Traveling with children in a state that restricts the sale of alcohol is a little like waking up during the middle of brain surgery. You know you are supposed to be here, on the trip, with four children, but is it supposed to be this painful? Where are the easily accessible safety measures, like wine and Tylenol (in that order) that prevent one from feeling the scalpel carve into the frontal lobe like a dull switchblade whittling on a piece of driftwood? Did the guy behind the counter of the Shell station mini-mart just tell me that they don’t sell wine, or even beer? Sorry?
“You’ll have to go down the street to the all night deli. They only sell beer, but they close in 10 minutes.”
“Sorry??” I said again, even more desperately. It was only quarter to nine. “The all night deli closes in ten minutes?”
“Yep,” was the clerk’s calm reply. Just what the heck was going on around here? I was starting to think that being Amish wasn’t a choice – it was forced up on the people of this state through the withholding of any vices!
Off we went, just about 250 yards, with plenty of time to spare. Sure enough, there was a sign up ahead: All Night Deli. That’s it. I thought we’d be looking for a place called Yoder’s Deli, or the End of Days Diner (we were in Lancaster County, after all). The news wasn’t good. Turned out, they couldn't sell liquor after 8 p.m. Defeated, I trudged back to the car with an hours old bratwurst and a bag of pistachios. If I couldn’t have my Zinfandel, I’d numb myself with food.
Two bites into my dog, my husband left for the vending machine, wishing he’d had a brat himself, and then re-appeared fifteen minutes later with a bottle of wine in each hand. “You’ll never guess what happened!” he said proudly, as if he were Gilligan, and I Ginger, and in his hands were a blow dryer and curling iron.
“Where did you get those!?” I said, with growing confidence that I was, in fact, looking at actual bottles and not hallucinating.
“I met a wine salesman in the lobby and his meeting for tomorrow just got cancelled; he gave me the samples after he overheard me talking on my cell phone.”
“I’d sure like to know who the hell he planned to sell the wine to!" I muttered.
Now, where did I put that IV drip…