They say age is just a number, but I think that whoever said it must have Dick Clark’s genes or a painting that's aging in their attic. Most likely, they're the same people who had clear skin and straight teeth in high school.
Here’s a trick: by looking at a typical woman's credit card purchases, you can more or less tell her age. In my twenties, my MasterCard bill from my local pharmacy would have read something like this: Bic disposable razors, a bar of Dove soap, a bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo and an industrial-size can of Sebastian hair spray (I believe I single-handedly destroyed the ozone). Add to those the usual haircut and manicure. (But not just a plain file and polish, mind you. No, this was the 80s, when "usual" meant five inch, tree-climbing long RED tips applied with crazy glue and gauze....move over, Lee Press-ons Active Wear...these babies featured a
super-glam length, with that lovely curve to give them a "natural" look!) My only other expense was tanning in the winter at the local tanning salon a couple of times a week which would leave me with a sad white circle on my derriere.
Fast forward twenty five years. Now, my credit card print-out reads like a laundry list. You know the Verizon commercial that has all the employees standing behind the person using his cell phone? Well, if I were to recreate that commercial for myself, my back-up squad would consist of my hairdresser, my colorist (remember the good ol' days when the same person who dyed your hair also cut it?), surgeon, dermatologist, vein doctor, facialist, orthodontist (yes, I had braces in my 40s), optometrist, manicure/pedicure technician, and my newest partner in crime, my eyelash guru. What for, you ask? For my eyelash extensions! Basically, I'm the bionic woman.
It's funny how things that were considered taboo in one generation are now commonplace. In my mother's day, no one dared to admit that they colored their hair! In fact, in the early 19th century, only a “woman of ill repute” manipulated her crown and glory. (What was the question from Gone With the Wind that Mammy asked Scarlett?..."Do you know a dyed haired woman?") Today, things are, thankfully, more relaxed. We feel totally comfortable asking a complete stranger, “Who did your highlights?” With beauty fixes becoming more common, I predict that it won’t be long before we start asking questions like, “Who did your eyes?"
Remember the TV show, Maude? That show was so ahead of its time. Anyway, one of my favorite lines is from a scene where Maude bumps into a childhood friend. The friend is amazed at how good Maude looks and asks her straight out, “Did you have a facelift?” Maude responds with an indigent NO. The friend then asks, “How did you manage to stay so youthful?” Maude says plainly, "By lying about my facelift."
( Maude Pre-facelift)
I remember once sitting in my colorist’s chair, discussing my options. About ten minutes into our conversation, I said to him that I wished I could be one of those women who wears flannel shirts, jeans, no make-up and couldn’t care less about dying her hair. His response: “They're called lesbians.”
Another hallmark of turning the big 5-0h! is that I can't help but look back on birthdays past, especially the ones where wine was the highlight of the party. One of my best wine birthdays was eight years ago. My late husband Steven arranged it for me at our restaurant Veritas. Almost all of the wines were from my birth year, and although I remember most of them as if it were yesterday, the one that was my favorite, the one that stood out from all the others that day (although all the bottles opened that day were stellar wines), the absolute star of the show, was a jeroboam of 1986 DRC Montrachet .
Time out for some trivia questions:
1-DRC stands for which one of the following?
a-Initials for a soft drink
b-Don't Run Cross-eyed
c-Domaine Romanee Conti
2-Which year did Domaine de la Romanée-Conti take ownership of the vineyard ?
3-How old is the vineyard of Romanee Conti?
a-100 years old
b-250 years old
c-700 years old
4- How many cases of Montrachet DRC are produced per year?
5-True or False; Montrachet DRC is considered by almost all wine critics to be the greatest white burgundy in the world?
6- How many liters is in a jeroboam of wine?
1-Domain Romanee Conti
3-700 years old
4-250 cases per year
6-3 liters, which is = to 4 (750 ml/each) bottles of wine
In everyone's “wine life,” there are special moments. There is the moment when you experience your “launch wine,” or as I like to think of it, your “marriage wine.” It's the wine that seduces you into this world and makes you declare, I DO! The wine that got me to tie the knot was the 1985 Margaux.
If you're lucky, there is another wine that comes along during your Juice Journey, a wine that far exceeds your launch wine, more than you even thought possible. Perhaps another way to describe it, and quite possibly a better way at that, is to call it the wine that would make you want to not just cheat but leave ...it's your soul-mate wine. The 1961 Petrus is my soul mate wine. Think Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston: she would have been his 1985 Margaux, but Angelina is his 1961 Petrus (and even if they split up, I'm sure she'll forever haunt his heart).