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Days of Wine & Showbiz

Kathie Lee Gifford may be a singer, actress, songwriter, producer, playwright and an Emmy-winning TV personality, but with this month’s debut of Gifft wines—a partnership between Gifford and California-based Scheid Family Wines—she proves yet again what her Today fans have known all along: that for her, everything’s sweeter when you have a glass in your hand.

Kathie Lee Gifford with cases of her Gifft

Life is funny—sometimes “funny ha-ha” and sometimes just downright weird. I know because I’ve lived a long time—long enough to see bell-bottoms and clogs come back twice. Long enough to see Carole King (OK, an actress/singer portraying her life and career) become a star on Broadway decades after she wrote her first hit song as a teenager. Long enough to know that I’m running out of time to find something funny.

In other words, I’ve earned the perspective I now enjoy (even though my eyesight sucks).

I turned 60 last August, the very same day my husband of almost 28 years, Frank Gifford, turned 83. Between us we have enough perspective to see the footprints Neil Armstrong left on the moon. And what I see most profoundly is how much the world we live in has changed.

Oh, some of it’s better—technology has brought us unimaginable knowledge in the blink of an eye. But technology has also made us increasingly isolated and antisocial, creating what experts on Today describe as the first “post-human” world. That means we’re the first society in history to be more comfortable with technology than we are with our fellow human beings. That’s scary because as much as I like modern convenience, nothing can take the place of a living, breathing human being who’s actually looking you in the eye and at least pretending to understand what you’re trying to communicate.

My daddy used to love Doris Day. She was his favorite singer. I miss my daddy, and I miss Doris Day too (she’s not actually gone—she just turned 90 and is alive and well and living in California—but she doesn’t make movies anymore). In her Hollywood heyday, she was sexy and funny and sang like a dream. And I could understand every word. These days music is loud and nothing really rhymes. I think that if Cole Porter were still around, he’d write a very ironic song about the lack of real songs.

But you know what remains as glorious as ever? Sunrises and sunsets. Nobody’s been able to legislate them or ban them or eradicate them or convince everyone that they’re sentimental and, therefore, unworthy of our praise. They measure our days one day at a time, no matter who we are or how old we are—and they will until the end of time itself.

So I’ll keep watching those precious dawn and dusk moments, and thank God for them (even though that’s out of fashion too). And I’ll smile at my husband who knows me well enough to hate me, and chooses not to, and I will toast him and all our blessings with a crisp glass of our beautiful new Gifft wine—because I can. And I’ll enjoy it immensely.

Because I have perspective. I’ve earned it.

And, by the way, good for Carole King. She deserves all the success in the world. Now somebody please write a musical about Doris Day and I’ll die a happy woman. 

That is, if the lyrics rhyme.