When we were 18 or so, my best friend and I drove two hours down the coast of Georgia, from Savannah to St. Simons Island, to visit my Grandmother. It was a Sunday, and she loved to lunch on Sunday, so she offered to take us to Spanky’s, the restaurant that had recently replaced Shoneys as her favorite Sunday eatery. At Spanky’s we could watch boats on the river from our table.
Before we ordered, Grandma asked my friend and me if we wanted a drink. I knew what kind of drink she meant.
My friend and I looked at each other and giggled with our eyes. “No Grandma, we can’t. We’re not 21 yet.”
“Well, it seems rude of me to have a drink if you’re not.”
I told her, “You go ahead, Grandma, we don’t mind.”
When the waitress arrived, she recognized Grandma, chatted with her, and then asked for her drink order.
“I’ll have my regular please.”
Our server shifted on her feet. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith, I can’t serve alcohol before noon on Sunday.”
Grandma did a little shake of her blonde hair and said, “Oh brother. Just bring me a Diet Coke then.”
She rummaged through her purse while the waitress went to get our drinks, and after some digging, she pulled out a prescription pill bottle. After our drinks arrived, Grandma looked my friend and me in the eye and said, “You have to be prepared for situations like this.”
Then she unscrewed the lid on the plastic orange pill bottle and poured the emergency stash of gin into her icy cold Coke.