One of the best reasons to slide gleefully down the backside of middle age is to reach that glorious oasis where I just don’t care anymore if my socks match, or if my plastic pink flamingo in the yard irritates the neighbors, or if I could braid the twig-sized hairs growing out of my chin. My life is an inviting place that reminds me of my paternal grandmother’s old rocking chair; the one with the sagging, butter-soft, leather seat and the wooden arms worn white with wear. Finally, I’m comfortable with where and who I am.
What does concern me, however, is the unexpected, occasional detour into becoming a curmudgeon. Yes, every now and then I scowl at teenagers with pants hanging below their butts. I ask others why they have holes in their ears big enough to measure serving portions of spaghetti. I audibly gasp at baristas with multiple piercings in their lips, noses, and eyebrows and angry tattoos crawling up both arms. And, I’ve been known to roll down my window and tell the gyrating rebels in the next car to turn down the heavy metal music because it’s peeling the paint from my car. They can’t hear me, of course, because they are going deaf.
I vaguely remember back in the dark ages when I was young. There were plenty of old farts telling me to “Cut your bangs,” or, “Turn down that gawd-awful music!” But, my hair didn’t resemble a mixture of spilled, day-glo paint plastered rigid with super glue. And, the music of the Beatles and the Beach Boys seems nursing-home tame compared to the jet-engine shrill of today’s harsh sounds that could be used to torture prisoners into confessing that they ate the body of Jimmy Hoffa.
Maybe it’s inevitable to turn into the image of the old lady with the purse from the 1968 television show Laugh-In. I should just go sit on a park bench and wait for an elderly man to shuffle up and offer me a Walnetto. (A favorite Laugh-In skit.) Except now, I’d probably take the Walnetto and tell him to hit the road. Because, at my age, I can say anything I want.
To assist with my age-induced transition, I enjoyed some fabulous 2009 Justin Cabernet Sauvignon from the Justin Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles, CA. This delicious wine offers tastes of cherry, raspberry, spice and mocha with abundant tannins. I found it for around $35 at Seasons Wine Bar in Eagle. The label on the bottle contains a QR Code application that I can download to my smart phone or Ipad. Of course it does.