Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Part Where Strangers Think Claire May Be an Alcoholic

When you get married, you often loose touch with the friends you had when you were single. It is not something that necessarily happens on purpose. People expect that you and your spouse will always go out as a couple. Unfortunately, many of your single friends may not know you spouse very well. Thus, you get fewer calls from single friends. You, on the other hand, do the same thing because you do not want your spouse to be uncomfortable because they do not know your friends. This all leads to having to find "couple friends."

The German and I do not have many "couple friends." Do you remember on Friends and King of Queens, how Monica and Chandler and Doug and Carrie try to "date" couples, but no one likes them and they don't find any couple friends? Well, this could be the German and I.

Most of my single friends are spread across the world, so I have good reasons for not seeing them often. Most of the German's single friends are nice, but when we go out with them I usually have nothing to say because we don't have much in common and they start chatting about people I don't know.

In an attempt to expand our circle (you know from two to four), the German and I went out with a guy who teaches at the German's school and his wife. Let's call them Mr. and Mrs. X. Mr. X is a teacher and Mrs. X is a graphic artist. They have an uber-hip apartment in the city.

Everything seemed to be going so well. The four of us strolled to a cocktail bar. My eyes twinkled as this cocktail bar actually had cocktails that I know and actually use the correct ingredients. I ordered a Cosmopolitan. Other than the splash of grenadine (??), it was okay.

I saw a "Martini Cocktail" on the menu. Score! Now, everyone in the world (except Germans) knows that a Martini is gin and vermouth with an olive. When the waitress came over I told her that I wanted a Martini. "Sure. On the rocks or straight up?" "Huh?" I pointed to the menu. "Oh! You mean a Martini Cocktail." Whatever, dude, just bring me my drink.

Mr. and Mrs. X were confused. I explained that Martini is a brand of vermouth, and for some reason Germans like to drink it straight. Everywhere else we mix it with gin to make a "Martini." Blank stares. "You know, like what James Bond drinks?" They seemed to except my explanation but thought it was a little strange.

I decided that they needed a proper lesson about cocktails. "Usually you serve a Martini with an olive. If you use an onion, it is a Gibson. If you pour olive juice in it, it becomes a Dirty Martini." They were in awe of my cocktail knowledge, and perhaps just a little bit frightened. I am happy to say that despite the language barrier, my Martini Cocktail was delicious and they even gave me two olives.

I then went on to explain the roots of the phrase "bathtub gin." Mr. X asked me to make a cocktail recommendation. I hate making drink recommendations. Everyone has a different pallet. Some people enjoy fruity drinks, others sour drinks, others still want something sweet. I recommended a Tom Collins, one of the first cocktails and a classic.

After it came, Mr. X downed it quickly, but I am not sure he enjoyed it. Mrs. X tried it and wrinkled up her nose. "Too sour. Too strong." Sorry, but when you ask me to make a recommendation, you have to be specific about the things you like.

I am pretty sure that all my talk about making a proper cocktail scared the crap out of them. Mr. X dodged the German in school this week and we have no future plans with them. Sigh. I wonder if the couple down the street is busy this weekend. I promise not to bring up the topic of cocktails.


J said...

Sorry that happened to you. Can you and The German make it to Hannover on Saturday? Christina and I won't ask you for drink recommendations :)

Anonymous said...

Claire-I hope you have signed up for cheap flight notifications on and Get over here for a weekend girl (Both you and the German)!!! We can go on a date (the 5 of us!!)

Mike B said...

The Partnerin and I have a few common friends, but they are mostly single friends from our respective circles. The other married couples just seem to drift into their own worlds.

The Partnerin actually blesses me going out with the other "kids" from German class, even if more than half of them are cute girls. What a mensch ... er, womensch!

christina said...

Well yes, I actually WOULD ask Claire for drink recommendations because she knows her stuff. What's not to like about a Tom Collins? Sheesh. Actually, I'm sort of partial to Bloody Caesars. :-)

I feel for you on the Martini thing. We were at our friends' house a few weeks ago and they said "Hey! We found something new! We're drinking Martinis now! Want one?" and I said "Hey! Sure, I'll have one!" What I got was red Martini & Rossi in a martini glass. Whoo. Mr. M (having absorbed a bit of culture from living with me) sort of tried to explain to them what a REAL Martini is but they were all like "Huh? Gin? Olives???". It was really funny.

It's not easy to make friends here, singles or couples, and when we've tried the "German couples" thing, I've found we usually have zero in common and it peters out after one or two meet-ups. It's not just you, believe me. Even Mr. M has had trouble making friends and he's German. :-)

James said...

I have the same problem when I order a margarita in Germany. They just don't seem to get it right no matter what. (sigh)

Hamish said...

They also seem to love Mojitos and Caparinhas here, but they are under the impression that the recipe for either is 95% lime juice, 5% alcohol.

hexe said...

Sorry. The couple thing is hard. It changes again once you have kids. My non-kid friends can't understand why I am asleep before 10:00 PM. I have offered to let them borrow my "alarm clocks" but no takers.

Swissmiss said...

Well, about making friends up here... Hey, I´ve moved to Cloppenburg as well and I´ve NO friends except the family of my husband.... People up here are a little bit strange and not that open minded. Maybe we should meet :-)

And I do miss to talk english...

Anonymous said...

TO hell with all those wierd mixed drinks, stick to beer, good old MGD. But then you probably can't get that in Deutchland.


Anonymous said...

Okay between this post and the shoes post I am in hysterics! The fact that your fashionista tendencies are literally illegal is too divine for words. And frankly, I like women who have some knowledge of alcohol. Mixing the perfect drink is an art form. I suspect the couple you were with just wasn't as hip as you and the German :-)

Anonymous said...

Yo, Claire !! It's the 7th of June. Your last entry was just about one week ago. This may be a good sign [you are busy], or perhaps life has turned dull. I hope it's being too busy that's keeping you away!!

Love, Granndpa

EuroTrippen said...

Wow... now I know what a martini is! I liked the olive part... lol