or What I Realized on the Way Home from the Liquor Store
My father used to say that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Of course he wasn’t the first person to speak this oft-quoted phrase; most attribute it to either Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin. But regardless of who actually said it, I’m learning they missed one additional certainty of life: aging.
Never mind my dreadfully slow metabolism, or my knees that creak louder with every passing year. And forget the new sprouts of gray I find on my temples – although some, including my wife, consider that distinguishing. Bodily wear and tear aside, you’ll know you are truly growing old when you cross a specific, drinking-related threshold: instead of being a regular at your favorite bar, you’re a regular at your local liquor store.
I realized I crossed this threshold recently. A little back-story: a few months ago my neighborhood liquor store changed owners. Since then, I’ve enjoyed casually chatting with the friendly and engaging new staff whenever I stop in, which as of late has been admittedly often. Dropping by the liquor store for a chat, a taste, and perhaps a new bottle for my home bar is now much more common than an evening out boozing. And the fact that I’m ok with this – perhaps even encouraging it – is a sure sign of my aging personality and matured drinking preferences.
This is not to say I don’t enjoy a nice, quiet dinner out with the wife on a regular basis, or to say that an evening swilling beers with the guys isn’t a rousing good time. No, my liquor store frequency, versus being a bar fly elsewhere, demonstrates my acceptance, nay contentment, in my familial responsibilities – a husband and father – while still maintaining my love of great beer, fine scotch, and the occasional cigar.