Get me something “cute,” she tells me. Great. I’ve just walked into Wilbur’s – the biggest liquor store in Fort Collins – with the most open-ended instructions of all time and now I must scour the shelves for something usually associated with puppies.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have yet to anthropomorphize alcoholic beverages and so I am confused. A vast space looms before me, a maze of shelves and wines and bottles and cans and somewhere in there lays my prize.
Usually I’d just grab some Mike’s Hard and call it good, but I like this girl and Mike’s Hard is just as cliché as Burnett’s. I must look as bewildered and frightened as I feel because an aproned Wilbur’s employee soon approaches with concern in her eyes.
I stave off this helpful creature’s advances, murmuring something unintelligible and stumbling down the aisle. I must pass this test unaided or not at all.
Wine bottles surround me. Moscato? Is that cute? Is cuteness vested in the label or the drink itself? Are kangaroos cute? Penguins? Feet?
I flee. Moscato is not the answer. Too many labels inhabited by jungle animals and I don’t like it. This task is impossible.
Vacating the more unfamiliar sections of this enormous store, I find myself among the comfort of my craft beer friends. Beer is certainly not cute but I don’t care. Lazily traipsing down the aisle, I stare longingly at the Stone IPAs, Mirror Pond Pale Ales, Odell Five Barrels, New Belgium Fat Tires.
And I find it, a veritable Goldilocks zone of an alcoholic beverage, just between the too-girly Mike’s Hard and the too-manly Fat Tire. I have found salvation and its name is Twisted Tea.
I find myself skipping to the register, past the stares of bros toting thirty racks, past the glares of nine-to-fivers clutching middle-shelf bottles of wine and seeing my crazy.
But whatever. My lady-friend will be happy and thus so will I. Thank you Wilbur’s. The night waits.
Collegian and College Avenue reporter Zane Womeldorph can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.