Every now and then, I order a beer in a restaurant and get a bottle with no glass. My wife can sense my annoyance when I flag down the server and ask for a pint glass.
“Do they think I’m a savage?” I ask my wife, shaking my head. If I wanted to taste the bottle instead of a beer, I’d just order a lite beer.
One of my favorite professors in college used to say that we cannot not communicate. In other words, everything we do sends a message, down to insisting on drinking beer out of a glass instead of a bottle.
This made me think how there are telltale signs that beer drinkers and runners are serious about their craft, without having to say a word. The scientific term for this is “signaling theory.” Others may call it “showing off.”
Consider running gear. Having a pair of lightweight running shorts versus running in mesh knee-length basketball shorts separates the serious runner from the casual cross-trainer.
For beer drinkers, you know you’re really into beer if you have to have a specialty glass for every style.
But you can also go overboard. The person who is covered head to toe in Nike logos will probably be seen as a poseur. The beer drinker who refuses to drink a Coors at a wedding on principle alone will probably be considered an insufferable beer snob.
These non-verbal cues can change over time. If you saw someone drinking out of a can a few years ago, chances are you’d think they were a college student. Today, you’d think they’re a serious craft beer connoisseur.
Similarly, if you saw someone running barefoot a few years ago, you’d think they are out of their mind. Today you’d view them as a hardcore runner.
What about you? What cues do you think says you’re serious about your beer and running?