As I have a heart-to-heart with my better half, I can’t help but feel as blue as the Hawaiian that I’m sipping on. She gulps down the last of her stout Jameson, stares at me knowingly, and walks out of my life.
She’s always been an adventurer, a pacesetter, the alpha in the relationship. I just couldn’t keep up with her instantaneity. To the very end, she holds sway over me. As she walks away, I know that she’s destined for greatness.
I order myself a bronze dose of balm. The spice and almonds complement the bold assertiveness of the cinnamon rootiness. It’s firm, mouth-coating and well-defined. A welcome relief from the sorrow of the moment. It reminds me of her, and I unashamedly shed a few tears. Although, I reckon it is the whisky that’s exacerbating that particular corporeal reaction.
I’m torn away from my introspections by the group that has just walked in. A biker gang; they’re clad in leather, and clothed in poised and energetic demeanors. They order a variety of drinks. Liquor that would probably bring me to a very quick state of heady intemperance.
I realise that the ladies around me all exude a sense of power, confidence, eloquence and no-nonsense. Enjoying the company of their companions and their equally prevailing liquids. The biker gang members are enjoying their malts. I recognise their drinks. A reflection of their respective characters – strong, sweet, fiery and a little bit nutty.
I stare in to the depths of my single malt. A fifteen-year-old Speysider. Smooth, sweet and malty and at the same time, delicate, complex and rich. I gaze into its depths and am transported into a state of coherence.
What would the world be without whisky? – A horrid, immoral place. Not worth even thinking about.
What would the world be if women weren’t magnanimous? – No whisky, no distillation, no Kevlar, no chocolate chip cookies, no rocket propulsion, and no almost everything else menfolk get credit for.
But, let’s not digress from the fact that over the course of centuries the fairer sex has laboriously and judiciously worked behind the scenes, and most menfolk (not all, mind you) have taken full and feral advantage of it.
Women deserve their cut. They deserve half of it all.
As a whisky paramour, I unashamedly admit that women, not men, were responsible for changing the face of the whisky industry and turning distilleries into flourishing businesses. Women invented the first stills (Yep! The quintessential ‘man drink’ was a woman’s contrivance).
I can sit at this bar, crying over my whisky and concluded associations, because women were the ones who were heavily involved in managing and modernising distilleries, in order to increase their production capacity. That’s surreal, and yet not at all surprising.
My two favourite brands were once owned by women, and elevated to greatness by them. Elizabeth Cumming owned the Cardhu distillery in Speyside in the late 19th century, and Bessie Williamson owned Laphroaig in the 20th century.
An elderly woman approaches me. “Chin up kiddo! You’re wasting your whisky on bygones.” she says.
She’s right – I’d never waste the present on it, but I’d never forget the bygones either.
I raise my glass to the engineers, the scientists, the soldiers, the activists and the homemakers – irrespective of their gender.
You’re the Whisky masters, the humanity redeemers and the voices of reason.
Don’t agree to just one day. Demand your equal share.
Let’s move towards a more egalitarian future, one tipple at a time.
Story contributed by AGGIE THE ALIEN