On two occasions when I lived in Niigata, I was given bottles of whiskey. In only one case did I actually say thank you. In both cases I tried to avoid drinking the whiskey.
The first time I was given a bottle of whiskey was at a Bonenkai. My then boss knew I liked whiskey and presented me a bottle at the beginning of the party. It was a decent brand and was actually James Bond approved. (It’s the second bottle down on this site.) I said thanks and tried to set the bottle to the side.
Unfortunately, it became clear that I’d have to drink the whiskey rather than beer. The attitude was You like whiskey. You have always liked whiskey. You have never liked beer. You will like the one and hate the other. Ye cannot serve whiskey and mammon. (Something like that.) This would have been fine except for the Japanese party tradition that you never pour your own drink. Instead, someone comes up to you, forces you to finish your drink and pours you another.
With beer this is not a problem as the glasses are small. With whiskey it’s like drinking a triple shot and then being poured another. I tried sipping my way through but was forced to drink down the glass at least four times. When I was able to fly and crawl across the ceiling, I finally convinced them that I needed beer.
The second time happened on a ski trip where I was having one of my brain lock meltdowns. I’d been crashed into by not one, but two soulless snowboarders (but I repeat myself) and had entered one of my “I hate you all and you all suck” brain lock meltdowns. To appease me, someone in the group asked me what I liked to drink and I said whiskey. Suddenly, a second bottle of the James Bond whiskey appeared.
This time, I was not in the mood and far beyond anything resembling gratitude. When we boarded our bus to return home, someone offered me the whiskey, but I set it aside and asked for beer. The look I got was one part “what the fuck” and one part “fuck you”. I eventually shared the whiskey with my adult class and drank it myself, but I don’t think I ever said a heartfelt thank you.
Remind me again: Why don’t I get invited to parties?