Whiskey cocktails remind me that I am – old.
Old – every November I run that word through my aging brain.
Old – and all that it entails. Reading glasses and achy joints. Gray hair and stretchy jeans. Sometimes I believe the jargon, and sometimes I don’t. Because honestly being old isn’t so bad. Having faced a few good years on this planet gives you a certain awareness that younger folks just can’t comprehend. When you’re old the years seem to pass quicker, but the world around you inexplicably slows down.
When things move at a slower pace, it’s easier to separate the good stuff in your life from the bad stuff. Beauty takes on a whole new meaning. If you’re lucky enough (and old enough) you even begin to recognize the beauty in yourself (stretchy jeans and all).
“Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.”
Who said that? Was it Groucho Marx? I can’t remember because I’m old.
There are other things I can’t remember. Things like what it’s like to worry about how things will turn out.
At my age many of life’s major questions have been answered. Will I learn to accept myself? Will I find a job I love? Will I meet the right life partner? Will I be happy? Will I keep my hair? Will I learn to like whiskey? At my age I know the answers to these questions. That’s a good thing.
I realize these are lofty sentiments and you may be rolling your eyes. That’s because you’re young. Another wonderful aspect of getting older, is just how little you care what younger people think!
Whiskey cocktails are the perfect example. Once you get older and your palate develops – whiskey begins to taste really good. It really does. Take this whiskey cocktail, simply known as a New Yorker. It’s not much more than the whiskey of your choice (bourbon, rye, mash, Scotch, etc) lightly sweetened with grenadine syrup and stirred with citrus. If you like an Old Fashioned, you’ll like a New Yorker. In fact I thought about making Old Fashioned cocktails today but then there’s that word again – old.
You may have guessed by now, but I’ll tell you anyway. Today’s my birthday. So I made New Yorker whiskey cocktails. In toasting I couldn’t help but think about my life and the journey I’ve been on. Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I have all the answers.
For example: Is it wrong for vegetarians to eat animal crackers? Is there another word for thesaurus? Also, if Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her so many friends? And Madonna! How much longer can she continue to strut her stuff (she’s even older than me)? Is there life on Mars?
These are good questions. However, at more serious moments (like birthdays), I find myself sitting quietly with my partner Ken, sipping whiskey cocktails, pondering what’s next for us. After 25 years together we’ve essentially watched each other grow up. Still I can’t help but look at him and wonder – what will our lives will be like after 40 years together?
I’ll just have to wait til I’m really old and see. GREG