The Graduate

Today I woke up feeling naive, like a recent graduate, who grabs her diploma, and walks unprepared into the big ugly world. It’s overwhelming, everyone wants something, and now it’s my responsibility to decide what to do. I am unable to delineate the good from the bad, so I get seduced by things that are bold, and happen to catch my attention. I find myself in places I do not want to be, when something good comes along, and rescues me. I’ve come to believe these are common stages of evolution. The evolution of self. We are always matriculating, hopefully we find our authentic self in the process, but not always.

It’s hard to believe but I found out something new about Larry last night. That’s right. After thirty years of marriage I found out Larry has never seen The Graduate. I tried not to pass judgement. Of course he’s seen the famous bits and pieces, he knew the general plot, “Mrs. Robinson, you are trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” We will have to correct this foible straight away. We rented it on Netflix. Now our children and all our children’s friends will have access. They have shared our passcode with so many people sometimes we can’t even use our own account. Then Larry changes the passcode. The kids beg for the new word and pinky promise to share it with no one. We cave, fully aware we will have to go through the same process in a few months, but at least the kids are forced to call us. And I like to think their friends appreciate our sacrifice. Maybe a thank you note? 

Yesterday was sort of memorable for Lake County. We finished our chores in the morning and after coffee on the deck we decided we needed something to distract us from the heady news and death tolls. A reason to believe in our own goodness? Now if you remember, the first miracle Jesus performed was turning water to wine, and he was not prone to mistakes. He was a viticulturist at heart, turning sour grapes into something palatable, and ages well. Larry mentioned we had a pick up at SixSigma and we were seduced by the idea of wine tasting. The ride out to the ranch was quiet, both of us lost in thought, but it gave us the much needed distance from the worries of the world. The winery is located in Lower Lake along the beautiful Asbill Creek. The tasting room used to be a stagecoach stop a century ago. It is a charming spot. Their wines are fabulous. We ordered a half case of the Sauvignon Blanc a few weeks back, but figured we might as well taste some of their new wines while we’re here, we wouldn’t want to offend the viticulturist. It was 2:00 pm in the afternoon but we were the first guests of the day. This is the beauty of wine tasting in Clearlake. A lively couple from Hidden Valley joined us minutes later. When I mentally stepped aside I noticed we were all laughing. We meet the most interesting people at the wineries or maybe it’s the wine that makes them so interesting. Jesus was on to something.

We also had a pick up at Laujor Estate Winery in Kelseyville and you guested it we were the only ones there. I get the feeling the world is staying home today and we didn’t get the memo. The winemaker, her name happens to be Cheryl, and her husband David, sat with us while we tasted a few of their new wines. Cheryl and David shared wonderful stories about starting the winery, harvest issues, a new cave adventure, and what they did with a shipment of mystery grapes. They are an adorable couple. Cheryl is a UC Davis grad, a viticulturist like Jesus, and a chosen one at that. David runs the mortgage company in Lakeport and remembers handling our lake house mortgage five years ago. They knew the previous owner because he was a wine maker too. Small world. Are you detecting a theme here? David and Larry discovered their common ancestry, Italian, so they invited us to attend an event at the Italian Club in a few months. Our new best friends. 

With elevated moods we moved on to Kelseyville for an appetizer at the Saw Shop (best restaurant in town) and a glass of wine. It was early and we scored a patio table in the shade. A band was setting up as we arrived so we decided to stay for dinner. Lingering around the table, sharing a burger, sipping wine, listening to oldies. I felt restored. The band was smashin! “Oh what a night.” I could have stayed all night but Larry wanted to get back and watch The Graduate. As we were taking our leave the band actually asked us to stay. Only in a small town.
I haven’t seen The Graduate in years. It is an interesting movie especially for 1967. Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft are supposed to be a generation apart but in reality there is only a few years difference in their ages. It’s a subtle illusion like many things in life. The cinematography is simplistic when compared to movies of today but it has a unique appeal. The play on sexism is shocking for its time, older woman seduces younger man, but probably more common than we realize. The scenes reveal a bygone era, with classic cars, old telephones, endless martini’s, pool parties, nylons, and rigid social norms that are given lip service but not complied with. It has all the standard titillations of an intriguing story, illusive affair, unrequited love, lust, power, and subversion. The human condition rarely changes. Larry says, “The ending was unexpected.” Me, “Endings always are.” In fifty years when we look back on today I hope we can say the same. 

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You might also enjoy or just click on: Our Place in the Sun or Summer Our Annual Excuse to be Lazy


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  1. Gary thanks so much for reading my blog and adding your kind words. I appreciate the feedback and support. I process everything through writing. I'd be lost without it. When will you be finished with your new book?


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