I frequently experience brilliant bouts of understanding, clarity, and truth after consuming a glass or two of red wine. The bolder the wine, the wiser and more enlightened I become. After a really good bottle, I am a freakin’ maharishi.
Last night I was sipping some Menopause Merlot on the patio. The delightful label was designed by my artist friend Jill Neal of Bend, Oregon, and the tasty wine was produced and bottled by Bitner Vineyards in Caldwell. The current batch is sold out, which is too bad because I wrote the back label and included my web site with details about my book, Menopause Sucks. I have a sticky note somewhere reminding me to get in touch with Mary at Bitner Vineyards to discuss another collaboration on the next release. But, I digress.
Back to the patio. A friend took a photo of me sipping wine, and I posted the photo on Facebook. Then I almost deleted the photo because it’s horrible. And ghastly. It could be copied as a Halloween mask. It shows a mass of lines around my eyes that resemble the tangled roads on a cluttered cross-country map, crevices around my mouth that are deep enough to store pencils, and bulging bags underneath my eyes that prove it’s a miracle I can even see. Yes, this photo sucks.
Blame it on the wine, but I decided not to delete the photo because I suddenly acknowledged a raw reality: I’m old.
Not old in the feeble way but old because of the rich abundance of life experiences. The lines around my eyes have been etched by years of laughter mixed with a few painful periods of tears. (There is one painful incident from 1990 that added five years.) Not even the most expensive creams can erase or hide six decades of emotions, joys, and sorrows that I carry like a telltale billboard on my face. It would be nice to hear someone declare, “Wow! That woman sure had a lot of laughter in her life!” That’s SO much better than hearing the line about “rode hard and put away wet.”
In another libation-induced moment of monumental awakening, I remembered that I’m not the center of the universe and it really doesn’t matter a twit how many wrinkles wander over my chubby cheeks. We live in a twisted world where the Kardashians are considered pretty and we’ve forgotten the glorious beauty of Mother Teresa. And, while I’m pontificating about human insanity, the two presidential campaigns have spent over $680 million dollars for a job that pays $400,000 a year (but comes with extraordinary perks.) When I don’t want to think about such profound thoughts anymore, I just pour another glass and know that wine gets better with age, and so do I.
It’s rather liberating to finally endure a photograph of me as a woman who loves and accepts her vintage laugh lines. I earned them. Every damn one of them. And today I’m alive at least one more day to go out and earn some more.
Today’s blog is fueled by – you guessed it – Menopause Merlot from Bitner. Go to their web site at www.bitnervineyards.com and encourage them to do another release of Menopause Merlot. Then join me on the patio to celebrate. (No photographers allowed.)