Sarah and I went to a party in Eldorado with some other professors last night. I pulled the car into the host’s long cactus-lined driveway at sunset. He suggested I spin around and back in, as he figured that once it was dark (and we had some wine in us) it would have been nearly impossible to back out of the driveway. I wondered at how I was going to manage to turn the car around given the tight space. Sarah couldn’t watch. Well, I ultimately pulled it off. But I think it may have required a 53 point turn, and in the process, I tore up a heck of a lot of sage brush, nearly knocked out another guest’s tail light and then came mighty close to breaking down the guy’s garage door.
Luckily they didn’t have a driveway cam. I think folks were wondering about why it took me 20 minutes to turn the car around. “Did your husband leave?”
It was a wine tasting and dinner, and so I tried to make up for the delay by contributing with vigor to the discussion of the wines using as many adjectives as I could muster. I like wine as much as the next guy, but I am in no way an expert. In fact, I probably have more to say about varieties of toothpaste. But I decided to just go for it on the first few flights, proposing all sorts of flavors and descriptions that I may or may not have tasted, but I think people tend to taste (“pepper,” ” tobacco,” “ash,” “blackberry jam,” “leather?” ). I think I was in the zone, and I think people were happy to have me there. But my palette got completely shot after maybe the 5th wine. After that, all my mouth was screaming was “wine!” I got increasingly quiet and vague. “Spicy,” “tasty,” “lots of flavor,” “what’s that a red?” “mm,” “uh huh.” By the end, I might as well have been drinking Hi C.
The evening ended. It was a good time, all and all. And we walked out into the night under a thousand stars with that smoky sweet smell of pinon wood was in the air, unsure of how much of a fool I had made of myself but fully relieved that we weren’t going to have to back down the drive.