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The Invite

An ordinary Friday last August. Your dearest friend and “sort of” coworker texts and asks if you want to get a beer after work. I say “sort of” coworker because while we work at the same winery, we don’t work together at all, and we were friends for quite some time before her commute became my commute. She’s a winemaker. I’m in the compliance department. I make sure that everything we are doing when we ship the wine that she makes to various states is legal. I also make sure that we are complying with the laws set forth by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that regulates the production and sales of alcoholic beverages; the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, otherwise known as the TTB. Boring stuff if you aren’t me I suppose because I actually like my job.

Anyway, back to that beer. We met at a place we occasionally frequent. Does that even make sense? If you only occasionally frequent an establishment then you don’t really frequent it, do you? But it’s on our way home and on the occasional occasion that a cold beer needs to be drunk before we make our way home, this is our place. We never say no to each other. At least not that I can recall. It’s a given. If one of us needs a quick beer, the other is available. I sat across the picnic table from the girl who has been my closest friend since moving to Healdsburg almost nine years ago. We both had an ice cold pint glass full of Trumer Pils. We cheered. And then she said, “Do you want to go as my guest on the wine cruise next May?”

I burst into tears. In a nutshell, there is a wine club cruise to far off lands every other year. A cruise that the winemaker goes on and is afforded a guest, be it husband, family member, friend… Since knowing my friend, who I will call Sarah because that is her name, she has always taken a family member. She said, “I want to take you. We will have a blast!”

I literally jumped up and did a happy dance.

 

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