Rebel Without a Cooler

I took my child to the liquor store.  This is something that I generally try to avoid doing.

As we know from my visit to the beer store, I am uncomfortable buying alcohol.  I don’t know why.

I do remember as a child, when my mom would stop, on a very rare occasion to buy something for the holidays or someone’s birthday, I would get all fidgety, and kept asking my mom a hundred times if she was sure I was allowed to go in there.  I had seen the 19+ signs, and I could not be convinced that it was okay for me to be in there with her.  The whole time we were standing in line I was sure that the mini-mall security team was going to surround the place and I would be on 20/20.

I’ve always been a rule-follower.

Well except for that one time that I got drunk in grade 9.  One exception then.

Well, and there was that brief love-affair with smoking in grade 8.  But that is IT.

Oh, and some class-cutting in high-school.  Alright, so what?  Like you’re so perfect?  Isn’t there a statute of limitations on these things?  I think we’re done with this harassment, and blatant character defamation.

Like I was saying, I have always been a rule-follower.  Nerdguy always has been too.  So it is no surprise that our children have followed that path.  Not OUR rules mind you, but it’s a start.  Molly checks with me before she does anything.  In kindergarten, she was so afraid of doing something wrong, that she did nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I told her to please do something wrong.  That we would be thrilled if she got in trouble.  That just seemed to stress her out more.

On Sunday, I took Grace to the dance clothing store to look for a leotard for her gymnastics class.  The store is in an old house (it used to be my doctor’s office when I was a kid, so I promptly feel like I have malaria just pulling into the parking lot), and the tiny lot was full, so I parked in the grocery store lot across the street, and said that we would walk over.  Grace got all stressed out asking me repeatedly if we were allowed to park there if we weren’t buying anything at that plaza.  I guess I had told her before about that rule when she asked me what carpool lots are for.  I had to stage a mini-abduction as I dragged her from the car and insisted that it should be okay for the 10 minutes that we would be there, and that the lot was half-empty, so they probably wouldn’t mind.  Thank goodness the car wasn’t towed because wouldn’t that have been a kick in the crotch?

After the dance store, and fleeing from the scene of the crime driving away from the parking lot, we made a quick stop at the liquor store to pick up some wine.  Nerdguy and were celebrating the 19th anniversary of our first date, and that can’t be properly celebrated without the key ingredient that was present 19 years ago.  Alcohol.

I generally try to avoid taking the kids into the liquor store for many reasons.  The first reason being that they could break most of the contents of a Nerf store without really trying, so trusting them around all that GLASS…oh my gawd the glass…is almost daring them.

The second reason is that my kids have a fantastic way of making me look irresponsible.  I have taken Molly into the liquor store exactly once.  On my birthday a few years ago, Nerdguy and I were going to order dinner in to celebrate, and I decided that I wanted some coolers to drink (coolers…does anyone even drink those anymore…or is it like the acid washed jeans of beverages…they may have been cool once, but are not now, and some people just have trouble letting go), so on my errands with Molly we stopped at the LCBO.

When I was buckling her into her car seat, after buying my own birthday cake at the grocery store (see I told you I’m a control freak), I told Molly not to fall asleep because we were just making one more stop and it wasn’t far down the street.  Of course in the 5 minutes that it took to drive there she fell asleep…I think we were knee-deep in the fazing-out-of-naps extravaganza, where she wouldn’t nap at home, but the second a car was moving it was like she had been chloroformed.

By some miracle I managed to get the coolers, and get back up to the register without playing liquor dominoes, and everything was going quite well.

Until Molly started to talk.

She decided that she needed to share her story about our adventures of the day with the clerk.  She comes by her compulsion to do a data-dump to any unwitting person that makes eye-contact naturally.  Neither of us will ever be good secret agents.  Nor should you tell us your pin number.

Molly:  We were sleeping in our car.

Cashier:  Doing a rough mental sketch of us, while trying to act natural.

Me:  No, no.  She means that I told her not to fall asleep in the car, but she did anyway.  I was awake.

Cashier:  Gives patronizing nod

Me:  It’s my birthday.  I just wanted a drink.  I mean to celebrate.  Not like I needed a drink.  I don’t sleep in the car.

Molly:  I have twin sistahs.

Cashier:  Where are they?  (said with a suspicious eyebrow, and I know the suspicious eyebrow…it was my favourite part of being an auditor)

Me:  With their father!  At home!  Is it hot in here?

Molly was still talking, while I tried not to pass out.  If I still had any shred of credibility remaining, I am pretty sure that would be lost if I fainted.

Because the only thing worse than sleeping in your car in the parking lot of the liquor store, is sleeping on the floor of the liquor store.

PS – I got so distracted by reliving that horrible experience, and had to lie down, that I forgot to tell you the horrifying details of this week’s visit.  Grace brought her purse with us for our shopping, and for some reason that only God and the good people at Candid Camera know, she kept rummaging through her purse and trying to hand me money.  “Here is a dollar for your wine Mummy.”  “Oh that’s fine honey, I have enough money.”  “But here, I can help you pay.  I want to.”  “You keep your money.  Thank you.”  Eventually my voice turned to a threatening hiss said through my clenched smile.  “Close. Your. Purse. Now.”

Why on earth, does she pick the liquor store to be the place that she suddenly becomes independently wealthy?  Knowing my luck I would be arrested for buying liquor for a minor.  I wouldn’t last a day in prison.

As the final blow to my self-esteem, she generously offered to help me carry the wine because I had “so many bottles.”  And then I picked up one more bottle.  It was that kind of day.


  1. says

    oh frick i just spat out coffee reading this…you have a gift of humor! Thank you for reminding me to see the humor in life with kids who are not always/never “appropriate”

  2. says

    Thank you so much for this post …. you are definitely a Mom I can relate to! 🙂

    Maybe the funniest thing of all is that my (now 16yr old) daughter posted this on my FB wall because she found it so funny!

    I also totally agree regarding coffee … and am close friends with other moms across the world who feel the same way! Hopefully, this will be the start of another beautiful friendship1 🙂

    • says

      That IS funny that your teenager is the one that pointed you here! I hope she learned all sorts of lessons about the evils of the liquor store. And about how difficult it is to even GET to the liquor store with children. I really don’t know why my blog isn’t part of the high school curriculum. Who do I speak to about that?

      Glad you found your way here, and welcome! Coffee does have a way of uniting people doesn’t it?

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