Sunday, August 21, 2016

It will find you




     Both boys are home, briefly, in the interim between the end of their summer internships and the beginning of classes. Which explains what I was doing on the 2nd floor of Nordstrom's downtown Thursday—shopping—though, in our defense, we did all our buying at the far more reasonable H & M and Macy's.
     We blundered in, I suppose under the theory that it is somehow connected to Nordstrom's Rack, looked at the prices, then ran out shrieking as if the place were on fire, the boys in the lead. My wife and I felt we had raised them well.
     There just long enough for me to notice this big ass bar set up in the middle of Nordstrom's men's department. That's something of a trend—every supermarket worth the name has a wine bar, if not a full bar, and guys can be seen pushing their carts with one hand and drawing off their sloshing cup of brew in the other. It makes sense. The stores are desperate to make shopping in bricks-and-mortar retailers more of a destination experience, and what sweetens any destination like alcohol? Let's see Amazon do that.
     This would have been ideal for me, back in the day, and now just leaves me I suppose slightly amused, my reaction to those cruise ship ads that show the boat plying a giant martini, as if you can't drink at home but need to go to Norway to do it properly. Bars cropping up in unexpected places does echo, in my mind, back to those people I see on Twitter urging that liquor advertising be banned from the airwaves, under the See-No-Evil/Do-No-Evil rule. 
     I find that naive. When I gave up drinking, a decade ago, I immediately understood that you can't base your sobriety on not knowing where the booze is or how to find it. It's everywhere, and having a mini-Bennigan's pop up in the middle of the shirt department is a perfect example.  Even if you don't set out to find it, it will find you, so you had better be ready, particularly in this era when so many people can't sip a cocktail without first delightedly sharing a photo of it on Facebook. You can't wallpaper the world; you have to armor yourself. 

2 comments:

  1. Just noticed that you wrote about the photo. Was going to ask, "who would put a bar in the middle of a department store?" Didn't see one in their headquarters store in Seattle.

    John

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  2. Lol. I first saw this in Water Tower, shopping with my wife. She was hitting store after store, and, when she went into Nordstrom's I parked in the "husband chairs" just outside the store. She then texted me that there was was beer available, and I nearly fell over myself to check it out.

    Anyway, congrats to you , Neil, on your continuing sobriety. I enjoyed and learned from your book about it. I'm sure I'll get the new one.

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