Recommended wine for today’s entry: Rutherford Hill Merlot. I choose this because we had a bottle of chardonnay while in Florida that was produced by Rutherford Hill for a particular restaurant under another name and it was quite good. The bartender told us that their merlot was good too. The winery’s Web site says “An abundance of cherry and plum fruit flavors are backed by a rich, balanced structure for an intensely complex Merlot. Silky, full-flavored, firm, and built for today’s enjoyment with smooth tannins and lush layers of flavor.” Looks to be about $25 a bottle.
“God is great, beer is good and people are…” CREEPY.
We all have a filter that keeps us from shoving slow-shuffling old women down the sidewalk or bursting into song in a crowded elevator. But I am convinced that as people age, this filter erodes. And in men who were formerly the chairman of the board or production manager or even the head of the household, it seems to be worse.
Because people were forced to — well, PAID to — hang on their every word while they were the boss, they now feel that it’s OK to say and do whatever pops into their heads.
This is certainly not exclusive to older men, and I have personally been accused of speaking out of turn, but it is so much more … I don’t know … IRRITATING in other people.
My friends Jody and Beth and I just returned from our annual girls’ get-away, where we dash off, usually to Florida, and spend as many positively worthless days as possible. We often are joined by other friends who have a dire need to escape winter, children, spouses, responsibilities, kitty litter or temperance in alcohol consumption — or all of the above.
Sun + Alcohol + Erosion of Social Filters = UGLY.
This trip, we had two interesting encounters.
The first night at the beach, we were sitting at a table in the bar area of a restaurant. There were multiple tables and an enormous dance floor separating us from a male-female combo who were singing song after song, different lyrics in the exact same 4/4 time. There was no one on the dance floor, no one bobbing their heads, no one singing along. No one listening.
This included us. We were having fun, talking animatedly about this and that, the way normal people do at a bar while imbibing a healthy-but-not-dangerous amount of wine.
By and by, a man got up from the bar and approached our table. Oh my, we thought. Here we go. A lecherous beachcomber who has had enough fruity rum drinks to drink us beautiful. Well, maybe we can score a free drink.
He had a ruddy face that was probably the color of a new pair of tube socks yesterday, but today the sun had been out for a couple hours and now it was the color of tube socks with some beet juice spewed on it. And the distinctive scent of stale alcohol only added to his charm.
But we are nothing if not nice, so we all smiled at beet face as he approached the table.
Then he leaned over a perfectly good pizza and said this, spraying icky drunken spit all over the lovely display of tomato and basil:
DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU PEOPLE THAT PERHAPS THE PEOPLE IN HERE DIDN’T COME IN HERE TO HEAR YOU GUYS TALK — THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO HEAR THEM? (Here he indicated the “combo” who had launched into a 4/4 time version of Tie a Yellow Ribbon.)
Oh my. Excuse me, does the band know Tim McGraw’s Angry All The Time?
Luckily Jody thought to at least offer a retort: “Maybe you should think about finding a seat a little closer to the … (with a disparaging glance at the Captain and Tenille wannabees)… band?”
His response, delivered with enough rum on the breath to satisfy Sweeney Todd: “They won’t let us sit any closer.”
No. Really? Probably a freaking restraining order.
Well, his wife was major league GLARING at our new rude friend, and before too long, his prayers must have been answered (or there was a mass exodus) because the loving couple scored an excellent table closer to the talented duo he so idolized.
The good news was, I had a wonderful view of him across the immense floor, and so I very maturely spent the next hour sipping wine and staring him down, offering the sweetest smile every time he glanced our way. And he glanced our way often.
Two nights later, there we were, interestingly enough back at the same table. This time, there were two astoundingly drunk women who were dancing together, even when there was no music. Now we’re not talking 20-year-old women, we’re talking like one in her mid-50s and one in her late-30s. From what we gathered, they met by the pool, probably after oodles and oodles of pina coladas. Their husbands sat at the bar, one completely MORTIFIED and one cheering them on.
We were observing and being our usual judgmental selves. But we were doing it VERY quietly, because we’d been so rudely reamed by our friend Dick just two nights prior.
They brought their two-woman conga line over to the bar and one of them plopped into the lap of a kinda cute man in probably his late 60s, with a well-groomed white beard like Santa and a preppy red sweater. He was startled, but rebounded quickly: I happened to notice that he gave the chick a quick grope, even though her husband was in the next seat.
Well, of course he soon came over and talked to us. He was a widower and from our part of the world and he seemed nice and a bit lonely. We were cordial and spoke to him about places we knew.
Then he launched into an update on how many women he’d “been with” since the loss of his wife, even though I am almost positive none of us inquired as to the status of his sex life. This time we decided to flee, but not before Jody, always the first to recover, told the man that we were leaving in the morning. We weren’t, but it was starting to sound like an option.
Anyway, we returned with a new appreciation for our families, who display none of the disturbing anti-social tendencies that we’d encountered on our get-away. But still, we were planning next year’s trip on the plane ride home. Some people never learn.