This is another one of those days like National Margarita Day that’s always a little bitter for me. Not that I have anything against tequila. In fact, I love tequila. It’s just a day that used to have a lot more significance for me and that will happen when you work for a Mexican restaurant company for more than 19 years. It’s been almost a year since we parted ways, but still there is a certain resentment in my heart for the way things went down. National Tequila Day was a day that we were working on over the years to make more of a celebration – an occasion to get more people in the door. Now it’s just a day that falls within my catalog of daily celebrations. It’s popularity has increased over the years and it was trending on social media today. It’s becoming a thing. But for me, it’s just another day and that feels a bit odd.
I know a few things about tequila. I’ve toured the tequila factories and the agave fields of both Sauza and Jose Cuervo in Tequila, Mexico. Those are part of the good memories of my past work life when I had those kind of opportunities and enjoyed them with friends. If I recall correctly, and my memories of those tours are shaky at best, tequila is made from the fermented fruit of an agave plant (which is at the bottom and resembles a pineapple). The man charged with tending to the trimming and cultivation of these plants are called Jimmadors and as part of the tour, they always let some lucky tourist trim a plant using the hand tools of his trade. The pineapples are then roasted and then pressed. The juice is that placed in barrels to age and ferment. The legend has it that the first tequila came from an agave plant that was struck by lightening which cooked the fruit which gave the natives this incredible new beverage. There are agave plants everywhere in Tequila but thanks to high demand, there are not enough so they are trying to plant more and keep up their supply. The problem is that it takes a 7 or 8 years for an agave plant to reach maturity. Tequila must be made in Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico to be considered actual tequila. If it’s made else where, it falls into the mezcal category.
I used to be surrounded by tequila. It was featured at the restaurants. We had bottles in our office. I even had samples that had found their way home. I find that once you move outside the world of Mexican restaurants, tequila doesn’t pop up in your daily life all that often. That’s a shame. At some point over this last year, I actually had to buy a bottle of tequila. That was another slight reminder of how things have changed. But upon a deeper dive into our liquor cabinet, I found a few bottles of old samples. I would use one of those to celebrate today. I had no plans to make it a huge celebration. I would just have a tequila drink after work.
Things have been hard lately for Lola and I as we are still dealing with some house issues. We are on a bit of a time crunch. When I got home, I sat down with her and we went over everything that happened today. We were working as a team today in many respects. Lola was leading the charge and had summoned up her best Erin Brokovich to dig deep into paper trails. She talked to bankers, realtors, lawyers, advocates and more today. I was working other routes as best I could from my office. There’s a fight going on over here and when we hit the end of our day, we are both pretty tired. Once we started talking, I wasn’t much in the mood for a Happy Hour cocktail. We were hungry however, so I grilled up some pork chops and we took a few minutes to relax with a nice dinner. That was nice as it brought us together and out of the pit of our dilemma, if just for a moment, but it also compounded our tiredness. After dinner, we cleaned up and went in separate directions. I had fallen behind on my blog posts which was on my mind, so I went into my office and tried to catch up. Lola started getting ready for bed but I knew she would fall back to doing some more research on the couch with an old episode of Game of Thrones playing in the background.
I had to write two days worth of blog posts and after I cranked out the first one, I went out to the kitchen for a break. Lola had gone up to bed at that point and our house was quiet. I pulled out a glass and then dove into our liquor cabinet. I found a bottle of Camarena Tequila which was a professional sample acquired at some point in my past. I vaguely remember getting this tequila. It was a company that helped sponsor an event we were participating in. They gave us the tequila, we made the margaritas. There were some leftovers from that day and one of the bottles found its way into our home. I grabbed it tonight and poured two fingers into a juice glass. Then I went back to my office.
I’m not one who usually has a nightcap or even grabs a glass of hard liquor at the end of a day. It almost seemed foreign to me to sit in front of my computer with a bottle. But tonight, because it was National Tequila Day and because it had been a long day, it just seemed right. I can drink tequila. I don’t need it chilled. I don’t need the accoutrements like limes and salt. I like it just as it it. This is an acquired preference after years of training, but now I really enjoy it. With a good tequila, there’s a smoothness to it so it just flows down your throat. I would say there is a smoky element to the flavor along with a slight hint of sweetness. It just goes down easy for me. If you mention tequila to most people, you usually get a quick reaction. They had a bad experience or they think it’s gross. But for me, it’s a sweet nectar and a great way to end the day.
I’m not sure when I can enjoy a day like National Tequila Day without getting that taste of bitterness in my mouth about days past. Not that my past was all bad – there are thousands of happy moments and joy as part of those collective years. But the taste of sour stays with you when you reflect on how it all went down. I like tequila and I am glad I can celebrate it. It just evoked some memories. It’s a strange time for me in regards to reflection. Within the next week I will celebrate the end of this year long journey. The end of the quest falls on the exact day of a major milestone in the issues we are dealing with, so that’s going to be a lot to process. Next week is also my birthday marking my last year in my forties and is also our ten year wedding anniversary. The week after that is the one year anniversary of losing my job. It’s all swirling together at once. I am not sure what the gods are planning and what this all means, but I am bracing myself. Winter is coming. Thank god I have tequila to make it all better.
Next up: National Hot Fudge Sundae Day