Wednesday morning I take a trip with Mom. First stop, Wings! I’m shocked at how amazing it really is. So many awesome things to buy. I want everything. I mean, I could do my Christmas shopping here. I make sure to pick up a shark tooth necklace for Kelly (she regretted it when she didn’t buy it for herself). Next stop, the grocery store. Mom said she wasn’t going to do any grocery shopping while she was down in the Outerbanks. She came prepared with everything and if we don’t have it then we don’t have it. (This is probably her third trip to the store.) Next up, the liquor store. Pick up some Bacardi and strawberry daquiri mix and an assortment of other liquors. Mom pays for everything but the guy still asks to see my ID. And to think, I just had a very intelligent conversation with him about strawberry daquiris. I did, though, forget that I have a glittery tattoo on my face. We adorned ourselves in fake tattoos for the Beer Olympics. They don’t come off as easy as you’d think.
Walk out to the car and pile everything in. Mom starts the car and puts it in reverse. Slowly begins to back out when a car pulls into the spot one spot away from us. But the car doesn’t stop and smashes right into the brick wall of the liquor store. Mom puts the car in park and we both throw our doors open. Should I call 9-1-1?? “Yes.” I get out and call the number while Mom runs around to the driver side of the smoking vehicle. The first thing I think of is Pelican Brief when Julia Roberts’ boyfriend tries to start the car and then it blows up. This car has smoke coming out everywhere and I’m afraid it’s going to explode. I’m ridiculous.
The person driving the car is an older lady with white hair and thin-rimmed glasses. She looks scared and startled by the whole thing. The air bag went off and by doing so, smashed her glasses into her face, so her face is bleeding. As soon as I call 9-1-1 I realize I have no idea where I am. I run to the front to look at the sign. Umm…ABC Liquors. “Which one?” Umm… “Manayunk?” The lady on the other line must be going by my area code. I guess they have ABC Liquors in Philly. No, let me call you back. Run over to the passenger side door. Mom. Where are we? The lady is adamant that I don’t call the police. Ummm. “Can you call my husband?” Sure, what’s his number. Her hands are shaking as she recalls his number. I dial it and hand her the phone. As it’s ringing, she says to me, “He never answers his phone.” Well then what are we calling him for, Lady? “Hi Chuck. It’s me. I got into an accident. I’m at the liquor store.” I think she asks him to come get her. Hands me back the phone. “He’s painting the house. He won’t hear the phone.” Oh geez. Mom keeps her talking as I call back the police to tell them we’re in Nags Head. Turns out, she has Alzheimers. Meant to press the brake and pressed the gas instead. Mom keeps talking to her. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. I feel awful.” “It’s OK.” “Not for you, for me! I’m going to be in so much trouble.”
An older man walks out of the liquor store and sees the car smashed into the building. I think he asks if I know her. No, just saw it and called the police. “Yea, the owner just called, too.” How did he know? “Because all the liquor on that side of the store came crashing down onto the ground. Broken bottles everywhere.” An ambulance and about four cop cars pull into the parking lot. Must not have too much going on in Nags Head. They all look like they’re about 18 years old. Mom stays with her as long as she can until she has to get out of the way. “They’re not being very nice.” What assholes. She’s an old lady. I keep calling Chuck. Leave him one message to let him know his wife is being taken to the hospital and then I just keep calling. He never answers. The children try to coax her out of the car and into the ambulance. She reluctantly let’s them help her out. She can walk, thankfully. We wait until she’s in the ambulance. Stand over at the car. Mom waves to her. She whispers I love you to Mom. It’s just about the cutest thing.
Well after that, I need a drink. Let’s go to Chips! It was part of the deal if I was coming with her, and I can’t imagine a better time than now to head that way. I think it’s really close. Like 10 minutes away. It’s not. On the way down with Kelly, after we went to Chips I thought our house was really close. I guess it wasn’t. We keep driving until just as Mom is about to turn around, I see it. Yes! Chips! It’s as empty as it was when Kelly and I came. We decide to do a beer tasting. We’ll share a sampler. The younger guy is here again and I stand at the bar to look at the taps as he explains each one to me. We have a beer conversation. He walks out to change one of the kegs and Mom just looks at me. “I’m sure he’s really taking you seriously when you’re talking about beer with a glittery tattoo on your face.” Um, you’re wearing slippers. Mom walked out of the house this morning and didn’t realize until we left the grocery store that she was wearing slippers. It’s fine, we’re on vacation.
Back at the house, No Cups Wednesday has already begun. It was Kelly’s idea. One day on vacation we have to drink out of anything that’s not a cup. People definitely got creative. We didn’t say what we were bringing, so everyone’s no-cups are a surprise. Chris and Kuda are drinking out of sand pails – Chris a superhero pail and Kuda a Disney princess pail. They’re awesome. And they even have little shovels they can sip the drink out of. Muffy has one of those huge UTZ pretzel containers. She’s connected a few straws in there so that it reaches the bottom – it’s that big. Kelly is drinking out of a small bathtub and I have a dinosaur. Kelly brought it for me because I didn’t have room to pack anything else. He’s adorable, but small. Not too much alcohol can fit in there, but it works out because I’m struggling to drink today. He also makes it all worth it because you have to take off his head to fill it up, so I had the chance to throw off his head and say, “Our pets heads are fallin’ off!” (You have to say it like Jim Carey for the desired effect.)
Everyone else proceeds to get hammered. I mean, really. We play some Baggo in the backyard, and then everyone gets in the hot tub. This is where the drunkenness really starts to be seen. Kelly and Muffy especially. Muffy keeps drowning. She slips and just disappears under the water, leaving nothing but her big hat. Her cute outfit today and her dramatic flare deemed her to be the real housewife of the Outerbanks. I get out of the hot tub before them. Jeff, Muffy, and Kelly proceed to drink red sangria rather quickly.
Once inside and settled, Muffy disappears. Someone goes to check on her. She is sprawled out on her bed, still wearing her bathing suit and cover-up, completely passed out. Goodnight Muffy! Kelly and I shower – I listen to her talking to herself the whole time she’s in there. Now that we’re all fresh and clean, we head upstairs. Christine is also in rare form. “Um, I think I’m going to be in bed by 8 tonight. I’m not gonna make it. What time is it?” It’s 8:13 Chris.
We all sit down at the kitchen table to play Oh Hell, the Stetson family favorite. Kelly watches. I switch to red wine; I just want to have a mellow, card-playing night. Mom gets first and I get second. Boom. Can’t believe Kelly and Christine are still up, but we’re all waiting for Sarah and Courtney to arrive. They finally do. It’s late. They’re all yelling and talking about drinking and ready to get things started. Ugh. Let’s just play a board game. But Sarah won’t have it. Totally lays on the guilt trip. “If the situation were reversed, this wouldn’t be happening.” I don’t even know what that means. If I got there really late all I’d want to do is drink wine and hang out. Guess that’s just me. But it is Kelly and my last night, so we should make the most of it since it’s our only night with Court and Sarah. What games are you even talking about playing? Beer pong? I don’t want to play beer pong. They make drinks in their no-cups: Sarah a tea kettle and Court a salad dressing bottle. Sarah goes through a number of different games to play, trying to make them sound like the best idea ever while also reminding us of how lame we’re being. She’s the drinking Nazi.
She talks about this one game called You Got Served or Blackout or something that sounds fun. OK, fine, let’s play that. I switch modes. This is no sitting game. I jump up, cringing at the thought of switching from wine to beer, but if you’re going to twist my arm…
Naturally, red cups are involved. This is probably the worse game for most of the drunk people to be playing right now. Kelly is hammered but decides to play anyway. Chris is, of course, up for a competitive drinking game. And might I add, hilarious. I’ve never enjoyed her company more than tonight (not totally true, but she’s being really fun). So it’s me, Sarah, Kuda, Court, Herron, Chris, and Kelly. After Sarah’s explanation, Kelly still has no idea what’s going on. And so it begins. “I meannnn, I’m gonna die. I meannn, we’re all gonna die.” As the game goes on, Kelly still doesn’t get it. We’re 30 minutes into it when Kelly stops. “Wait! What is the point of this game?” Most of us are about to pee ourselves. Finally, Sarah announces that there’s a tap-out rule. You can tap out of the game at any time. Hmm, interesting timing. But Kelly still refuses. She keeps saying, “I’m totally fine.” When Kelly is no longer contributing to the game, Sarah puts on her teacher voice. “Sweetie, you’re done.” Kelly reluctantly stops playing. Grabs a gluten-free beer and sits and watches us. I feel like she thinks she has to stay up. Kel, you can go to bed if you want. “I’m totally fine.” Everybody is getting a little loud with this game, and we’re right next to my parents bedroom. I keep telling them to be quiet. Shhhhhhh! Herron talks back to me in a hushed voice. “Hey guys, get really drunk and be quiet about it.” Kelly continues to open beers, leave them full, and open another one. This is turning into one hell of a night.