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.

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