Having lived in “Strange Maryland” for less than a month – which I am VERY happy about, by the way, so no need for anyone to get their panties in a bunch over anything that seems critical – I have observed some strange things about Maryland:
ONE: Many states sell beer and wine in the grocery stores. Hell, in the last state I lived in, you could buy a bottle of wine at CVS, Target, or the local mini-mart. Rite Aid had practically become solely a wine and beer store in my old ‘hood.
So, to have to pick up a steak and salad at Giant, THEN make a completely separate stop for some pinot grigio and Heneiken, well, that is just making life unnecessarily complicated. Who has time for that?
Why does Maryland treat wine the way Seattle treats pot? Do we need a special wine dispensary? And before anyone tells me, yes, I know that the liquor distributors would fight a policy change tooth and nail because they would lose half their business if people could buy beer at Safeway like a normal person does in the rest of the country (Only we call it Publix or Winn Dixie.)
TWO: Then, I keep seeing this all over the place:
Glaringly colorful, I couldn’t help but wonder, what is that ubiquitous image that is literally plastered on everything? I thought it resembled something a Nascar driver might wear on his jumpsuit or an emblem on his helmet. I mean, it really is that colorful. Then, I thought maybe it was a Scotsman’s ancestral Coat of Arms, but why would everyone be wearing that on a t-shirt? Maybe it was some kind of wacky rug? Or an advertisement for an upcoming fun fair or medieval reenactment festival?
But no, it is The Maryland State Flag!
I defy any other state to make the gutsy move Maryland has with this flag. This is a state emblem that is not afraid to make some noise. This flag is no wallflower and neither is Maryland. You go, girl!
THREE: Getting a driver’s license in Maryland is the equivalent of receiving high-level security clearance with the CIA. I am not kidding. In many states, all you have to do to get a new license is give them your old one from the previous state, with maybe an additional proof of residence. The assumption being that that state did its due diligence by making sure you are who you say you are.
But no, not in Maryland. You must bring the previous state’s license sure, but you must also have either your birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport, your original social security card, and not one, but two, documents proving residency (imprinted checks, a credit card or utility bill, deed/mortgage bill/apartment lease, etc.) That is five pieces of documentation!
So, at my advanced age, I don’t even want to know the procedure for acquiring my birth certificate from my home state of Kentucky. I haven’t needed a birth certificate since youth sports. And my passport expired two weeks ago! Arghhhh! So, yeah, I sent off the application and $110 required to get a new passport and then I will go back to get my highly secure Maryland state driver’s license which I intend to flash like a badge on my way into FBI headquarters.