How Wine and Country Music Led to My Run-In with the Law

By Maggie Reimherr

I’m still a little rusty on this blogging thing post-hiatus. But doesn’t the old adage go, “Write what you know”? Well, what I know is that once, not very long ago, a real live cop showed up at my doorstep, and I had a run-in with the law… for singing Shania Twain songs too loudly.  

For anyone who knows me as a rule follower, this revelation might be shocking. But for anyone who REALLY knows me, getting the cops called to my apartment for loud singing is just about the Maggiest thing to ever happen.

The story goes like this: my lifelong friend Sydney came from DC to Atlanta to visit me on a nice October weekend. We were friends in elementary school, the awkward days of junior high, and were also roommates freshman year of college.

Everyone knows the best reminiscing with old friends happens in someone's living room while splitting a box of wine, right? Don’t worry, it wasn’t Franzia. We’re classy Bota Box people here.

We started chatting about our Christian elementary school days, and that evolved into us watching old Stephen Curtis Chapman music videos. In the meantime, we were *diving in* deeper to that box of wine. (Props to anyone who gets that reference - you are my people.)

Eventually, our YouTube adventure led us down the path of late 90s/early 2000s girl country, unquestionably a golden age of music. We fell down the rabbit hole of “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “This Kiss” and “The Way You Love Me” and “Independence Day,” paying homage to Shania and Martina and Faith with exceedingly larger glasses of wine. By the time we reached the pinnacle of girl power country anthems, “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” we were LIT.

I don’t know how long this went on because tbh, wine skews the concept of time. What I do know is that my patient husband was in the vicinity the whole night, trying to have a peaceful Friday evening playing his way through a video game. As a sober witness, he attests that the more wine we consumed, the louder we got.

Suddenly, around 10:20 PM, there was a BANGING at the door. Sydney, channeling her 17 year old self, ran into a bedroom to hide from the cops as if we were throwing an illegal high school party. Derek, being the mature adult in the situation, answered the door. I, the consummate rule follower, immediately grabbed the remote to turn down the volume. Somewhere in my intoxicated, singing soul, I knew what was up.

Sure enough, an actual police officer stood at the door. And he was laughing at me because it appeared that ONE five foot tall woman was producing the entirety of the noise. Amidst his chuckles, he managed to get out the words "noise complaint."

Derek assured him that we’d keep the noise down, and off went the cop, presumably to laugh at my expense with the fellow officers at his precinct.

I went through several stages of shock and grief at this point.

Shock - “Oh my gosh, were we really being that loud?”

Denial - "We couldn't POSSIBLY have been creating such a disturbance to justify a call to the police!" 

Anger - “WHO THE HELL CALLS THE COPS ABOUT NOISE ON A FRIDAY NIGHT AT 10:00? IT'S NOT EVEN LATE. THIS IS AN INJUSTICE. DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT THERE IS *REAL CRIME* HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK? WHAT A WASTE OF POLICE RESOURCES!”

Depression - "I am deeply ashamed of my raucous behavior."

And finally, acceptance - “We were really loud. And this situation is HILARIOUS.”  

On one hand, it’s kind of embarrassing that several years out of college, I had the cops called on me and one other person for singing. On the other hand, it’s maybe my favorite story of all time. Either way, it’s resulted in me being the self-appointed noise police every time we have people over.

I’m deeply sorry to the neighbors who were personally victimized by having to endure the sounds of two happy women singing empowering country music. However, I would like to request that if you don’t like my singing voice, SAY IT TO MY FACE. 

Never again will I be a public nuisance by singing in my apartment. If you want to sing Shania with me, I will gladly join you at a local karaoke bar for sanctioned musical outbursts. Otherwise, you can catch my nightly performance in my car at rush hour.