If you have relationships in your life with people, and a relationship with booze in all its forms, you've probably noticed some similarities in the way both have made you feel over time. I was thinking about this idea while running this morning. I've had a number of friends come and go in my life; some of them parted on bad terms, others grew apart, and some passed away. Nevertheless, we spent time together at some point – for years, or maybe just a few days – and they impacted my life in some shape or form. In breaking down the different types of experiences I've had with people over the last three decades, I can probably apply all of those situations to booze as well. You tell me: am I talking about a person or a bottle of whiskey?
The Honeymoon Period Friend - You just met someone and they're super-cool, exciting, and fun. You hang out all the time for a week or two, but then you realize this person isn't as great as you thought they were. You discover some uncomfortable secret about them that wasn't apparent at first and it totally kills the buzz. A few weeks later you're no longer calling that person and you never see them again.
Early Friends Who Change Over Time - You have a friend that you've known since you were young and shared early experiences with, but now that you're older you realize that whatever you once had in common is no longer enough to continue maintaining a strong relationship.
Friends That Are Fun, But Not Close - Some people you know are great to hang out with after work or on a more casual basis. You don't ever talk about anything serious, but you share a few superficial interests and that's enough to create a few great hours of fun.
Friends That You Lose - Sometimes we lose a friend to a tragedy, long before their time. We mourn these relationships often because they were so good for so long and we weren't ready for them to end.
Friends That Get High And Mighty - Some of our friends achieve success in life and forget about the people who truly care for them. They're so worried about money and fortune that they lose track of what actually made them interesting.
Friends That No One Else Likes, But You Do - We all have that friend that no one understands. "How in the hell can you stand that guy?" our other friends ask. Nevertheless, we find something redeeming about them.
Friends That You Might Be Embarrassed Of - Maybe in high school you had a friend that you knew from class, but who didn't fit into your social group. When other people made fun of that friend you struggled with standing up for their reputation as a cool person, or risking being seen as someone uncool for doing so.
The Friend That Changes Your Perspective - We've all met a person who was so different from us that we couldn't understand where they were coming from. Over time, however, we began to respect and enjoy their unique perspective and original qualities.
Friends You Feel Sorry For - Some of our friends go down paths that are darker than others. When they emerge years later they're a shell of what they once were. They look the same and they have the same name, but the person you once knew no longer exists.
I can name multiple friends from my past who fall into each of these categories. Likewise, I can think of a wine or whiskey that also fits into these descriptions. Maybe that's why we love booze so much: because there's something so human about our relationship with it.