Parental warning: Dad, you're probably not going to want to read this post. Betty, I know you will anyway.
Tuesday night we headed over to Rustico for a fantastic food and beer pairing event.
Bell's Two Hearted Ale has become our new favorite, and so when they told us they were having this pairing dinner, we made reservations. Larry Bell, the founder of Bell's, was there to talk about his beer. Which is very delicious, if you've not had it.
Tables were pushed together, and we were at a table for six. Nick and I were the first people seated, and were soon joined at the other end by two twenty-something guys, and later by a married couple who sat in the middle.
We introduced ourselves, and noted that the guys each had a pint of beer. Nick mentioned that we'd debated drinking before the event and decided against it as we're both old and need to be judicious.
One of the guys, who I'll call Charlie, basically said you have to seize the day, and life life to the edge, even if you sometimes go over. Because otherwise, you'll never know how safe you played it.
Which was enough for Nick to excuse himself and return with pints.
This was before Charlie mentioned that he'd been banned from two castles in Scotland, and was only willing to talk about one of the incidents. Charlie and his friend Ted were hilarious, and made the evening incredibly fun.
The food was tasty and nicely presented and the beer was great. I don't have a sophisticated enough palate to ever know if a food and wine, or beer, in this case, are perfectly paired, but it all tasted fabulous.
I'm also fairly suggestible, so if you tell me the beer has undertones of vanilla and rhododendron, which pairs surprisingly well with duck, I'll totally believe you.
"Why yes, I do taste the rhododendron! Fantastic with duck."
Charlie and his friend Ted were both really good looking. They both knew it, but were charming enough to be, well, genuinely charming. And not annoying about it.
If I'd been in my early twenties, I'm sure they would have made me nervous. At this point, I just found them really entertaining.
Our server was blonde and really pretty, and they were both flirting hard whenever she came by. At some point I asked which of them was going to ask her out, and what it came down to was that Ted had a girlfriend, and so Charlie was going to try.
From then on, every time she was within earshot, Nick, the couple and I would start laughing really hard after Charlie spoke, and say something about how funny he was.
"Charlie, you're hilarious!"
Or, just as she arrived at our table, "You know, Charlie, particle physics is really complicated. I can't believe you explained it so well!"
He didn't actually need our help, and maybe we weren't actually so helpful, but the rest of us were really enjoying it.
Let me just say that even if you don't drink before and after, which of course you have to do if you are all seize-y of the day! and living to the edge!, there is no way not to drink too much at this sort of event. Especially if you are being encouraged to keep up. With three large men.
So after dinner we headed to the bar, and Nick charged off, leaving me with the guys. We started talking about the pretty server, and how Nick and I met, and relationships in general.
Nick returned with pints! Pints for all! There was some sports talk, some of the requisite what do you do and where do you live.
Around that point I realized that I wasn't doing such a great job of seeing straight, and really needed to stop drinking and go home. That second. Which was sudden, but still.
I was really enjoying myself, except for the not focusing bit, but it was late and when I hit a wall I hit it hard.
Nick sure, "Sure, sweetie, we'll go right after we finish this beer."
So Nick went to the bathroom, and while he was gone, relationship conversation resumed. Or rather, the guys started asking questions. Ted asked about us, our ages, our story. He said he was really starting to wonder about finding The Person.
I said, "No, no! You're so young and cute! And really funny! You have no reason to worry!"
He'd just turned 30. He was feeling old.
"What about your girlfriend?"
Charlie said, "She's not really a girlfriend. Because he's also dating this other woman."
Ted flinched a little, like Charlie had told a horrible secret that I might be judging him for.
But I was all, "Oh, sleep around! Have fun! You've got tons of time."
"Yes. You'll know when you know. And actually, I think you should fuck as many people as you want before that point."
"Absolutely. I feel like I wasted my twenties all fretty about one serious relationship or another. Why wasn't I just sleeping around and having fun?"
Nick returned in time to hear me say, "Honestly, if I could do my twenties over, I'd have slept with a lot more people."
At which point he decided that I was right and it was time to go.