“Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.”

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Last weekend Shelley and I hosted a “Couples Wedding Shower” for my grumpy friend (and business partner), Chris, and his delightful fiancee, Melanie. It was a big soiree that brought nearly thirty people into our home.

I was a bit concerned about fitting that many people into our domicile—but it turns out we have a higher seating capacity than I anticipated.

Most of the people in attendance were strangers to me, but everyone seemed very kind, gracious and thoughtful. There was, however, one anonymous visitor who left an indelibly negative impression.

This is their story.

A Saturday night party at The Boudreausian palatial estate. As one would expect, our refrigerator was brimming with liquid refreshments of all types. One item in particular was in vast supply: beer. Namely, we had a 12-pack of Heineken (one of my favorites) and 24 bottles of Shiner Bock (a popular choice for other folks). For a party of this size, there was plenty of beer to go around.

Tucked in the back of the fridge was a lone bottle. A bottle who traversed the Atlantic, legally immigrated across our borders, and found a new home in our Jenn-Air fridge. This bottle of icy cold delight contained a special Italian beer that I enjoy above all others.

Its name: Peroni.

Its taste: heavenly.

And so there it sat. The last of a six-pack. Pushed to the very back of the shelf to make room for the influx of our party beverages. You must understand: in order to even find this bottle—one would have to dig through an obstacle course of bottled beer.

As the merrymaking was nearing its conclusion, I began picking up some of the empty plates, cups, and bottles that were lying around the house.

A few empty bottles by the couch. Got’em.

A plate with a half-eaten chicken breast and dirty napkins on the coffee table. Got it.

A mostly empty cup of frozen margarita on a chair. Into the trash with you!

A nearly full bottle of Peroni on the ledge… wait… what?

I stopped dead in my tracks. Who? What? How? Shelley noticed my sudden jolt of horror. I raised my hand and pointed in disbelief. I looked at Shelley. She looked at me. My expression spoke for itself as she empathized with my pain. My astonishment. A sweet hug was my lone, but pleasant, consolation.

Now it’s not that I wouldn’t have shared my last bottle of Peroni with a guest. In fact, it would have been a moment of kinship. Of great satisfaction. Face-to-face with a kindred spirit in the beverage community. We would have been eye-to-eye, affirming one another with knowing grins.

But that was not how things transpired. A much more inconsiderate path was chosen by this secret, one-sip, Peroni-hating, party attendee.

First: they had to make the effort to dig through the fridge.

Ok, so maybe not everyone likes Shiner, myself included. Perhaps Heineken is too trite an import for the more astute drinker. To each their own. But after seeking out an alternate beer, they knowingly took the very last bottle of this Italian treat.

And then—and this is tragic end of this melodramatic tale—after opening the bottle… they took a singular sip. Put the bottle on the ledge of a wall nook. And walked away. Forever.

Un-freaking-believable.

This, my friends, is why people use ice chests.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.