By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
He was my high school boyfriend. Well, by the time I met him, I was in high school and he was heading out to college. When he was near me, I couldn’t think. He was tall, slim-hipped, and nerdy looking with glasses and a shaggy mop of hair. He was also a Dungeon and Dragons master (yes, that game actually exists and not just on “The Big Bang Theory”)
We dated; mostly in groups as teenagers do. My friend was going out with his friend. There was a triangle because his friend was in love with a beautiful troubled girl (also my friend). I was friends with both girls, until the drama became too much, much later.
The boy/man had a lyrical way of expressing himself (maybe it was the Dungeon & Dragons master experience). For my sweet sixteen, he gave me a bottle of wine with a poem attached.
The years have dimmed my memory of what the poem said in its entirety but it was something like,
“Happy Birthday Estelle.
“As the grape ripens on the vine, so does a girl in time blossom into a beautiful woman.
“Save this trove until you are ready to drink it.”
I moved on from the boy (and truthfully a long-distance relationship with a college man who was getting it, but not from virginal me, wasn’t too appealing to either of us).
But… I kept the wine.
I turned 18, and considered myself an adult but still I kept the wine, thinking it would continue to blossom as would I, and what a delight to finally sample it.
Well, the months turned into years and I was 21, a college graduate and moving into an apartment in New York city. And, still I kept the bottle. I wasn’t yet ready to drink it.
Several years later, I owned a co-op in New Jersey, had a few relationships under my belt, and a new job in publishing at Woman’s World Magazine as Associate Beauty Editor. And then my birthday rolled around. I thought, I’m finally ready. Now. Now it’s time to drink the wine.
So, with great fanfare I popped the cork, poured a heaping glass, silently toasted myself and took an anticipatory sip.
Yes, I had blossomed over the years… but the wine (clearly not the best vintage) had gone flat.
What anticipatory event did you look forward to in your life that didn’t go the way you thought it would?