If it’s Sunday, you can find me at SuperTarget. It’s not that it’s the first place I’d go to have a religious experience – most of the time, I just mix it up with the other faithful to round up weekly provisions. I just read that one of Target’s Chicago-area locations applied for a “consumption on premises” liquor license so customers could roam the aisles with their wine glass in hand.
Be still, my heart.
If there’s anything I’d love more than ambling about the aisles of Target during my weekly pilgrimage, it would be ambling with a glass of wine! Archer Farms Cuvée – why not? Sure, my bullseye-topped bill would quadruple under the strain of (slightly) more impaired judgment about the absolute necessity of my purchases. Yes, as part of my ongoing commitment to enjoying responsibly, I’d need an Über to get me and my groceries home. Maybe I wouldn’t have a legitimate need for the yoga tote, the tent or the bicycle lock, but odds are I wouldn’t care.
When I think about Chicagoans swilling their wine and their >3.2 beer without a care in the world as they slump over their swerving red carts on a Sunday, it only adds to the clear-eyed angst brought on by yet another reminder that we’re staring down the barrel of 2016, yet we’re still held hostage by circa-1890 blue laws that prohibit free trade (and free wine samples) on Sunday. Did we lose a bet in 1939 or something?
The first time I ever heard of a “blue law” was when I was a kid. The verbal laundry list a woman gave me of what was then or had been previously restricted on Sundays was so absurd, I was convinced she was senile, lonely and lost inside her head, which must have been as overstocked as the TG&Y where we’d met. Confusing and bizarre as I found the concept, though, there was one particular detail, the “don’t do anything on a Sunday that looks like work,” on which I became a convert right on the spot, and I’ve faithfully stuck to it.
Monday through Saturday, I might never give into to my vices. But when Sunday rolls around – forgive me, Father – I’m filled with an irreverent desire to buy a car, eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the way to the bank where I’ll work out the financing, and then drive my new car to Hobby Lobby on my way to the liquor store (or grocery store, dare I dream) to buy a bottle of (refrigerated) champagne to celebrate the day’s purchases.
By way of a free trade disclaimer, businesses that prefer not to open on Sundays aren’t the issue. Just ponder this for a minute. Americans can send a fiery space shuttle screaming into outer space to do cool stuff in the ether for 11 or 12 days and, to everyone’s amazement, its crew can navigate the shuttle back, pierce the atmosphere for re-entry and land the dang thing safely at a predetermined location. But back on Earth, some businesses that do want to open on Sundays or sell products in legitimate retail outlets are prohibited by archaic laws that have really outstayed their welcome at the free trade party.
I usually don’t dabble in politics (you’re welcome), but I did take interest in some recent alcohol reform proposals contained in Senate Bill 383. Maybe one day in our lifetime, we’ll be able (or ABLE) to buy a cold adult beverage (stronger than 3.2) from a grocery store and we won’t have to suffer through the confused reaction out-of-staters always have: “OK, what now? You can’t buy wine at the grocery store? Any grocery store? Not even SuperTarget? Whyyyyyy noooooot?”
Whatever the reasons Sundays are still blue – the history, the politics, the religion, the prevailing culture of another time, the lost bet – could not hold up in an argument in favor of some pretty basic freedoms that, on any day of the week, sound a lot like cars driving off a dealer’s lot and the gentle clinking of wine glasses on the domestics aisle of SuperTarget. – Lauren Hammack