My mom and dad are funny. For the most part, they regard my affection for the booze with equal parts worry, fascination, and pride–the perfect cocktail of parental emotion, really. But every year at Thanksgiving they change the balance a little, because they want me to perform. They quash that nagging voice in their heads, the one asking, “Do you think maybe your daughter is an alcoholic?” and embrace the other voice that says, “How wonderful to have such talent in the family. Dance, monkey, dance!” And of course by “dance” they mean “make delicious beverages for our friends and family,” and also “but try not to get grandma too drunk.”
Grandma loves my cocktails.
So I had a plan–a vision, if you will–of what this year’s signature cocktail would be, and it was going to be glorious. Legendary, even. And so when my mom picked me up at the bus terminal, we headed straight for the liquor store. This is how we roll. But then stupid fucking podunk suburban liquor store–which, mind you, literally has 35 different kinds of schnappes–didn’t have one of the ingredients in my drink.
“They are ruining Thanksgiving!!!!” I wailed. “I NEED this very particular fancy spirit!”
“Can’t you just use something else?” Mom asked.
“No, I cannot just ‘use something else,'” I mocked. Why would she even say something like that?
So on Thanksgiving Day, I had to improvise and it totally sucked. I tried my best to make a variation on the original cocktail but nothing came even close to the gloriousness my original plan would have achieved. When our guests arrived, the first thing they wanted to know was what delicious creation I’d whipped up this year, and it was all I could do not to burst into tears, so filled was I with embarrassment and shame. As they politely sipped my sub-par knock-off, I could see through their forced smiles and right into their brains’ Pleasure Centers, which uttered a unanimous, disappointed “WTF.”
Except for Grandma, of course. Grandma’s love for me and my cocktails is unconditional.
Ugh. Lessons learned, OK folks? Save yourself what feels like a lifetime of humiliation and bring your fancy booze in from the city. The suburbs suck.