It’s a Hard-knock Life (this being unemployed business)

“Oh, my God, I love it,” cried Tina and rushed right by me.. “Umm,” I said, feeling a little overlooked, but happy to see that she apparently liked my new place. Then, within seconds, I realized that she’d charged right for the dishwasher which she had then opened and was staring at with huge admiration and the kinda look on her face as if she’d have hugged it if she could. “If you start liking my appliances more than you like me, I’m gonna be pissed,” I muttered under my breath. “I’m sorry, sweetie,” Tina smiled, pulling out one of the dish racks from the washer and almost sticking her head in to examine it further, “and stop being such a girl!” – “I’m sorry,” I muttered, “I learned from the best.. So you like the new place, then?” – “I like it a lot,” she beamed and charged on through the house to the terrace, “I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time here!” – “On account of the terrace and the garden?,” I asked.. “That.. And the dishwasher!,” she answered.. Well, the little one sure loves her dishwashers.. But seeing as our usual agreement is that I cook the food and she do the dishes when we’re together, I can kinda see why.. For someone who loves to be spoiled as much as she does, her life just got a hell of a lot easier and sweeter.

As it turned out, the little one was right, we did get to spend a lot of time at my new place, starting with that very Monday evening where we ended up eating dinner together.. Well, that and a little more, really. See, in order to coax Tina over, I’d told her that if only she showed up, I’d not only share a beer on the terrace with her, but also cook her a nice little dinner to go along with it. She’d already lived up to her part of the deal and arrived in her mother’s fine, little car, she’d even worn a cute, little summer outfit for the occasion. I, in return, had lived up to my part of the deal and served her a Corona with a slice of lime on the terrace which seemed a fair exchange for the present company.. And we were now slowly, but steadily, in the process of cooking a nice summerly dinner of Italian tomato salad, roast chicken and pasta with fresh tomato sauce when things took a turn for the worse.. Or better.. Strongly depending on how you look at it, I tend to favor the latter.

“Y’know?,” Tina started, her head fixed to the top shelf of the fridge she was rummaging through before turning to me, a soft smile growing wider across her lips and a trademark sparkle forming in her eyes.. “Maybe Jeppe would be kind enough to pick me up later tonight?” – “Let me guess,” I said, shaking my head, “you just discovered the bottle of Rosé wine in the fridge and would like a glass or two, is that it?” – What followed now on Tina’s part was a reaction, more than likely as completely autonomous in nature as it was professional and effective. She turned to me, crossing her legs slightly, bending her knees slightly and crossing her arms in front of her chest, bending her head as well in a shy little girl manner, letting her hair fall down slightly, batted her eyelashes a few times, then slowly looked up at me with intensely deep blue eyes and a shy, ever so slightly trembling smile on her lips.. “Mmmmmaybe,” she said in a soft voice, “I mean if you want to? (cue batting eye lashes). “Fucking hell,” I thought as I felt my insides churning, heart softening and any trace of resistance (if ever there were one) fading away, “you are GOOD!”

“You do realize you’ve got me exactly where you want me and there’s no possible way I can say no to you right now,” I eventually managed. – “Yes, I like things this way,” Tina said with a happy, slightly triumphant, yet entirely grateful look on her face. – “You’ll be the death and ruin of me one day, baby,” I pondered out loud, “but it’ll be a happy death and ruin.. Get the wine out and set the table!” – “Yes! Right away!,” Tina chirped, jumping to attention, and like the good (albeit manipulative) girl that she is, she started buzzing around the kitchen, pulling out plates and cutlery before meticulously carrying it all to the dining room and setting the table.

Having finished our beers, and having also gotten over one of our loving little fights and bitter arguments as I started accusing Tina of being a very bad little girl and a terrible guest for finishing her beer way ahead of me and not even waiting for me to catch up, we moved to the table and had what can only be described as a very nice summer dinner befitting of two wonderful people such as ourselves, but entirely too expensive for an ordinary Monday night, especially given the rather bottle of wine that Tina had tricked me into having.. Or I’d tricked her into wanting, depending on whether or not you believe the story about me stacking it in the fridge where I was sure she’d find it and have her interest peaked.. Ahem.. But that’s all speculation and conspiracy theories.. Regardless, it was a very, very nice bottle of wine, and it put us in a very, very good mood.

“I’ll tell you what,” I told Tina as we we’d about eaten ourselves into a tummy ache. “It’s a hard-knock life this whole being unemployed business.” – “Tell you what,” she laughed back at me, “I’m starting to quite enjoy it, really! I wish every day could be like this!” – “Of course you do,” I countered, giving her a loving little shove on the shoulder as we got up and made our way to the couch, “you’re high maintenance like that!” – “I may be,” she smiled, nudging me back, “but you made me who I am, so it’s all your own damn fault!” – “Aw, no, really.. Thank you.. I’m happy you’re here with me beign unemployed and still spoiling me silly,” she added before I had a chance to start bitching.. Which sorta, kinda made me forget all about what I wanted to whine about..

The night eventuall developed into one of those warm, cosy, happy unforgettable, slightly buzzed summer nights where time seems to about as still as the warm air outside and nothing much really matters. The stress of being unemployed was gone for a while, the endless rejection, money issues, worries about tomorrow.. All that shit.. For a while there, all the mattered was the company, the music playing, the talk, the wine in our glasses and somewhere along the line, and the fine spirits that somehow popped up along the line.. Again, I’m not really sure how that happened, but I’m reasonably sure that Tina was the instigator. At any rate, I remember her looking at me once again with that trademark smile of hers that is known to melt the knees of guys such as myself and saying “if I ask nicely, do you think I could one day have a small sample of your new Japanese Whisky? Please?” – I’m about ready to call this a deliberate attempt of manipulation and exploiting ones position as cute blonde. Tina, on the other hand, will probably argue that I was simply trying to get an innocent, little blonde drunk.. But regardless of who was trying to manipulate who, the end result was pretty predictable in that I sighed, got up, exclaimed “Well, you don’t file for unemployment every day,” found a pair of tumblers, poured a single ice cube into each (and before anyone attacks me for that, let me just defend myself by saying that it was a little to fuck off hot for whisky to be served neat and that it needed the water anyways plus it was Tina’s first brush with undiluted Whisky in a state of near soberness) and topped with a bit of Yamazaki 10 year old.

Not too surprisingly, Tina quite enjoyed the Japanese take on Whisky and not too surprisingly, she immediately developed a certain curiosity for the world of fine spirits and eagerly started asking questions, commenting while examining tastes and smells and sucking up the impressions as well as the knowledge I tried to relay.. I swear to God, sometimes she reminds me a little too much of a younger, shorter, prettier, long haired version of myself. Before I knew it, we were going through my entire fine spirits collection, sniffing here and there before sinking into a long discussion about one of my big passions: rum!

Once again, I couldn’t help but get a little weirded out by someone as decidedly feminine as Tina taking an interest in a somewhat masculine subject, e.g. that of aged spirits, but once again, she surprised me by approaching the subject with wide-eyed interest and near child-like fascination. And of course, I couldn’t help but want to show her what I was talking about, in particular that rum could be more than just a mixer. So of course, I had to bring one of the rums to the table.. Now, having had fun on Tina’s expense for most of this post by calling her a spoiled and manipulative little girl, I guess it’s only fair to mention that there was absolutely no pressure from her in what happened next, and if she wants to claim once again that I was just trying to get an innocent little blonde drunk, she should feel to do so. I will, however, stand by the statement that I was just trying to introduce a very special little blonde friend of mine to a very special bottle of rum, namely my Ron Zacapa 23 years old from Guatemala.. The fact that we somewhere along the way of Whisky, fine rum and wonderful Rosé wine ended up a little tipsy and giggly.. Well, that’s just a bonus.. But, again, I digress.. Back to rum!

Now, Ron Zacapa is a rum I’ve always had a special relationship with. It wasn’t the first fine rum I’ve ever had, nor has it been the most distinctly flavored, but it’s definitely the most memorable.. And not only because of the palm leaf wrapped bottle it’s sold in.. It quite honestly might be my favorite rum ever because it’s simply everything you don’t expect a distilled spirit and 40+ % alcohol by volume to me.. It’s sweet, smooth, pleasant, fruity and flowery and seems to coat the mouth forever, yet leave next to no burn once it goes down.. It’s also a fucking expensive bottle or rum and definitely not one I’d normally start people off on when it comes to tasting rum.. But Tina, like me, isn’t quite a normal person, so somehow it just seemed fitting – not so that I’d be able to crack more jokes about her being high maintenance, honestly. Rather because she actually has one of the best palates I know and a sincere knack for tasting and enjoying complexities in whatever you hand her.. So it seemed right that she became one of the selected three that I’ve actually let taste the damn thing.

“Oh.. Wow.. Just.. Wow.. Umm.. Wow!” was literally her first impressions and comments with the meeting of this fine rum, leading me to believe that I hadn’t been entirely wrong in serving it for her. “That’s really special,” she mused.. “I had absolutely no idea distilled spirits could be lile that”.. Which was pretty much exactly the point I was trying to make. We spent the next odd half hour, tasting, sharing impressions and discussing the very fine beverage that is aged rum and Ron Zacapa in particular. And I can honestly say that I didn’t for a second regret spending the very expensive rum on my little friend.. Well, maybe in one single aspect since Tina pretty quickly deducted that she could probably pretty easily develop a strong devotion to fine rums and, quite possibly, Whiskies as well. To which I could only repeat what I had already stated earlier that evening: “You’ll be the death and ruin of me, baby, but what a beautiful death and ruin it will be.”

After many an hour of appreciation of the finer things in life, mainly cooking, good food, good wine, good spirits and the likes, it was actually growing pretty late and poor Jeppe showed up to pick up Tina, only to find us in a slightly tipsy, overly happy, chatty and giggly mood. He seemed initially pretty confused at our state, so I went on to try and tell him that it was Monday and that getting nicely toasted had seemed a pretty good idea. “Yes,” Tina chimed in, “we were simply celebrating that Johan had filed for unemployment, why not make a party out of it?” – “Honey, you’re drunk,” Jeppe said as we pushed for the door so they could get home and relax a bit before a new day beckoned. “Nonono,” countered Tina, pointing at him, “I’m TIPSY! There’s a big difference there!” – “I agree, Jeppe,” I said as I showed them out, “you should see her when I get her proper drunk!” .. And with that I bid them farewell, thanked Tina for a wonderful evening, thanked Jeppe for picking her up and letting her have fun, then sat down, poured myself a wee dram of Laphroaig 10 years old Whisky, put my feet up and once again groaned to myself “It’s a hard-knock life!”

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