“Alcohol…because no good story ever started with
someone eating a salad” – Unknown Smart Person
After I graduated from Florida State University I moved out to the west coast and took a job with an advertising firm in Seattle, WA. My parents were so proud. It had paid off: the early morning classes, the late night study sessions, the part time jobs, and all the student loans. I was making it. Salary, benefits, health insurance, 401k. Only problem was, I had officially decided that this adulthood thing was for the BIRDS (FYI I still think this 18 years later). Thus at the wise age of 23, I packed my shit, rounded up my suitcase of makeup, fly accessories, assorted hats, and hightailed it outta there. Thinking to myself what any sage, sane, and fabulous 23 year old recent college graduate thinks:
I want to live in California and be a bartender.
No? You never had those thoughts? Just me? Whatevs, keep reading. My parents of course were flabbergasted at my awesome life choice to quit my corporate job and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. After convincing my Dad to pay for my bartending school program (a testament to my future sales destiny) and that I was NOT insane, I completed a 2 week certification course in under one week. That’s right, ya’ girl passed with flying colors. I could free pour the perfect 1.5 oz shot, shimmy a delicious Cosmo into existence, and shake any cocktail with the best of them. Stop the bus, my name is Beth Corbley. There was just one, tiny, miniscule, insignificant, insurmountable problem … I WAS BROKE. When I had made the decision to quit my corporate job and drive to California I had only saved up enough money for one month of bills. I was just a girl on the Santa Monica pier with nowhere to go who could make a damn good drink.
Enter: friends who save your life. After 6 weeks of wallowing I moved from LA to San Francisco for one last “hail mary” where my childhood friends were kind of enough to let me crash on their guest room while I got my shit together. At this point, I was willing to take any job. I was working full time in retail AND had two other part time jobs, all along begging to score anything that had to do with actual bartending.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about this experience I loved. I had taken a risk, invested in a vision, and I had above all (fearlessly) believed in myself, rolling with every failure the best I could and adapting to what came at me with perfectly defined eyebrows and a Marilyn Monroe smile. But this shit was hard. Deep down part of me did feel like a failure and I was terrified to call my family and admit defeat.
So I dug deep. I refused to fail. The hustler in my blood was reignited (Thanks to the OG Lady Boss, My Mother, The General). One of my part time jobs was doing some marketing for a night club. One night the owner called me and asked if I could work the coat check because the regular girl called out sick. It was $50 bucks cash plus tips and free drinks for 4 hours of work. This was my chance, I was in. I hurled coats around for hours, almost tripping over myself in my snap worthy knee high boots but it was worth it. I smiled my way through and eventually this led to a bartending gig. A gig where I would find success, stability, and finally be able to support myself. I had some of the best times of my life and met some of the most interesting people like party promoters, up and coming underground artists, and heard mesmerizing poetry slams. I made so many new friends, mets tons of guys, and all of my new friends also worked at other bars so I had the hook up every night of of the week somewhere in the city. I discovered that I actually DID like wine and had an amazing place (Napa) a mere stone’s throw away where I could enjoy tastings. I had the opportunity to live in a DOPE ASS city with some of the most beautiful architecture in the country. Not to mention I got to flirt with hot security guards and my name was always on the list. Needless to say, I soaked it all in.
Thanksgiving is Thursday, a time of year to count blessings, and I can’t help but look back on this time in my life and feel overwhelmingly grateful for the people and experiences that have carried me through and made me who I am today. From the couches I’ve slept on, the support from my family, all the way through to my beautiful home, dog, fiance, and life that I have built today. The shenanigans, the memories, and the friendships: I realize now they were such perfect moments because they were imperfect.
Lastly, I give you… my very own super secret (but not so secret cause I’m sharing it with you) Holiday Moscow Mule recipe! Personally, I’m a vodka girl. I’ve tried many brands over the years and Tito’s, in my opinion, it the smoothest. Check out my mix below. Use Tito’s and always put the ice in the glass 1st.
Holiday Moscow Mule
Fresh lime wedges, to taste.
1 solid copper mug … a highball glass or collins glass will also work
2 ounces vodka
4-6 ounces ginger beer (Reed’s in my fav)
2 ounces cranberry juice.
Frozen cranberries, for garnish.
However you spend your Thanksgiving holiday this year enjoy the moment, hug people you love, eat, drink and be merry. Gobble Gobble.
Lashes, Love and Lipstick