Tag Archives: wine

It’s not beer, it’s me. Or maybe it’s you.

Tasha is one of my best friends. Tasha is a beer geek – she’s serious enough about the stuff that she’s working towards getting her Cicerone certification, which I think is amazing. On her MetaCookBook blog this week, she’s asked for people’s thoughts on the beer community and what sorts of topics they should be talking about. Tough topics – like diversity in the community. I’m very interested to read the replies, but I wasn’t going to join in the conversation, because beer isn’t my world. I can only understand Tasha’s passion by comparing it to my loves of other things, because I don’t really “get” beer. I like the stuff (some of it) well enough. But I’m intimidated by beer geeks sometimes, because I don’t feel like I belong to their “community.” So maybe I do have something to say after all.

I’m not saying that beer lovers are hipsters and phonies and are running this exclusionary club on purpose. Maybe it’s my own perception of “beer people” that makes me hesitant to really get into beer.

I feel like there’s this big movement around beer, and some people take it super seriously. There are beer bloggers and beer conventions and people have opinions. I don’t want to commit to all that. I just want to sometimes drink something that doesn’t suck. With friends who also don’t suck. I don’t read beer blogs or keep up on beer news and I don’t know a lager from an ale. I just know a few kinds I like and I usually order those. So far nobody I’ve ever gone out for a drink with has ever rolled their eyes at me or made me feel bad for liking the “wrong” beer, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a small twinge of anxiety every time I order. Beer is intimidating.

That’s a totally weird thing for me to say, because I love wine and wine tastings, (hell, I made wine charms this one time) and I get all nerdy over the tasting notes (which are all lies, people – NOBODY tastes plum and leather in Merlot. NOBODY). I learned about wine by going to tastings and having pros guide me through the general characteristics of different styles, and there’s no reason not to do that with beers. Except that I don’t know where to go. And I have this vague impression that the beer tasting rooms will be populated with dudes and I’ll feel out of place and/or not be taken seriously because I’m a woman. There are Groupon “wine and canvas nights” marketed to moms like me, and memes about mommy needing a glass of wine after a hard week, but I feel like beer is for daddy. It’s such a pervasive concept that we’re even slapping it on baby onesies. Why?

mommy wine daddy beer

WHY? (Available at femailcreations.com, if you’re so inclined)

Again, I’m not saying that anyone is making me feel this way. It’s just these hazy impressions I have of “the beer community.” And since Tasha wanted to know what the beer community should be talking about, here’s my thought: why do I feel like the world of beer probably isn’t for me? Is it all my own self-doubt and social anxiety, or is there some subtle signal I’m getting from the beercommunity that this isn’t my place?

Wine charms

Despite what my Pinterest boards may have you think, I don’t spend much of my time on craft projects. I often have the desire to paint or cut or stamp or otherwise make something, but I mostly stifle those urges because: 

  • Crafting costs money. (Yes, even “upcycling” costs money. Don’t kid yourselves.)
  • I don’t have room to keep all the junk I’d make.
  • I’m not good enough at it to sell the junk I’d make.
  • I doubt anyone else needs junk any more than I do, so it’s silly to give crafty gifts.

The thing is, though, I like to do it. I enjoy making things. I suspect there’s a genetic component to that inclination: my mother paints, and makes beautiful handmade cards. Before her, my grandmother made jewelry and my grandfather worked with wood to make beautiful boxes and carvings. I feel like I should be working harder to keep all of that alive.

I recently bought some beads and wires at the craft store, thinking maybe I could make some jewelry. Sadly, I stayed true to my indecisive self and left the shopping bag in the backseat of my car for weeks as I argued with myself about whether or not to return it and get my $20 back to spend on more important things. It took a visit from my friend Michelle to remind me that things that make me happy are important things, too. Mostly, she played the reverse psychology game with me and bullied me into making things – and I’m grateful that she did.

Here’s the result of that creative push:

winecharm

I made things! Wine charm things, to be specific. All I needed were a few bits and pieces, a set of small jewelry pliers, and a five-minute how-to video, and I made some pretty little things. These charms did not exist until I decided that they should, and that’s pretty great. No, I’m not going to be opening an Etsy shop for this stuff, and I won’t be unloading them on everyone I know. But it’s a way to get better at this sort of thing. And it makes me happy, which is pretty much the whole point.