Liquor is Quicker…

Posted: December 22, 2008 in Sarah Einstein, West Virginia


Stadium Spirits, Huntington WV

Stadium Spirits, Huntington WV















I am spending most of my semester break working with my father in a liquor store in my home town.  The reasons for this vary by audience.  My father thinks I need the money.  My husband believes that I’m just trying to help out my father.  Both are right, of course, although both would deny needing my help so have to frame things the way that they have.  

The work is simple; aside from stocking shelves a few bottles at a time because I am not strong enough to lift the cases of liquor, I mostly dust or stand behind the counter watching yet another CSI or Law and Order marathon on cable.  Some days, I barely earn the minimum wage this job pays.  

Still, there are complexities.  I bristle at being spoken to rudely by underaged would-be customers; I want to say “Hey, kiddo, in real life I’m one of your instructors.”  (Although, of course, I’m not.  They go to Marshall; I am at WVU.)  A few old friends have come in to buy wine, and I find myself explaining, right off the bat, that I am here to help my father–completely leaving out the and we could use the extra money bit.  I walk a fine line with my father’s boss.  I am aware that I shouldn’t be too “uppity,” but it’s been a long time since I played the game of Yes, Boss.  I’m not good at it, and I am afraid it will reflect badly on my father, that it will seem like I’ve gotten above my raising.

I am uncomfortable selling blunt wraps–pre-rolled papers in flavors like Wet Mango, Purple Haze, and Krypto (this last, I think, is for rolling marijuana-flavored marijuana)– to the students and younger townies.  I want to lecture them, instead, on the both the dangers of drugs in general and the travesty of hiding the taste of good weed behind Jolly Rancher flavored papers.  I do neither.  Instead, I smile at everyone, make eye contact, call customers “sir” and “ma’am” even when they are young enough to be my children, and keep my tongue-clucking to myself.  

Most of the lessons I’ve had to learn this year have been about keeping my big mouth shut.  This is just another of those.  The Universe is not a subtle teacher, and I think it’s finally starting to sink in.

  1. inktarsia says:

    Spent my school breaks as a temp. Learned 10-key touch entering receipts at a dairy. Learned word processing while (unintentionally) corrupting reports at a defense contractor. I can type 100 words a minute,….had I anything to type about. You’ll have lots to type about after this break, if you resist sampling the merchandise. 😉

  2. lacegrl130 says:

    I feel like my Grandma, I worry about “the younger generation”… yesterday I was in the grocery store and an old woman knocked cereal boxes off the shelves and three teenage girls (obviously from nice homes) giggled and laughed at her and made fun. It didn’t occur to them to help her. By the time I got to her, other aged people such as myself had arrived to pick up the boxes. I decided to go to the next aisle and glare at the three rude girls. I wish I could call their mothers….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s