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It was around 10:30 on a Sunday morning when I sat down on an uncomfortable folding chair and kicked my feet up on the nearby table. I was in parking lot 26D in East Rutherford New Jersey, surrounded by thousands of strangers throwing footballs over my head and arguing about the days upcoming matchup. About 4 different stereos were blasting 4 different songs all at once, and the smell of the nearby Porta-Potty lingered as my Dad fired up our crappy mini-grill. Nursing a slight hangover as the sun began roasting my face, I had the all too familiar anxious feeling and hated everything about my surroundings. But then, it happened. My brother tossed me an ice cold one and made what was a personal nightmare become a heavenly escape.
Beer saved me, as it always does.
While tailgating a football game may not seem like the worst thing to do in the world, for me, removing alcohol from the situation makes it borderline unbearable. The same can be said about talking to coworkers after hours, weddings, dinners with family, friends’ birthdays, sitting on a beach, Thursday nights, my birthday, riding in a boat, and college. In all cases, beer is the one thing that takes the mundane and awkward and makes it loose and fun.
Beer is the cool girl in class who laughs at your fart jokes while normal life is the stuck up snob who calls you gross. It is the ultimate trump card, the one way to take a night from 0 to 100 without leaving a room. It is about time I said thank you.
Thank you beer for always giving me something to do with my hand. Thank you for offering me an easy out from an uncomfortable situation by simply finishing you and needing to get another. I always appreciate the sense of confidence you give me when I have you, otherwise every person I met would think I am the lamest human being alive. Thanks for having my back on the dance floor, where your “not a care in the world” attitude allows me to let loose and express my inner dancing queen. Thank you for making sports so much better, dinners so much livelier, and for making the outdoors seem fun. Thank you for always being there after a hard day, ready to make me think of that cool dog my buddy used to have instead of the soul crushing feeling I have daily. For reminding me to text my old college friend to discuss fantasy trades instead of calling my dentist and rescheduling my appointment. Thank you for being you, beer.
Of course you aren’t perfect – none of us are. But your flaws are what makes you so special. If I could drink beer 24/7 with no hangover or social implications, I would. But hangovers and the likelihood of jail time prevent me from doing so, which makes our time together so special. I savor every moment I get to spend with you because I know come Monday morning our time will be up. I watch the clock all week just waiting for my chance to join you in our drunken dance, even if I occasionally cheat and toss a few back on a random Tuesday. I don’t know how to ever repay you for all that you do for me beer, but I am going to damn well try. I will always remember to have a “little” foam, to try the local brew, and to stop when my stomach has expanded 3 belt loops.
I know this seems random, but I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Thanks for all you do, beer. Cheers..