There's only two weeks left in the college football regular season, so you know what that means: Time for Ted to start giving out marital advice.
Evanston. In the cold. Freezing my ass off. Hoping for a miracle, and preparing to see Northwestern be crushed in the most cruel way possible.
As for drinks? Bourbon, and probably some Bell's Winter White Ale. And we'll be drinking and holding our annual Thanksgiving tailgate at my friend's condo afterwards, since I think we've voted that being inside rather than outdoors in sub-30 degree temps with arctic winds is a wise idea.
5 possibly competitive games?! This is beautiful. I'll be spending my morning strolling around Lansing (lots of community events and such going on), and then letting my DVR do the heavy lifting. The noon Michigan game will be on and I've got a very very special new beer for you all -
That's right, Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale from Atwater Brewery. It's spot on and not heavy, for those who like the concept of darker tastes without the feeling that you're drinking a Snickers bar.
Nothing major planned. Have to run some errands in the morning, so I'll miss a good chunk of the 11:00 games. My wife, trying to be awesome (well, she is awesome) surprised me the other night when she came home from the store. She bought me a sixer of the new Leinenkugel's Orange Shandy, and she also got me a sixer of Leinie's Vanilla Porter.
I can't stand either. I love most Leinenkugel's brands, but these are terrible. So I have one of two options:
1. Drink them, but come up with a white lie as to why those beers are SO AWESOME AND FANTASTIC, but I should pass on them in the future.
2. Be honest and tell her I hate those beers, and go out and get some Honey Weiss or Strongbow Cider.
Gentlemen, if you want to be married for longer than a cup of coffee, gather round, because it's time for some free advice from uncle Ted:
Brutal honesty in this situation, while morally tempting, IS A TERRIBLE HORRIBLE AWFUL IDEA. I'm going to drink these beers, tell my wife thank you, but probably fake an upset stomach or some other totally non-existent problem while I dump the rest down the drain when she's out shopping or running errands. "Yeah, they're good and all, but they're not agreeing with my stomach/kind of giving me a headache/feels like they're rotting my teeth from the inside/making me color blind/I think one leg is longer than the other because of this"..something. "I'll just stick with the Honey Weiss. Thanks for getting those for me, though. I really appreciate it."
The key here is to make it minor enough that she notes 'don't pick up any more of this brand for him' but not major enough for her to think 'I think he has cancer so I need to bug him until he goes to the doctor, eliminate red meat, and change his diet to vegan'. Each woman's wheelhouse is different in this regard, so choose your malady VERY FUCKING CAREFULLY.
MORE FREE ADVICE FOLLOWS: Don't dump all the beers at once. Only do two or three at a time. Any more and your wife will think you really like them and you're trying to tough out the medical issue that doesn't exist because of her. If that happens, you're gooned, man.
Why? Because whatever credit you build up because she thinks you're drinking those beers for her when you're really not is fake credit--she'll find out eventually you were bullshitting her and then IT IS OVER FOR YOU PAL. Or, she'll buy you more and then you are in beer drinking Hell. Pour out less than two or three, and she'll suspect you don't like them, and her feelings will be hurt. YOU DON'T WANT ANY OF THESE SCENARIOS. TRUST UNCLE TED ON THIS.
Also, if your wife ever asks you if she's fat, there is only one right answer. It's no. Even if your wife is a goddamn Sumo wrestler or the before picture model in a weight loss advertisement, the answer is always NO BABY YOU LOOK GREAT.
Or you could have some friends over and offer the beer up to anyone. Someone will drink it, you can open a bottle or two and leave it out, and when no one claims it, well damn, you'll have to dump it down the drain.
I'll probably do that. I'm a terrible liar.
C.E.: My advice, Ted: send your wife to buy a specific, but hard to find, beer at the store. The bigger the beer, the vaster the selection, the busier the store's reps (and the less likely your wife is to ask for help), the better. Better still - vaguely just describe it by its label but don't say the name of it.
I did this once. My wife (not a beer drinker, mind you), looked and looked, called me multiple times, and ultimately couldn't find it. She returned empty-handed, and said she never wanted have to deal with picking out beer again.
Now - I am the sole party responsible for beer purchases. Yes, this means I buy all the beer (and never get "surprised" with a nice beer), but it also means no beers I don't like polluting my fridge.
(Now, on the other hand, I have told my wife I love Blanton's bourbon. She got it for me for Valentine's Day our first year dating, and every year since. This is, without a doubt, the best Valentine's Day gift possible. So HOOORRAY Blantons, and HOOOORRAY wife!)
Ted, you're so right on Leinie's. There are two Leinie's brands I absolutely cannot drink, and you've nailed both of them! I remember being so excited to taste the Snowdrift Vanilla last year, then was incredibly disappointed.
And thank you for the life advice.
I will be, surprise surprise, in Evanston, ready to freeze my ass off and watch my heart get broken in some new and fantastic way. I'll actually be arriving in Chicago on Friday morning this week, in order to sit in on a few paper presentations at the Social Science History Association conference in downtown Chicago, since, y'know, I apparently want to have a career and stuff. Following that, it'll be a night out in Chicago on Friday with the college friends who live in the Lincoln Park (it's not LP but I don't remember the neighborhood name) area. I can't afford to spend as much as I did last weekend.
Gameday! Last week I went with two bottles of Three-Buck Chuck (damn you, inflation), but this week I'm thinking it'll be a sampler of the Goose Island Winter pack, preceded by lots of Irish coffee and a bottle of Serendipity, if I think to pick one up. Green Akers and I will possibly be saying hello somewhere in the wide, wide world of Northwestern tailgating, and then I'll be assuming my normal position in the West Lot, toasting to a season of broken dreams at our last tailgate for the fall. MSU and NU fans, my e-mail's in the profile if you care to say hello! Go 'Cats, and stuff.
K, so what I've got here is: 1) deceive wife, 2) cover your tracks and cover them well, 3) involve your friends, and 4) deceive them too because no one can be trusted. Overall impression: marriage is not so much that of the sitcom or Hollywood depiction, but rather a Hunt for Red October type of chess match, a perennial psychological engagement against a skilled opponent. I also love the phrase "morally tempting". So now I just need someone to match wits with. Man, we really need to get OTEHarmony up and running.
I, too, will be in Evanston, apparently freezing me arse off (high of 29 + wind). I expect to plunder Chad and MNWildcat's tailgates, dish out distribute copies of my resume to all the Northwestern alumni I run into, watch MSU lock up the division in front of literally dozens of people hardy enough to not freeze by halftime, and then take a tour of the MSU bars in Chicagoland. I hear Chicago has beer. I'll probably look into that.
I'm not sure what happens this weekend yet. My wife is about to start some traveling rotations as part of school, which means we probably have some errands to run... Also, it's looking more and more likely that I will be doing my not-so-annual Thanksgiving-with-friends where I pretend I'm chef quality, but really I'm just all about bacon, butter, and brussel sprouts. If that happens, I'll be watching games much more passively, which after last week is not such a bad thing I suppose. If the Thanksgiving thing happens, there will be an abundance of food and drink including some fancy goat cheese panna cotta things and wine because I'M FANCY Y'ALL. If that doesn't happen, well, back to being unsure of what happens.
I've been in trial for so long I can't even remember what drinking is.
Candystripes for Breakfast
While my weekend plans are not currently set, it's quite likely I'll be at home watching as much football as I can, chatting with whoever's on OTE, and probably downing a can of Coca-Cola or two. Depending on how IU-Ohio State goes, I may switch to Vanilla Coke by the end.
C.E.: In honor of the approaching turkey day, CfB is NOT drinking Wild Turkey.
I'll be visiting my friend's new NYC apartment and drinking Yuengling as the Lions lose to Nebraska in as controversial a manner as is possible.