- Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012 -- 8pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B+
I made these drinks for me and my special gentleman one lovely summer evening. I started by filling a cocktail shaker half full with ice. I added gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Then I shook it for 15 seconds before straining the drinks into glasses filled with ice. My first sip of this drink did not sit well. Indeed, it was much more powerful than I had expected. Campari is strongly flavored stuff. Often it is served diluted with soda, but not in this case! Consequently this drink had a serious punch to it. After that first sip I hadn't even really planned to keep drinking it. But after a few minutes I had another sip. And then another. It really grew on me! My special gentleman loved it from the start and was disappointed that I took a liking to it, as he was looking forward to drinking my leftovers. If you are looking for a powerful Campari cocktail, this is a good one!
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Over the weekend my special gentleman and I were discussing some of the conference travel we did this summer and he commented, "You know, sometimes you act different at conferences than you do in real life." His comment bothered me. Certainly everyone has a conference personality, which may or may not be substantially different than their everyday personality. Indeed there are a couple of people who I like quite a lot but who I have difficulty being around at conferences because they are so different in that setting. I never thought of myself as someone who is substantially different at conferences though, so my special gentleman's comment worried me. Interested, I asked for some examples. The example he gave was interesting.
He noticed that when I am at conferences, although I don't drink a lot, I act as though I really like to drink. It seemed very strange to him, me pretending as though I consume a lot of alcohol and that alcohol is a big part of my life. It further perplexed him because he knows me well enough to know that I wouldn't talk about drinking to try to look cool, or fit in with some crowd. So my behavior confused him -- it wasn't the usual behavior of the person he knows and loves.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I hardly drink. I do like alcoholic beverages quite a bit. But I hate to be drunk. And further, the medication I take for my brain tumor enhances the effects of alcohol. If I have more than one drink in an evening, I feel pretty terrible. So while I rarely turn down one drink, I practically never have a second one. I have operated that way for a long time, and I don't feel bad about it. I don't feel pressured to drink more, and I don't have any hesitations about telling people who are pushing me to drink that I am done for the evening. Well... I didn't until recently anyway.
I am 32 years old. And married. If I opt not to drink, people make assumptions. For example: at one conference this summer there was a lovely cocktail party. I didn't want to drink that evening -- in part because I was driving a bunch of people home from the party and in part because I had work I wanted to do later that evening. So when I went up to the bar I just ordered myself a glass of water. A friend of mine was standing nearby and when she saw me, water in hand, her eyes lit up. "You're not drinking! Do you have some news you would like to share?!?" The thing about being 32, married, and female, is that if you are out with people who are drinking, and you don't drink, everyone assumes you are pregnant. So that night I spent the whole evening carrying around my special gentleman's empty glass, pretending it had been my drink. When people offered me another drink I commented that I had, "had enough for the evening." It was all a lie. But it was a lie not based on trying to look cool, or wanting to fit it. I just don't like people always assuming I am pregnant. If I don't drink, people do make comments. And it makes me uncomfortable. I have various health problems, so it's not a given that we will someday have children. Consequently, I really don't like being asked if I am pregnant. So yes, when I am in a crowd I make a point of having a drink. And occasionally I steal someone else's empty glass to make it look like I have been drinking when I haven't. My behavior isn't limited to conferences, but it is certainly magnified in that setting -- where almost everyone is drinking and I spend a lot of time in close proximity with others.
My special gentleman's comment gave me pause though, as I don't want to misrepresent myself. Perhaps I should just let it go -- let people think that I am pregnant all the time and just not worry about it. That seems like it might be a better solution.