"Oh, er, um...we won't be needing this! I'll order by the glass! No, wait! I'll have water! Oh god! I don't know what to do!"
A dear family friend spent the better half of Easter Dinner going around the table pouring wine and pausing dramatically every time he got to me. Afraid to exclude, he'd ask repeatedly, "Wine, Bethy?"
The table would pause in stunned silence, as I would repeat, "No thanks."
I've spent a lot of time worrying that people can't have as much fun or struggle with doing the right thing around me. And as much as I say, "Go ahead!" or "Do a shot for me!" even some of my closest peeps still ask, "I hate to ask, but is it cool if I order a glass of something?"
I guess it makes me feel a little bit like a freak.
Last week, Melissa, Jim and I went to dinner. I haven't seen Jim since we'd boozed it up together at some of San Francisco's finer establishments and I wondered how he'd do with the test of the wine selection.
"Ladies, ladies, dinner is on me. Go nuts!"
The poster-sized wine list was then handed to Jim. "Wine!" He smiled. "Oh, but do we want to start with cocktails? I could go either way. Mel, what are you in the mood for? And you, Bethy..." He paused.
Here we go. This is going to be awkward and weird and this waiter is right here and... A knot formed in my stomach as I shifted in my seat. But then Jim did something no one else has dared do.
"Jesus, Spotswood! How the fuck do we handle you?"
Mel and I burst into hysterics.
"She wants a Diet Coke." Melissa answered.
"A Diet Coke?" Jim raised an eyebrow and looked up at the waiter. "Can you please bring some really fancy sparky water in a really fancy wine glass with the fanciest lime in the world."
And that folks, is how the fuck you handle me...