Right now it’s illegal to sell wine and liquor in a grocery store in Tennessee. I’ve become so accustomed to this antiquated bit of buffoonery that it felt very off somehow to see Bailey’s Irish Creme gift sets in the Indiana Target store we shopped in over Christmas. Kind of like coming across your friend’s dad’s naked lady playing cards in a kitchen drawer when you’re looking for a spoon to dip up ice cream.*
People have been whining and kvetching and generally lampooning this whole state of affairs since I moved here, but now that the state is broke and going broker the idea of wider liquor sales (and the subsequent wider taxation net that would accompany) is suddenly gaining a glimmer of possible. As the debate ratchets up I am by turns growing more befuddled and angry with some of the complainants.
Now I understand if you are Bud and you own Bud’s Liquors and you don’t want people bypassing your dank little store with its ancient wood paneling and mildew smell** to get their party goods at the Kroger right next to their house. You’ve got good reason to put up a fight.
But some of the other folks are just walking and talking versions of my nightmare. When I was in Fourth grade one of the boys was “allergic” to sugar and red dye so his mother threw such a fit that we could no longer bring fruit-flavoured snacks to Fruit Break and birthday treats were outlawed. Twenty of us had to suffer because her weak-as-water child couldn’t handle watching us eat our Fruit Roll-ups*** and cupcakes. I think you all can blame her for having a large hand in my Libertarianist leanings.
And now she and her Sisters of Sob are saying that it is–and I quote from a link posted to Facebook by my friend Sarcastro of the Williams Sarcastros–
They have no sense of compassion for those fighting the addiction of alcohol who will be forced to shop for the staples of life, while being confronted by their personal demon with every turn they make in the store.
I can attest that you just need to grow a pair in any grocery store. Everyone has to do it. Those who diet have to deal with passing Little Debbie and Ben and Jerry. Those who are broke have to deal with passing the pretty much 99% of the store that is out of their budgetary reach. Having been in both places–fat and poor–I know from personal experience. Yet I never had the brass ones to tell the grocery manager he could sell only low-fat Totino’s Pizza. And nothing else. Because of my problems. I learned early on that my problems are just that. Mine.
I appreciate the concern of friends; I do have those who will drive me places now that I can no longer drive and those who will come to my house for parties and put up with my dog. They don’t have to do that but they do because we’re friends and I love them and would die for them if necessary.
But at no point have I tried to pass a law saying that all parties are now to be held solely at my house and that no one can go to church or the store or the movies without driving me there too. My problems are my problems. The solutions to them are not to be legislated. The inconvenience they cause to those whom I love does cause me great amounts of grief–untold amounts that keep my up at night. I’m very aware of how much people do for me out of the kindness of their hearts. But I would never underestimate them by forcing their kindness through threat of law and I would never diminish their humanity.
So I’m sorry that you are a drunk. But get over yourself. AA has a saying that I’m rather fond of. “Wear slippers instead of carpeting the world.” So get a pair of slippers and wear them when you shop at the grocery store. After all, this is still Tennessee****
*story for another time
**Seriously. Why are 2/3rds of the liquor stores around here like this??? It’s creepy.
***Astronauts eat them! They can’t be ALL bad…
****Yes, they wear slippers and pajamas and rollers in our Kroger. I fully expect to someday see someone in nothing more than a #9 shirt and a jockstrap one of these days. As the daughter of a woman who wouldn’t go shopping without lipstick on I’m still reeling from the stuff we’ll wear to get cheetos at 2:am