“I’ll miss you, little buddy.” I knew better. I don’t know why I did it. But as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I cringed at the mistake I had just made. I had just dropped my son off and was watching him walk across the parking lot toward the start of his trip with the high school band to Disneyland. He’ll be gone for 3 days. It was a thoughtless reaction. The words just came flying out of my mouth…loudly across the parking lot. He didn’t pause, stop, or turn around. His shoulders tensed a bit, he looked toward the bus where kids were just getting off, and continued walking without breaking his stride. Trying to salvage his 15 year old dignity, I looked in a different direction, hoping no one would realize whose mom I was.
Causing embarrassment is often inadvertent. It has an element of spontaneity to it that makes it somewhat unpredictable, except in hindsight. A few weeks ago, I was in New York with a very good friend. We stopped by a great little wine store in midtown for a bottle of wine to have in the room. I was asking my friend what kind of wine she liked. Because syrah and shiraz are the same grape, and Rhone wines are made with syrah grapes, when she said she really like Shiraz, I asked the salesman if he had a good Rhone wine he’d recommend…something with a screw top cap. Nancy moved away from me slightly, but then realized that it was too late to pretend she wasn’t with me. At first the salesman looked at us disdainfully. In order to appeal to his good side, and alleviate Nancy’s embarrassment, I asked him if it was true that screw caps keep wine better than the traditional corks, because they create a more air-tight seal that prevents the wine from oxidizing, which up to 5% of corked wines do. “Why, yes,” he answered, “In fact, nowadays, even better wines are being bottled with screw caps for that very reason. The only people who don’t want to acknowledge the superiority of screw caps are people in the cork industry.” Once we understood each other, he became a fount of information, and gave us a wonderful recommendation; Selection Laurence Feraud Seguret, from the Southern Rhone Valley. Nancy and I both loved this wine for its full body, and layers of flavors, dark fruits, licorice and chocolate all smoothly blended. It turned out to be more grenache than syrah as southern Rhone wines often are. But it truly was delicious. And if we hadn’t finished the wine that night, that screw cap would have been quite handy.