A wonderfully diverse group of aromas to recognize and identify.
I just had a delightful, lovely, fun, entertaining and educational weekend with my beloved. We left the house, CTI, work, and the day to day activities that work very diligently to be the most important things in your lives and therefor often are, behind. We knew that they would be there when we got back on Sunday night or this morning, and they were fresh and clean and ready to be hauled out. However for two whole days we were able to put them behind us and engage our attention with things completely and totally not related to anything we DO in the world. We went to UC Davis and took a weekend course in “The Sensory Evaluation of Wine”. The first day was primarily academic and scientific, which neither Karen or myself find ourselves able to easily pretend to be. I pretended to be more into it then Karen, she doodled in her notebook. We passed notes back and forth and we each took occasional notes and in short it felt a bit like we were back in college or high school at a required science class with profs who were really into it and yet stuck in the paradigm of downloading material into students heads. During the lunch break Karen and I took a little walk and got engaged in a wonderful conversation about how wrong the education system was and how we misread the title of the course and got all excited by the word “sensory” and didn’t pay enough attention to the word “evaluation”. But the best part of the conversation was how much we got to make ourselves “right” and the academic system “wrong”. Then we came back and had a great afternoon actually training our nose to smell different things that you would smell in wine mixed in with plenty of science telling us why and how we smell those things. The two of us had a wonderful time going back and forth between learning and being “bad” together. We left that first day engaged enough with the subject that we knew we wanted to come back the second day and we went out to a wonderful Tapas restaurant in Davis, who knew, and had some delicious Tapas and a bottle of Rioja that was delightful. On Sunday we came back in to many more wine glasses set up on our tables and we really got into some serious training or our noses and our taste buds. We learned all about acids and sugars and tannins in wine and how to smell and taste the balance or lack of balance of those things and how in some wines the lack of balance is what makes them so good and others the balance makes them so good and sometimes what makes a wine taste not so good is a boring balance of these things while a wacky out of balance can cause some unpleasant reactions. After a lot of spitting in buckets and two blind tastings Karen and I left feeling a whole heck of a lot smarter about the tastes, smells and colors of wines and able to not feel like tasteless idiots at a wine tasting.
All that was indeed wonderful and what was the best part of the whole weekend was in the car on the way home. Karen looked back at how great we both were with each other during the weekend. There was not a moment of tension or co-dependency or even the whiff of a downward spiral dance of death into some smelly swirly zone of anger, wrong, victim, martyr, blame place. It was eazy breezy and yet present and connected on many levels. As we were talking about it in the car we recognized that we HAD completely removed ourselves from all the day to day, complex, multiple hat wearing, lives that we share all the time. We really got deep down in ourselves how important it is to share some simple things together. We also really got why our couples therapist bonked herself on the head in amazement at the complexity of our relationship, about the number of hats we both wear in a relationship where we are married, founders of a business, partners/board members in that business, Karen is the boss, I am the “outside creative guy”, I am the guy at home who loves to cook, Karen is the commuting worker who loves to clean. We each have emotional needs from the other that are often tied up in business problems that the other has opinions about that don’t always sooth the emotional needs that are presenting themselves. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how quickly that smelly swirly spiral can show up at our feet inviting us on a quick journey down. It also doesn’t take much imagination to leap into what an awesome relief it is to spend a weekend together where none of those complexities come into play. We need more of those.
We had some good wine and sit down meals over the weekend. I had a little too much wheat and sugar. I also need to be more receptive to sharing meals with Karen at restaurants. I am completely for it conceptually and it fits my program and there is some habit that is tap root related that still comes up and has me get all worried about the silliest things. Some work to do there.
I did a bit of walking around on breaks and on Saturday evening.