Friends, I’m disappointed to report that very little Appalachian drama emerged at my daughter’s dance nationals in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Due to COVID, there weren’t many teams competing, and each studio had its own dressing room, which significantly cut down on the backstage theatrics and costume mishaps. Furthermore, audience members had to sit individually, 6 feet apart, making it difficult to eavesdrop on mothers living vicariously through their besparkled children. In fact, only one story emerged as column-worthy, but it does involve booze. Here goes.
Our hotel room came with a margarita machine, and after 12 hours in a freezing conference center, its promise of warmth and dulled senses definitely held appeal. I had a small window to find tequila in preparation for the aforementioned deliciousness, but as I headed out onto the Vegas-like strip, I realized that my phone had no signal. Never mind. I had a rough layout of the land and figured I’d drive a loop until I saw a 21st Amendment, or its equivalent. Imagine my disbelief when after 25 minutes of harrowing traffic and endless stoplights, I still had no hard alcohol in hand. I could literally have luxuriated in leather, fudge and moonshine factories; ridden go-karts, Ferris wheels and SlingShots; bought a goat; or attended a Hatfield/McCoy, Pirate or Civil War dinner show (do you think the Union still wins?) but could not locate a stupid liquor store. Not one! Now, what’s a strung-out dance mom supposed to do?
She drives to Publix for cheap champagne and creatively turns her marg maker into a bellini mixer. And life is good in Appalachia, albeit boring.