Drinking Wine…and Blossoming

Wine and blossoming

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?

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59 thoughts on “Drinking Wine…and Blossoming”

  1. This ending is absolutely perfect! I love it! I love the romance of a nerdy shaggy mop head boy – do you know who he became, later?

    I am so glad to visit today from SITSSharefest… I’m making the rounds later in the day and truly finding some treasures!

  2. Great story!! I love the way you told it and set up for the ending. I’ve caught up with a few exes on facebook, and from what I can see, I’m mostly pretty glad I didn’t end up with them. 🙂

  3. Loved that even though the wine was flat you kept up with the poem. It felt like it was a reminder to be awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  4. What a great story. I absolutely love wine. 😉 I remember having some of my wedding cake on our firt anniversary and thought I was gonna get food poisoning. lol

    1. Hi Stacie,
      I hear that happens to a lot of people who buy into the whole eat your wedding cake a year later myth. What food does taste good a year later:)

  5. I am glad even though the wine went flat you did not. Congratulations on your wonderful life accomplishments. I think we do that a lot, build up an event in our life so much that reality is kind of flat compared to our expectations.

  6. I have a demi bottle of champagne I bought on a trip to France in high school. 18 years later, I still have that bottle, but I wouldn’t think of opening it. No way would the drink inside be anywhere near my expectations so I let the bottle remain as a reminder of the fun tasting the same champagne as a 16 year old. 🙂

    1. Karen,
      Smart thinking:) I think my point was more that the guy wasn’t the biggest wine connoisseur, but I still bloomed like the poem.

  7. First of all you had enough patience keeping the wine as long as you did, I dont know if I would’ve been to hold on for that long.It was a memory and moment worth cherishing thats why you kept the wine so long with great expectation. Even though things dont always turn out like we expect, there’s something to be grateful for.

  8. What a story. My husband and I share a similar as we waited 5 years to drink a bottle of wine and it went flat as well. Live for the day is what we say now. 🙂

  9. What a sweet story, and I how sad that the wine didn’t age well but at least after all those years you still got the sweet memory!

  10. What a story and entertaining too.. I would have loved to read more, this sounds like the beginning of a great book! I enjoyed reading it 😉 As far as me, there have been plenty of things that haven’t worked out as I thought they would. Far too many!

  11. Oh, I was so excited to read what event trigged the opening of the bottle- and felt as disappointed as you must have at that very first sip! I find, so often, that those things that need to be “perfect”- a holiday, an anniversary, a saved momento- usually end up letting us down as we build them up to be so much better than reality ever could actually match. And yet, the moments that happen unexpectedly become, in retrospect, the very perfect ones.

  12. I have come to realize that most things we build up do not go as well and exciting as we think they would. One of my favorite quotes actually deals with this: “Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.” ― Charlotte Brontë

  13. I really enjoyed reading this story! I always wanted to be wine expert, but I don’t like red wine, but that is another story. Congratulations on your Babble nomination.

  14. Great read! I too have saved “special bottles” of wine or champagne and then it was one random night that my husband said, let’s just open it and eat with pizza. So glad we did – a reminder that sometimes things are good to wait for and sometimes you’ll be waiting your whole life.

  15. I agree with Jen, so well written I wanted more! Well, I can remember feeling this way about a ton of events but I can’t bring one to mind – only the ones that DID pan out to be as great as I’d anticipated! I try not to get over-excited about anything though to avoid disappointment.

  16. Great story. There are so many things in my life that didn’t turn out the way I expected. Don’t know where to start.

  17. Great story, Estelle! I wonder if your D&D guy knew it would be flat, or if he thought it would turn into a masterpiece of a wine… I wonder if he thought of it metaphorically, like you do in this piece or if he really thought it would be a good wine.
    Your story left me in a pondering mood. I like it. 🙂

  18. I loved this Estelle, but you left me wanting more. I hope this is a beginning of a longer essay — a reflection on youth, perhaps, or on waiting…

    I’m also writing right now something on this period of my life. On saving things, and only seeing or understanding their deeper meaning years years years later.

    The anticipatory event that didn’t go the way I expected? Maybe my bat mitzvah. It wasn’t fun at all! Too stressful and too many grownups to receive sloppy kisses from!

  19. I would have to say that the time right after having my first baby was not what I expected. It’s built up as this wonderful, snuggly, cuddly time and images show well-rested mamas and happy, cheerful infants. The reality is exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and frayed nerves. I absolutely love my kids, but the first weeks after having them were nothing like I had anticipated them being.

    Sorry your wine was flat!

    1. Brandi,
      You nailed it. The physical labor part of early motherhood is hard! BTW, so glad to be the first commenter on your blog!

  20. My dad had a wine cellar of over 1,000 bottles. When he had a stroke we tried to sell off most of his, but some were undrinkable. They had gone past their prime. I can bet those were a little more than what your ex bought you, but wine can be a good one and with age not ripen!

    I loved this story and the visual of younger Estelle. Men were falling over you even at 16!

  21. Great story, Estelle. I wish the wine had held out until you were ready for it. Do you know what ever became of the Dungeons and Dragons guy?

    1. Helene,
      He is actually a FB friend of mine. Haha.I won’t tell who though. The wine didn’t hold out because it must have been cheap wine:)

  22. That’s precisely why we need to eat dessert FIRST!

    My husband has a habit of saving really good bottles of wine for a “special occasion.” He’s gotten some really great bottles for gifts over the years. The other night I finally told him we shouldn’t wait. The wine could turn, I said, or we could get hit by a bus. End of story.

    PS. the wine was delicious!

    1. Sheryl,
      I think my point was that it really wasn’t a good bottle of wine (college guy, ya know). I hope that came across:)

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