Pomerol, the Flowers Pinot, even the Barolo of that evening.

As a wine student I continually try to file organoleptic characteristics into my sensory database, think about the soils (big fan of the dirt), the climate - am a bit of a terroir whore, I'm finding.

Yet - it's still an emotional thing for me too. I remember what the wines "do" to me, the stories behind them, or that something distinctive.

I guess that's the beautiful thing about wine - it's so many things to so many people. While I'll never aspire to be a 'critic' or one who writes about wine technically, it is the social and cultural aspects of wine - the sharing of these things - that really have me reading blogs like yours, Jeremy's, Alfonso's, and some others.

Someday I hope to sit down and walk through your wine world (or wine country next time I'm in LA). Just reading about your experiences with the whites make me drool. I promise I won't stare at your junk that I wish I had. ;0

Cheers, lady!

Charlie Olken said...

Just as their are some people who like big wines, so too are their people who like big tits.

The wine folks measure size by the 100-points. Those others by the bra size.

Sometimes both of them are right. Sometimes not. Personally, I am not impressed by either. Its what's inside that counts.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha/Merritt,

Did Charlie just say "tits?" And then tell that lie about it's what inside that counts? Oh man.

I constantly remind people that color in wine is less important than they think. Yes, it needs to be vibrant. Yes, it can tell you a lot about the wine's age, or the way it was handled. But how dark it is just ain't that important. However, humans are visual creatures. Our senses of smell are piddly compared to so many animals, and our sense of taste is also lacking. We homo sapiens rely on vision. So people look at the darkness of a wine and are impressed, or they swirl the glass and Ooh and Ahh over its legs. I've come to realize that I hardly even look at a wine's color any more unless it's completely out of whack--I recently judged a "rose" that was darker than many a Burgundy. Yikes.

And I totally understand how dumbfounding it must be for you to be mistaken for Merzie's sis. If one more person mistakes me for Susan Boyle, I'm going to scream.

Anonymous said...

You get mistaken for Susan boyle too, HMW? Me too! Though really, that stopped once I got rid of the beard...

You girls complaining about your big boobs. If only someone would even look at mine!

Life is so unfair for the flatchested...

Romes said...

This was so funny - I could almost hear you huffing and puffing - are you French? And then, I read the comments - and even Charlie spoke up - well, it made my day! Keep harping on us peeps to see past the obvious - or not so obvious in this case - sometimes we all need the reminder!

Love to you & Merritt!

Samantha Dugan said...

Please don't think that I don't want people to love and drink whatever creams their Twinke, that is my job and honestly one of the greatest joys in my life....watching someone love a wine, but I just pray that people (and I know for a fact that you and most if not all those here) let the wine talk to them, show all that they are. Just loathe it when people either love or hate without having all the little bits of information, not just with wine. I would love to hang with you if you should ever be out this way and if you don't look at my junk you will break my heart. I happen to adore having sizable breasts, kinda lucked out there.

Once again a wise comment from a very wise man...AND you said tits! Love it.

Ron My Love,
I think they wont let Charlie keep playing with us if he goes around talking tits right? I've gone about the same way as you have, color not really being something I even look at unless it's something like a white Burgundy that looks like it has turned I too mostly notice when I think it might be a flaw. Years ago I used to cringe when I saw a black and inky wine poured in the glass but just like you can't rule out flavor with a lightly colored wine you can't tell structure by a darkly colored one. Thanks for chiming in and as always, I love you.

Another Day of Crazy,
I'll look....think I already have right? I'm not complaining about my boobs, almost never do as a matter of fact I like to give the credit for the power they can have and I call the bresticles.

Nah, not French but I am a huffer by marriage, turns out the Italians do it too. Not so much pissed as sad that people are so distracted or detached that they don't or wont look deeper....with many things. I adore you darlin'!

Joe said...

There's more than the glasses there for sure. You're interesting as hell. We need to hang out more. Stupid fly-over country.

I haven't seen an overwhelming reaction to inky wines among many I've drank with. I'll pay more attention.

Maybe at your next tasting, you just need to pour Mega Purple and see the folks swoon...

Susan Boyle is a very handsome man. But he sings like a real chick. Weird.

Samantha Dugan said...

Hey Joe,
What do you know? Always wanted to say that I have I shall never do it again. Oh trust me kid, I'm far from interesting but so long as you keep your ipod away I would adore spending more time hanging with you. Gotta bring your lovely ladies to LA....or maybe not but should you be heading back to NorCal give me a heads up, might be able to fly up and meet ya. Thanks for reading darlin'.

Ron Washam said...

Yeah, Joe, definitely get back up here to NorCal so that Samantha makes another journey to my neck of the woods! She is, in fact, interesting as hell, where,by the way, they are now serving Rombauer Chardonnay by the glass. Sorry, Charlie.

Samantha, My Love, aren't you coming up here for ZAP? That would be a real test of you not judging a wine by what's on the outside. If any wine can be said to have bit tits, it's Zin!

I love you! But just for what's inside.

Ron Washam said...

OK, did I say Zin had "bit tits?" I meant to say "big gits." No, I meant "bit parts."

OK, my man bits are all messed up. I meant Zin has BIG TITS. Hard to get my mouth around--the sentence and the tits.

Sheesh, proofread once in a while, HoseMaster, why don't ya?

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
It's okay baby, Zinfandel makes my mouth all wacky too! Damn, now I wish I were going to ZAP with you...

Joe said...


It does roll off the tongue. [awaiting comment on that one]