I’m a people person and always have been. From a young age, I always liked to see people happy. Growing up, when my family would have parties, I would often be the beer monkey. It was a mutually benficial relationship; I learned some party tactics and got beer sips, and the uncles and grandfathers got to keep drinking beer. I guess it has carried over to today as I’m always offering people beer whenever they visit, at tailgates or parties.
Fast forward to the present and I seem to have a penchant for getting older people shitfaced. I’m not sure what it is about me, but I always get the blood pumping in people significantly older than me and it’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Maybe I release the inner beasts that lay dormant within people, I make them comfortable or maybe I have a likable demeanor. I still haven’t been able to figure this out, but since it is one of the few qualities about myself that I like, I generally roll with it.
A few summers ago, my good friend and his now-wife were getting married on in an exclusive, destination wedding. No one packed any food or booze, but being the a planner, I did have sandwich supplies and alcohol. I had never met the bride or her family, but we were staying with some of them. That night, I met her dad (really cool guy) but he was obviously sweating bullets. To help, I brought a handle of coconut rum to capture the island essence, which I offered the father of the bride. Ever grateful, he took me up on it.
Little did I know, he would go on to drink over half of it in one night, have a great time playing games with the family and it helped let him loosen up about the next day’s events. We talked a bunch and had a wonderful night, listening to the waves and partying. The following day after they were all married, he pulled me aside and thanked me for helping him get through his first daughter’s wedding. “What a nice gesture,” I thought. At the reception, when he gave his speech he thanked me for being hospitable and giving him the courage to come up and speak (we had also been slamming shots before this). I had known him less than 48 hours and got a shout out during the Father of the Bride speech.
To be honest, it is quite rewarding knowing that older people feel comfortable enough with me to let their hair down and live a little. It’s been a running joke with my grandma and I that she has to do shots with me whenever I come home to visit or I won’t go see her. While she’s done shots with me a few times, at Christmas this year, I kept her wine glass full (at her insistence) and as a result, my five-foot-nothing, raised by nuns, 81-year-old Irish Catholic grandmother got a little saucy. She led toasts with, “Here’s to whatever,” chugged my beer from my hand and did shots of Crown Royal.