Two Beers and a Puppy

Wine recommendation for this post:
It’s a bit strange to recommend a wine in a post that’s based on drinking beer. So here’s a bit of a crossover question. If you’re a beer drinker who finds themselves at a dinner party or wine bar, after you finish asking yourself how you got there, what do you order? If you’re an IPA lover, you may consider a Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine that channels many of the same citrus and grapefruit flavors signature to an IPA. Literaria ’42 is a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, heavy on citrus and acidity for a fresh pucker and a clean finish. Pair with seafood, sushi, or ceviche for a refreshing, light meal.

Sometimes it comes down to who we want to have a beer with.

In 2004, for perhaps the first time in modern American politics, a well respected pollster ran the question, “Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?” as part of a formal campaign polling slate. Voters handily picked George W. Bush over John Kerry, and while the election came down to hanging chads in Florida, it was eventually the candidate with whom more voters wanted to be hanging with that took the election.

Consequently, this was particularly ironic because George W. Bush doesn’t drink.

In 2008 and 2012, Obama was the candidate more Americans said they wanted to have a beer with.

In 2016, it was Trump, who, as it happens, also doesn’t drink.

The “who would you have a beer with” question is supposedly an informal measure of likability, which pundits hope translates into who you are going to vote for.

But be it presidential politics, or a general assessment of who we spend our weekends with, I’d like to suggest that the measure of “who we would have a beer with” is actually good for very little. Oh sure, I’d gladly have a beer with any of my friends, but I’ve also spent some pretty miserable hours with some pretty miserable people just because grabbing a beer was the lesser of all evils.

For example, grabbing a beer after work used to be the most innocuous of first dates. No obligation to stick around for dinner. Certainly no implication of anything too serious. A little something to lighten the mood and loosen things up.

Consequently, if I had dinner with someone on date one, and wasn’t really sure if it went well or not, grabbing a beer also became a great option for a second date…a second date that, on every occasion, pointed towards things not working out and us going our separate ways!

I had some bad beers with some bad people.

Josh and I never just grabbed a beer when we were dating and he obviously won out!

Instead of considering whether or not you would have a beer with someone, I recently read a suggestion of evaluating likability through the lens of “two beers and a puppy.” That’s to say, would you have two beers with the person and would you trust them to babysit your puppy?

Some people will be two no’s. These people suck! Avoid people with whom you won’t drink and don’t trust with your dog.

Some people will be yes and no. These people are fun but not necessarily reliable. They’re flakey friends who may take more than they give. They can be a good time, but know what you’re getting into, and maybe have other more reliable people to fall back on as well.

Some people will be no yes. These people may be terribly boring, but they’re incredibly reliable and make the world a better place. Be careful not to take advantage of these people. It will be easy to be the take more than you give friend with these people because you’ll want their reliability without wanting the social, relational aspects of the friendship. They’re good people, they’re just not the life of your party.

And some people will be yes yes! These are your people! You’ll have two beers, you’ll watch, walk, and wash their dog, and they’d eagerly return the favor. These people pass the ultimate likability test. They’re “your” people. Keep them close.

For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t trust any politician to even feed my Beta fish, so this measure of likability isn’t for the casual non-scientific election poll.

But as for who’s really worth it in your life, two beers and a puppy is a pretty good measuring stick…

…if for no other reason than MY people will probably ask first check if we’d rather be having wine instead!

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