I’ve never experienced domestic abuse firsthand. I’ve been a bystander, unfortunately, as neighbors go at it on the other side of a shared wall, a scene more common than most of us would like to admit. I’ve learned to distinguish between an inanimate object hitting a wall versus a fist hitting a wall versus a body hitting a wall and when it’s time to call the police (which is an acquired skill I could’ve done without acquiring).
In my own homes though–growing up and as an adult (is that what I am now?)–I’ve never seen anything remotely close to resembling violence. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by strong, honorable men. My grandfathers and uncles and dad and brother and boyfriends (all two of them) would never (ever ever ever) lay a hand on me but would seriously (I am not kidding) murder anyone who did. But I do have friends who’ve been (or currently are) in ugly situations and their hurt is very real and their worlds are very dark.
So when people ask me why I’m raising money for Beards BeCAUSE to end domestic abuse (I prefer “abuse” to “violence” so as to not discount the non-physical damage done verbally and mentally), I suppose the response is twofold:
- To support the victims
- To celebrate the great men in my own life
When putting this together I decided I’d go big or go home so I reached out to one of the city’s most popular restaurants where you’ll frequently find a two-hour wait on a Tuesday night. For some unknown reason, Cowfish was kind enough to let me behind their beautiful (and rather large) bar to make the fundraiser happen. I think it had something to do with the fact that I neglected to tell them that I had never bartended before. Details, shmetails…
We all know I like to drink a
little bit lot but I can now confirm that a love for vodka does not a bartender make.
I don’t know if maybe Cowfish had a whole lot of faith in me or if they just couldn’t wait to see me fumble my way around the free pours, but there was no training whatsoever going on. This was a straight up birth by fire, my friends, starting with the complicated fancypants cocktails ordered by… my friends.
I wasn’t really on my own. No one would be foolish enough to give me full reign behind a bar like that. Oh no no no. I had the support of Jen, one hell of a bartender and (I’d argue) the most patient person in the entire world.
With Jen’s coaching and a little guesswork, I now know how to do the following:
Watch out, Vegas strip. I’m comin for you…
By the end of the night I had:
- Received one phone number
- Poured one Jack & orange soda… instead of ginger ale
- Ripped one wine cork straight in half
- Shin splints.
Seriously. I feel like my right shin is going to snap in half. Bartending is like an endurance sport. Tip big, y’all. Tip big.
PS – This is what I look like at the precise moment of realization that I have probably ruined an entire bottle of wine:
PPS – I only served one minor and I’d totally do it again. I mean, her ID looked fully legit and a I knew that tequila would pair nicely with her macaroni and cheese… (That didn’t happen.)
All told, it was a wonderful night. An enormous thank you goes out to:
- Cowfish for the space, the support and the endless patience
- Katy for my promo pictures
- Gwen Poth, PR guru extraordinaire
- Beards BeCAUSE for doing what they do
- Everyone who came, drank, ate and tipped. I love you.
I was telling my roommate when I got home this morning that everyone who came out last night (with the exception of Brittney) I’ve known for less than six months, which is exactly how long I’ve been living here in Charlotte. And it was this humbling realization that made me feel like I’m really at home here, like this is mine and I built it myself. And that, my friends, is a pretty big damn deal for the girl who a few short months ago couldn’t even get out of bed.
If you’d like to donate to Beards BeCAUSE, I’d love for you to do so on my page here.
Also, don’t forget this Wednesday…