Last Friday night, I was at a beer party. Wait, I think I’m supposed to call it a beer tasting event. Anyway, I’m at a beer party, and a lady smiles at me. I recognize her as another mom from my son’s Pre-K. We started chatting:
Her: “Hi, Katherine!”
Me: “Hi, how are you!”
Her: “Doing all right! Isn’t it great? A night out to drink while the kids are at home!”
Me: “I’m actually working.”
Her face fell a little bit, and I quickly clarified that I was volunteering and, hey, sweet gig, I get to drink for free. She smiled, we chatted a few more seconds, and then we parted ways.
Honestly, I was a little embarrassed that I wasn’t one of the regular folks who shelled out $40 for a beer party ticket. Sure, I still got to partake in the festivities, but that was between hauling ice and emptying the dump buckets.
I’m probably supposed to call those something else too.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with volunteering, as I was basically just along for the ride with my boyfriend. My first and last name had been so horribly mangled on the volunteer list that I figured if I screwed up really badly, I would be able to just blame it on that non-existent person.
Stupid Kathryn, ruining everything.
I had asked my boyfriend prior to the event if since we were dealing with ice, I could call him Vanilla Ice all night. He said no, so I decided to not ask him anymore and instead just announced that I would be calling him Vanilla Ice. I was true to my word from the moment I saw him at the party. Later on, another volunteer working our position was singing “Ice, Ice, Baby,” which means that not only was I a dork, I wasn’t even original.
I’m not much of a beer drinker. As a volunteer, I was given 6 beer tickets and ended up going home with 4 left. I found my boyfriend sampling one from this tiny tasting mug while talking to another volunteer. I approached him, and he asked me if I wanted to try his beer. “It’s not very good,” he warned.
I took a drink, and it was really awful. But I’m an adult at a fancy (for me) party, and his friend was right there. What’s a diplomatic response?
I ended up going with, “Oh! That’s...different.” Pleased, I immediately decided that would be my new go-to line for any event I go to where I have to try something awful and be polite.
Of the two beers I got for myself, one was pretty good, and one was one of the best beverages I’ve ever had, which I never thought I’d say about a beer. Founders Brewing Company, your Green Zebra is incredible. Wow.
You would think that you might deal with a lot of unruly people at an event with alcohol, but people were overall polite and not all that sloppy. I guess charging $40 will weed out the party people. I encountered one tipsy guy towards the end who thrust his full tasting mug in my face and asked, “Are you thirsty?????” The weirdness caught me off-guard, but then the lady he was with came up to his side and said to me, “I’m sorry, he has extra beer tickets in his hand, if you want them.” Then she looked at him and said, “Quit doing that to people, it’s creepy!”
One of our final duties was to gather up the empty cans and bottles from the booths. Most of them were in boxes, but there were a group of empty loose cans on the table that I confidently thought I could pick up and hold between my forearms. I stuck my arms straight out, clamped my arms around them, thought about how gosh darn smooth I was, and then spun around and left like a three inch scratch on a guy’s arm with my fingernail.
Among all of the empties, there was a dented up can that had a small leak, so we were told to just toss it. My boyfriend arranged more empties by the back door, and I cracked the can open over the sink. I decided I might as well grab a taste, not realizing it was the same beer that I had earlier politely deemed as being “different.” This time it was just us alone in the back room though, so I was able to truly express myself as I spit my sneaky sip into the sink:
“PLUH!!! Oh my god, it’s that gross beer, no loss here! PLUH! GROSS, oh god! My mouth is gross now! PLUH!!!!!!!”
This is why I usually just stick to Diet Pepsi.