A Late Harvest Grape
“Denial is not a river in Egypt,” says Alcoholics Anonymous. While this usually gets a chuckle, it serves as a simple reminder that denial means one is trying to avoid reality, usually because reality is too painful. Denial for an alcoholic, however, can sabotage sobriety.
Denial is a coping tool, not just for the alcoholic, but for all of us. Denial can protect us temporarily until we are ready to cope with a particular reality.
Denial and I are old friends. It comes in handy when I feel fragile, even though I think of myself as a strong woman. I remember wanting to lean heavily on denial when I celebrated my last birthday. I had not minded turning 50 or 60, but 70 seemed impossible.
I thought perhaps a face lift might make me look younger, but I’m not brave enough to try it. I have tried many of the so called anti-aging potions and creams, but they have yet to erase a single wrinkle. Of course the reality is even if the products did what they claim I would still be 70.
Then my friend put it all in perspective for me. The idea was that at this age, I was like a product of late-harvest grapes. Late harvest is a term applied to wines made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual. As a result, the fruit develops more sugars, and the resulting wine is much sweeter and richer than other wines from earlier grapes.
Now is that a good line or what? All I can tell you is it works! I am no longer in denial about my age. I have a choice. I can focus on the wrinkles or the sweetness and the richness of my 70 years.
A word to men out there – you may call her honey, sweetheart, sugar-pie or cutie - but you might want to consider adding a late harvest grape to your terms of endearment. I cannot imagine any women being upset when told she is like a fine dessert wine.