You Gave the Wine List to Me?

closeThis post was published 11 years 10 months 19 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

I told myself I probably wouldn’t blog about New York, but I decided this would be a worthwhile story. (Not to mention the fact that I promised a certain person I’d publish this; you know who you are.) Of all the things that happened in New York City, this is possibly the funniest, and the most unlikely to happen back here in MN. Aside from Broadway shows, that is.

NCT Dean's List WineImage via WikipediaPicture this: Times Square, a moderately upscale Asian restaurant, and a party of five. Two mothers, three “children” (though none of us were under 14). The age spread for us “kids” was 14, 17, and 23.

I suppose I should explain the situation a little better. We went to New York with friends of ours from Minnesota. The mother was a tutor of mine for a few years back, helping me with the Kumon Reading program. My mother ended up in college classes with Alia (the 23-year-old who has now, with the new year, become a blogger)

We came in reasonably late, after seeing Grease on Broadway. Alia had just gotten back from a trip-within-a-trip spending Christmas with a friend in Connecticut, narrowly missing the Broadway show (unfortunately, I think; it was better than anything I’ve ever seen here in Minnesota). Our table received three wine lists.

Obviously our two mothers got them. However, the third one was given to me. I’m 17, four years younger than the drinking age, but I suppose it could have been an honest mistake. After all, a lot of people offer me alcoholic beverages in restaurants, and I have been mistaken for a college student many times. But Alia didn’t get one. That in itself wouldn’t be too weird, and could even be interpreted as a compliment (“You don’t look old enough to drink, miss.” That would be a compliment, no?) But the fact that I got one is very strange.

And the story gets stranger. My mother, happy-go-lucky Jew that she is (I mean that affectionately), playfully suggested that we try to trick the waitress. So I asked Alia for the wine she wanted and waited.

When the waitress returned and asked me what I wanted, I pulled my best “I do this all the time” act and ordered. She didn’t bat an eye, card me, or even give me a second look; she just took the list and went away. I tried not to laugh too much, but I guess I did, because both parents shushed me so I wouldn’t give it away.

I myself can’t stand alcohol of any kind. I only drink grape juice on Passover, and the one vodka shot I tried one Purim a few years back made my eyes water. Needless to say I had no intention of drinking the wine when it came.

A few minutes later, it did come, and the waitress set it down right in front of me. Throughout the rest of the meal, I behaved as though it were Alia’s drink, and she treated it as though we were, at worst, sharing. By that I mean she insisted on keeping it by my plate, fearful that the restaurant staff would get suspicious if it was moved to her setting. Honestly, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.

This isn’t exactly Abbott and Costello material, I know, but it’s amusing that, even in New York, underage people still get away with ordering alcohol.

Or maybe the waitress overheard our entire discussion and decided to just play along.


Enhanced by Zemanta


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.


  1. lol. This is ridiculous. Funny, incredibly funny, though. But excessively ridiculous.

    Just how old do you look? lol.

  2. At the time, I was about seventeen years and eight months old, but I’d been mistaken for ages as high as 25 before. It was very ridiculous, because as I understand liquor laws, anyone who looks to be under 30 is supposed to be carded.

  3. Heh, so even if they DID think you were over 21, they were still in violation of the law.

    What ridiculousness.

  4. Indeed. That’s why it was so utterly absurd that it even happened.

    Here in the Twin Cities, I have seen posted letters from local police departments stating that minors were sent in and instructed to attempt to buy alcohol. Maybe New York City doesn’t do that. Maybe there are just too many establishments to police.

  5. Margaret Sch.

    Actually, if the joint had been busted that night, you might have been guilty as well as the waitress. There may be some law prohibiting minors from ORDERING alcohol, who knows! (I was there and the weirdest thing about this was Voyagerfan’s bemused sheepish look the whole time!)

  6. “Bemused sheepish look” eh? Bemused, yes; sheepish, no. And I was a legal minor ordering alcohol under the direction of my mother. She would have been the guilty party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting)

Comments are subject to moderation, and are licensed for display in perpetuity once posted. Learn more.