Apologies for the lack of blog entries, but I seem to be suffering writers block – hopefully it’s because I’m not experiencing stressful “meltdowns” however a couple of days ago there was an incident I thought might be worth writing about ….
My partner suggested a cocktail (one of our favourite treats) on a rarely relaxing Sunday afternoon – usually it’s chores followed by a last minute supermarket dash at 3.00 p.m.
The sun was shining, but the wind was whipping up as we walked into a coastal bar with a glorious seaview that gave the feeling of being abroad. The barman looked nervous when we requested the cocktail menu (list??) which my partner jokingly commented on as he passed it over to us, and then shot behind the scenes leaving his colleague to do the shaking and mixing.
We drooled over the descriptions and I carefully selected one that we weren’t familiar with, a Long Island Cooler that had vodka, rum, tequila and midori amongst its ingredients, whilst my partner went for a Manhattan. We were relieved that the barman, left behind with nowhere to hide, looked excited at the prospect of not serving coffees or pints of lager and had something he could “show off” with.
Unfortunately I then noticed he had a blue plaster on his index finger, which is a big ‘no-no’ for me, and whenever possible I stop the purchase – this applies especially in shops and supermarket check-outs (I have been known to put my groceries back into the trolley and move along to avoid the checkout person touching my purchases with a potentially bloody wound. However in this scenario I found it hard to say “Sorry I’ve changed my mind and now I don’t want a drink”. I could feel my anxiety rising and my heart starting to beat faster, with my smile quickly disappearing.
The barman filled a tall glass with ice (presumably to cool it, because that got thrown down the sink and refilled before the liquid was added which got me thinking was something wrong with the ice) and then he tossed a stainless steel mixer in the air, hoping to look like Tom Cruise, but unfortunately it slipped from his hands on to the floor.
My already growing OCD warning signs now notched up to a red-high-level – please don’t use it now it’s been on the floor I thought as I desperately looked for another he could use?! My partner immediately spotted my perturbed look and said “Don’t worry, I’ll have this cocktail to save you having to worry, and you order another”. Happily though the barman replaced the dropped mixer with a fresh one – phew.
He then went on to pour the alcohol into the glass from a free-flow spout rather than use an accurate measure but half of it missed the glass and went over the counter. Feeling deprived, I said “You missed” to which he ignored me but I must have ruffled his confidence because he then went on to top the glass up with Coca-Cola from the mixer trigger rather than soda or lemonade, making a dirty brown top to the pretty lime green cocktail below.
He looked mortified at this mistake and said “whoops” as he emptied it down the sink whilst I was saying “don’t worry” but it was too late and the whole process had to start again, but not before he got a notebook out and wrote down all the ingredients that had been spoiled for stock taking purposes – in your own time I was thinking.
Half way through his preparation I also noticed how dirty his finger nails were, so I quickly said “Don’t worry about adding the fruit around the side of the glass” to keep the contact with his hands to a minimum, but the fruit slices and umbrellas do make fun of having cocktails.
At that point another customer interrupted the barman’s show by saying “Excuse me mate have you got any toilet rolls only my son is stuck on the toilet needing one”. What!?! There I was trying to get into the mood of sipping a Long Island cocktail, and all of a sudden I was reminded of poo and toilets. How to completely spoil a moment.
This must have distracted the barman so much that he had to get a sheet out to look up the ingredients that this cocktail consisted of – blimey how much longer I was thinking. I got my straws ready from a glassful of them on the bar but whilst I was saying “I have straws thank you”, he ignored me and grabbed two straws with his dirty-plastered finger tips and man-handled them into a bent angle and added them to the glass. What I found amazing is my partner had been clocking all my expressions of worry and as quick as a Ninja Warrior swooped up the straws from my cocktail and whipped them into his coat pocket so that I could use the ones I had selected and wiped in case of germs. This is what years of living with me has lead to – a type of OCD carer instinct that I was well impressed with. He did it so quickly during the barman turning to make his Manhattan cocktail – there was no chance he noticed this manoeuvre but I was amazed and grateful.
My partner’s cocktail was made with less interruptions but when the barman came to flaming the orange peel and rubbing it around the edge of the martini glass you can imagine it didn’t go exactly smoothly. Singed hair and manky finger tips, rather than flamed orange was added to the glass, but my partner was one step ahead of this when he offered me a taste. “Use your straw to taste my cocktail” he said.
I think this story shows how tuned into my OCD my partner has become after years and years of watching out for me. I am very lucky.