If the waiting is the hardest part, why wait?

We’ve all heard phrases like “good things come to those who wait”, “patience is a virtue” and “all in good time”. There are lessons in these phrases, to be sure, and they help us to avoid being impulsive and rash, to avoid debt, to avoid the avoidable, etc., blah, blah. I lived by the sentiment of these phrases for years, planning for some distant future, putting stuff off until I got other stuff done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to say that the eons of human experience that lead to these phrases being coined is all completely worthless, but the phrases themselves, like all “rules to live by”, are not always wise. To wit:

The other night, Catherine and I decided to cook instead of ordering in. And as we were on the way to the grocery store, we talked a bit about wine, and I mused that I might need to buy a bottle, since we were most likely out. She was incredulous. “OUT?” she nearly shouted, “What about all the wine in the closet?” Ah, yes, the many bottles from back when I collected wine, back before my accident changed the way the stuff tasted to me, making wine, among many, many other ingestibles, rate just a cut above dirt. With hard work and perseverance, I was able to get back my taste for wine, but not my passion for it. I still like and very much appreciate good wine, but I’m fine drinking the basic stuff.

When we got back home from the store, I ventured into the wine closet and selected a 1994 Argiano Brunelle de Montalcino, which I thought would go well with the meaty pasta we had planned. I can’t remember where I bought this bottle, but given the year, it must have been one of the first Brunellos I ever purchased. The vintner is another telltale sign of when I might have picked up the wine, since Argiano is what a neophyte Brunello drinker would go for. It’s a big name, but hardly one of Italy’s best. It’s kinda like Mondavi, post sell-out, meaning, the price is pretty much totally out of whack with the quality of the wine, and not in a good way. Still, it can be decent.

When I pulled the cork, I was apprehensive given Argiano’s rep, but oh so hopeful, especially when I saw that the cork was in really good shape, wet maybe about ¼ inch up, but then dry and not crumbly in the least. I poured a sip.



Down the drain it went, a wine I had waited literally years for. And it wasn’t corked, or turned, just lousy, a watery, winey taste with a nose like an unfinished glass of red wine left on the counter all night. So there I was, forlorn as hell, because I had given that wine time, I had waited for the good things to come for those who wait, been patient because it is a virtue, been respectful of the notion that all good things come to those who wait.

But that wine wasn’t worth waiting for.

I bring all this up as I mull over how best to spend my time these days. Do I chance it and wait until I feel better to do certain things or do I just uncork life, as it were, and hope for the best. I’m going with the latter. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, crushed in an earthquake, struck dead by bathroom wall, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be just lying there when it happens.

Hmmm… makes me think of another phrase: you only live once.