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Posts Tagged ‘Beer and wine’

Dear Readers,

I’m so excited that my badgering has paid off. Here’s another guest post. The Royce had a birthday last week, and it prompted some reflection.

I’ll be back next week with a story about the eldest. Parents with teenagers will relate.

Love,
Beth

This is The Royce in his natural habitat.

 

Aging vs. Old: A Rant
Guest post by The Royce

So, yesterday was my birthday. And that’s good because, hey, another trip around the sun, right? But somewhere along the way — in the last, oh say, few years or so (I don’t know whatever) — it occurred to me that, while I am not old (yet), I am, in fact, aging. Maybe I’m finally “of a certain age” — whatever the hell that entails — because, while I’m definitely still an easygoing person, little things are starting to grind my gears just a bit.

Like those damn neighborhood kids walking in my yard! LOLJK. (Note from Beth: I don’t think he is, in fact, JK.)

Though it’s commonly *cough* invariably *cough* attached to middle age and miracle creams, signs of aging actually applies to things other than crow’s feet and smile lines.

I’m talking about the less-obvious, non-physical signs of aging. Because like it or not, every day of every year, you’re aging. You just don’t notice it.

Until you do.

And then you notice it again. And again. It’s a lot like buying a new car that you thought was unique and rare until you drive off the lot and there’s three of the same vehicle waiting at the first intersection you get to.

On Jan. 13, 1974, the Super Bowl was on my seventh birthday, and I got to watch my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins, become two-time world champions against the Minnesota Vikings. Not a bad day for a kid.

In 2020, the game is three weeks later, two hours longer, and the pre-game show lasts half a day. WTH?

When did that happen?

You see, that’s not old. That’s aging.

Recently I went out with my lovely wife to meet some friends visiting from out of town. We arrived a few minutes early and looked over the drink menu while we waited.

I’m sorry, but WTF?! How did a cocktail get to be $14 in this town? (Note from Beth: They live in Savannah.) Did I teleport to Manhattan when I walked
through the door to this place?

Again: Not old. Aging.

You know why people don’t go out as much when they get a little older? It’s less about being tired and more because we don’t want to get bent over paying those ridiculous prices every time we feel like having a nice meal somewhere. Hey, how about we go out for dinner and have a couple glasses of WELL SHIT THERE GOES A HUNDRED BUCKS.

No, it’s not denial. Old will, with some luck, arrive eventually.

But for now … nah, not old. Merely aging, just like I have every day of my life. And considering the alternative, I’m fine with that.

Seriously, though. Would it kill the little cretins to stay off my lawn?

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Dear Readers:

My playful ribbing of my friends has paid off. Nick has come through with a guest post about dealing with teenagers — a frequent topic of mine. His oldest is older than mine, so he’s been through it.

And for the rest of you (Julia, Royce, Kerstin, TJ), don’t worry about it being perfect. That’s what editors are for. Send it!

Love,
Beth

Advice for harassed parents (or how I learned to stop worrying and love my kid)
Guest post by Nick (aka He Who Has Been There)

My eldest son just turned 18. Here in the U.K., that’s it: All milestones hit. He’s now a grown man, even though if he buys beer he’ll still get challenged for appearing to be under 21, despite the drinking age being 18. Go figure. He can have a house, car, family — all that. First, he needs to get a job. But we’ll leave that particular bone of contention for another time.

Getting this far wasn’t easy. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve said something along the lines of “YOU’LL PICK UP THAT SOCK/PLATE/INDETERMINATE MATTER IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY,” which was normally met with an exasperated sigh or the dreaded eye-roll. See, the thing is, and this is important for anyone with a kid who’s in the middle of those teenage years to know:

You’ll always LOVE your kid. It’s okay to not LIKE them sometimes.

It’s easy when they’re small. For example, it’s cute when they get so excited at Christmas that they literally piss themselves. Or, when potty training is happening, they get their junk caught in a CD case and run into the kitchen shouting “ME NO LIKE!” (Both real, both SURE to mortify the boy if he ever reads this.)

Here’s Nick. Innocent. He has no idea what this creature will become in just 10 or so years.

But as they grow in size, they also get this disastrous condition called “their own personality.” Shocking, I know. And when they get to about 12, 13? That personality generally stinks. As do they, because puberty takes no prisoners where body odour is concerned (Note from Beth: “Odor” as we Americans shun unnecessary letters).

The smallest things become battlegrounds.

Concerned Parent: “Have you done your homework?”
Insolent Child: *AUDIBLE EYE ROLL*
CP: “May as well get it done now, kid Then it’s finished so you’ve got the weekend to yourself.”
IC: “GOD.” (Stomps away)

A hill that we both picked to die on was a matter of hygiene. As in, brush your goddamn teeth. He’d wake up, have breakfast, and sit in the living room in his trademark sullen silence. When I would ask if he’d brushed his teeth, the look of horror and disgust was as if I’d offered him a lightly grilled stoat (Note from Beth: This is British-speak for weasel) as an aperitif. He’d eventually stomp away to the bathroom, but only after I’d shown him the Big Book of British Smiles. (Our teeth aren’t really that bad, but it made a point, and “The Simpsons” is gold.)

Then.

One magical day a few months before his 18th birthday, he all of a sudden stopped being this terrible-smelling, silent protagonist in his own Greek tragedy, and became a larger version of the kid I used to know. Hairier, with a deeper voice (no seriously: He’s like a skinny white version of Barry White, fer chrissake), but actually nice to be around. I look forward to our movie nights. Sharing a beer with the kid. Actually having a human conversation.

Here’s Nick with his son, who has regained human form. Neither has the capacity to smile for a selfie, apparently.

So, parents of teenagers: Hang in there. It gets worse before it gets better. But when it gets better, it’s great!

If only he’d get off his arse, and get a job …

 

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Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Jan. 2. People have already broken resolutions, or never made any to begin with.

I don’t usually make resolutions, as you know. If I decide to do something, I just do it. No need to wait until the new year.

This year, I’m declaring things I WON’T do:

  • Keep makeup I don’t wear. Coral lipstick is not for pale people like me, and frosty pink is for preteens.
  • Retain books on my Kindle I won’t read. “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments” by David Foster Wallace is a supposedly fun read that is not. Byeeee!
  • Put up with less than I need/deserve/worked for, etc. I am not a “Welcome!” mat.
  • Save money. Yeah, I know I should, but let’s be honest: I won’t.

  • Stay home. I want to say “absof–kinlutely” to adventures near and far. Dream scenario: I get paid to write about it.
  • Continue procrastinating on my book. This is the year I finish it, write the proposal, and find an agent. If E.L. James can become rich and famous off her trash Twilight fan fiction work, so can I.
  • Lose more than just five more pounds. I’m calling that my “wine cushion.”
  • Stay in this place with the small kitchen. When it’s a pain to make things as fairly easy as Scotch eggs, it’s time to upgrade.

  • Ignore show suggestions from certain like-minded people. I resisted watching “Killing Eve.” I was stupid.
  • Let people try to make me feel even slightly embarrassed about my love of bad taxidermy. Those uptight people can shove it. My obsession is Hando approved.
  • Vote for Trump. Duh.
  • Stop writing blog posts at least twice a week. I’ve been keeping this pace since April, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

What are your anti-resolutions? Tell me in the comments.

Love and kisses,
Beth

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Dear Greg, Publix Manager:

Thank you for hiring Dominic this week.

You have no idea how thankful I am to get him off the Xbox, his phone and the couch.

He’ll be gainfully employed. Occupied and out of trouble. Able to buy his own snacks.

(His lunch today? Oreos, Goldfish and popcorn.)

He made me laugh as I was taking him to the interview with you. WAY overconfident:

Me: Are you nervous?

Him: No. Who wouldn’t like me?

Oh LORD.

But you did like him, so he wasn’t wrong.

I could not be happier for him to get a taste of real life.

So, thank you from the bottom of my mom heart.

Your loyal customer,
Beth

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Dear Beer and Wine:

I know I’ve been MIA. There was no inciting incident; I just thought we needed a break.

It was a real break — a Ross break not a Rachel one.

Just look at this screenshot of my Dry January app.

Yeah. It’s called Dry January, but it tracks drinking for the whole year. My wino friend Goat Yoga Lisa suggested it. (The icon is a cup of tea, not a duck. British developers, I guess.)

It wasn’t just last month, though. Here’s October:

  • Oct. 5 was an ill-advised night out.
  • Oct. 19 was the Decatur Brew Fest.
  • Oct. 24 was the Big Freedia concert (one beer).
  • Oct. 28 was a glass of wine after a spectacularly difficult day at work.

My life has been kind of great without you.

Coffee and water are good company.

I’m not sure how long I’ll want to stay away from you and your friend liquor, though. Christmas is coming up, and I love a good spiked eggnog.

So maybe I’ll see you soon.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Men of a Certain Age at a Bar:

Look. Listen.

I know you want love — or at least a little action. You can have it, but you have to follow some rules.

Auntie Beth is here to help.

DO: Try to catch the eye of someone you find interesting.
DON’T: Stare at her like a complete creep.

DO: Check to see if she is wearing a wedding ring.
DON’T: Make any kind of move if she is. It’s true that some ladies might still be interested, but let those ladies be the instigators.

DO: Leave her alone if she is clearly in a group, and having a full conversation with someone.
DON’T: Rub all up on her like a cat on an allergic guest’s leg.

DO: Continue your hunt for eligible ladies by scoping out the rest of the bar.
DON’T: Put your hand on the aforementioned woman’s thigh. And if you do it anyway, and if she firmly brushes you away, don’t put your other hand on her waist. This isn’t Jersey Shore, and this chick ain’t no Angelina.

DO: Leave her the F alone if she turns to you, looks you square in the face, and clearly and calmly says, “Stop touching me. I’m married, and not interested.”
DON’T: Keep on trying to touch her, forcing her to inform one of her male friends who then has to stand between you and her.

DO: Move on! There are plenty of seemingly eligible and attractive ladies in this bar. (Really? We needed to get all the way to this step?)
DON’T: Ask her if she wants to come outside for a smoke.

Women are not that mysterious. We will let you know if we are interested. And we are more empowered than ever before to tell you when we are not.

Don’t be THAT GUY at The Lizardmen 25th Anniversary show, which was amazing despite the bar shenanigans.

Sincerely,
Auntie Beth, who did not fully F politeness last night, but also did not suffer fools.

Here’s Auntie Beth with her friend Jeff, whom she likes and willingly got near.

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Dear Decatur Craft Brew Fest Organizers:

You had no way of knowing months ago when you set the date for the event that Mother Nature would be a complete bitch.

The coldest day since winter. And raining. Of course.

Not the ideal day for an outdoor festival.

Still, folks like us came out.

They must be made of heartier stock than I am, though. I was ready to bolt as soon as we got there.

But I tried to stick it out, managing to drink a few of my much-beloved sours.

My Southern blood is thin. So is Eddie’s. At one point, he said this:

I’m embarrassed. I gave the guy my glass all shaky hands.

Even the statue of Thomas Jefferson looked cold with rain dripping off his nose.

Once the rain soaked the bottom of our pants, and the cold had fully paralyzed our fingers, we knew we were beat.

We aborted the mission before I could even get my pretzel necklace out of the bag.

(I’ve been to enough brew fests to come prepared.)

We tried. You tried.

Better luck next year.

Love ya!
Beth

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