Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's All For the Wolves!


When Scott and I first started dating, we played a game of Scrabble. Ever the gambler, Scott wanted to bet on the outcome. Even though I am damn good at Scrabble, I don’t like to chance losing money and so I came up with an idea: the loser would have to plan a Super Date for the winner. A Super Date had to consist of the following three things (which I pulled out of my butt after a few beers): 1) it had to be at least 2 events, 2) one of the events had to be something neither of us had done before, and 3) one event had to involve food. I won that one, and got an awesome Super Date that led to even more.

Side Note: Scott told me that was the best bet he’d ever made because it was early in our dating life and he knew either way he’d be guaranteed another date with me. Diabolical!

Anyway, although my life’s work is editing, occasionally I have an off day (or a tray full of frigging consonants with no vowel in sight) and lose. So after one such loss, I set about planning our Super Date.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me: I have a folder full of events and ideas for Super Dates. So I consulted the folder and in it found what I thought was PERFECT for Scott.

It’s the beginning of winter so I advise him to dress warmly and be prepared for a long car ride. And long it was! So long, in fact, that at one point as we turned on to a road populated by only a dairy farm and some menacing looking gravel roads to nowhere, he actually turned to me and asked: “Is this an intervention?” Hmmm, neither of us HAD been to an intervention before, that would have been a good one!

But no, in fact, it wasn’t (though if that was his first suspicion, perhaps it should be). The Super Date involved going to a wolf and raptor center where they were having a dog sledding demonstration. Scott had taken a weekend to actually drive…push…mush a sled? I don’t know what the terminology is and he’s in bed, so we’ll go with drive. He drove a dog sled and decided he had missed his life calling to be a dog musher. I thought it would be interesting to learn about something he’s so passionate about, and come on, cute doggies!

Anyway, we had a fantastic time. We stayed there for hours talking to people and meeting the dogs and even got to ride on a somewhat larger-scale dogsled. We had a great dinner and kept talking about how we should go there again.

So I got an e-mail from them that they were having a wine tasting and before looking at the details, I signed us up. I probably should have looked at the details. I was just thinking wine…wolves…helping the animals, what more could I want? Um, more than slimy cold cuts and rubbery cheese at the VFW, thanks.

In a surprise move that wouldn’t have been a surprise had I bothered to research it, the wine tasting was not held at the wolf and raptor center, but rather at the local VFW, which meant we drove for over an hour to taste wines we could get down the street, and food we wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

There were two highlights, though. The first was the couple who came in before us. Representative of a good chunk of the folks in attendance, they were wearing flannel and sported tanned and leathered skin that could mean they were 30 or 50. Either way, the wife was taking it verrrry seriously. Each wine they went to, she would sip and say one of two things to the mute husband: “can’t you taste the oakiness?” or “isn’t this really smooth?” She said it with SUCH conviction, and all I could think about was being out with a girl once who was coached by her guy friends to use three or four key phrases to make guys believe she was into sports. It worked largely because she had large knockers, but she credited it for many a date. Anyway, clearly this woman wanted to seem the worldly wine connoisseur rather than what we all were: people who wanted to booze under the auspices of a good cause. After the fourth super smooth wine, I was over it and finally made my way to the silent auction table.

Oh, the auction table. I should confess here that two things made me particularly sassy that night: one was the extraordinary amount of wine I tried to pack in to make the trip worthwhile, and two was the fact that I had finally fit in a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans. It made me drunker than the wine to walk around in something without an elastic waistband.

At first, I found a cute little set of Spanish books I wanted for Wee ‘Burb. Yes, yes, I had purchased some previously from a rather talented door-to-door salesman, but these were board books and I loved them. And had to have them. Unfortunately, a woman named Carrie had to have them, too. And she looked very smug while she put her name and a higher bid after mine. I went down the line and found a cute owl pillow, a CD of world music, and a stuffed Marmot, which was Scott’s nickname in college. I think that horrified him the most, that I was willing to spend $20 of my hard-earned money (seriously, I do work hard!) on a frigging stuffed Marmot. But I had to have it! HAD TO!

The drunker I got, the more competitive I got. And also, possibly paranoid. As I was noticing a disturbing trend: Carrie was outbidding me on everything! Everywhere I turned, she was there, smug smile on her face as she signed her name with a flourish.

The minutes ticked down. At one point I actually cursed Carrie’s name and told Scott there was a special place in hell for any bizzo that would DARE steal my Marmot! Scott finally managed to get through my booze haze to convince me to pick ONE ITEM that I had to have. Marmot was up to $30 now and I wasn’t so drunk as to realize that was a fairly silly purchase. So I focused on the books.

I stared Carrie down. Carrie, I said in my head, you are whiter than White-Out. Your last name is so Scandinavian I can hear yodeling (do Scandinavians yodel? Well they do in my drunken head).You do NOT need Spanish books. You probably want the one stupid French book they stuck in there to make it live up to the name of “World Language Books for Children.” But you will not have it. I will win it, Frog language books and all.

Cue duel music as the clock wound down to a minute left and Carrie went for my books again! I looked at Scott earnestly, only now he was slowly moving away from me, pretending not to know me. I think he may have gone home with the Wine Connoisseur rather than me. And finally just as it was about to close, I dashed over and signed my name JUST as Carrie looked over at me. She pretended to be all casual and classy about it, but I saw that smug smirk turn to a brief frown and I just know I ruined her night! Sorry, Carrie, Wee ‘Burb will be falling asleep to the sweet sounds of me reading “How Big is a Pig” in Spanish while yours will have to suffer in English like the rest of the losers out there.

I actually skipped over to Scott (no mean feat considering I was also wearing pre-pregnancy shoes) and told him I needed a celebratory drink. I skipped over to one of the better tasting tables and who should I run into but Wine Connoisseur herself! She actually almost tripped me as she cut in front of me to get yet another taste of that oaky deliciousness of whatever $8 bottle of wine they were serving, and as she did so she actually said to me “sorry, darling! Oh, it’s you! But we’re old friends!” and she waved her glass at me and took off. The dude pouring looked at me quizzically and I believe I grinned “I won some books!” and happily took off.

Wine tasting tickets: $30 a person. Gas to drive out to wine tasting that wasn’t at nice wolf and raptor center, but rather a dirty smelly VFW: $20. The satisfaction of snubbing a total stranger who probably only wanted to teach her kids to be good global citizens: PRICELESS!

1 comment:

Tasha said...

Damn that Carrie! But a Super Date? What a brilliant idea. I must steal this. Only, DH is so noncreative...I worry about what kind of crap he might come up with. lol