November 17, 2014 - 7:46 AM
If there’s one thing I don’t keep a secret it’s that I love wine. I love it, and I know a lot about it — like it’s made from grapes and if your tongue feels hairy after you drink it you can thank something called tannins. So, when I was asked to pour wine at Whistler’s annual Cornucopia event this past weekend I figured I was a shoo-in and said yes with serious gusto.
Yes, of course I will come and pour wine for your Italian estate. I am a wine professional. My qualifications come from the university of Waiter, One More Glass Please.
Turns out I know next to nothing about wine. There are some grapes out there I didn’t even know existed. For the first hour of the first event I was pouring glasses of sparkling red wine with a dumbfounded look on my face that was all “you didn’t know red wine could sparkle? Me neither, bro.”
By the end of the evening I had the spiel down pat. I would babble on about mini super-Tuscans and how earthy and old-world the Rosso Piceno Superiore tasted. The only person who figured out I didn’t know what I was talking about was the man who hired me, and only because he caught me earlier in the evening going on about what sunshine tastes like. All in all, I faked it really well — I faked it so well I passed for an industry professional. But this was no real surprise.
Over the course of a woman’s life there are some standard things we learn to fake.
Sincerity, sympathy, ID’s — you name it, we’ve faked it (probably.) In fact, we’ve faked it so well that we’ve actually gotten away with it (ideally.)
I find it surprising, however, that while we are good at playing nice when we don’t want to, at making pie “from scratch” when it’s actually fresh from the farmer’s market and at being 25 for the fifth year in a row we are still so reluctant to fake the things that might actually get us somewhere (unless homemade pie is standing in between you and a giant promotion.)
Often times growing up I would find myself in the midst of complaining, being told quite sternly by one of my parents to fake it ‘til I made it — to put on a brave face, adopt a stiff upper lip, to look the part, to be the little engine that could even if I thought I couldn’t. I had to pretend to like Brussels sprouts and I was to do it with an Anne of Green Gables dramatic flair.
Well, if you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables you know that her imagination had the power to transform her beliefs, so you better trust that by the end of dinner I loved brussels sprouts. I still do.
Somewhere between ages seven and 27 though, I lost the ability to convince myself of much (unless of course you count convincing myself I have a series of deadly illnesses, because I do that regularly.) This could be because the things I would like to convince myself of are no longer things such as liking vegetables. We get older and we want to convince ourselves of our own successes, of our relationships, of our life’s direction. We want to go from zero to one hundred and live the way all of these self-help books tell us we should — in the moment, like we’ve already made it.
In the age of positive affirmations, maybe we need to stop guiding people towards being their best true selves and instead encourage them to be their best fake selves. Who knows what amazing things we could manifest if we already thought we were there.
So cheers — to red wine that tastes like sunshine and to being a phony. Just don’t tell your lover you’re trying out this whole “faking” thing, because that opens up an entirely different can of worms.
— Andria is a 20-something blogger from Kamloops
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