..from Long John Silver’s to (can’t remember the name) privately owned Video rental store. I got the job mostly because of my (then) charming personality and (then) cute teenage physique. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was dating the owner’s nephew..but of course that’s purely coincidence.
Side story here: the nephew (and via genetics of course also the Aunt and Uncle) hailed from Pakistan. Not directly, they had just lived in England. England apparently has a very large population of Pakistani. Who knew? So they had these adorable Pakistani/English accents that were just wonderful. Until I visited them at home. Rahim (the nephew, aka my boyfriend) lived with his Aunt and Uncle so he could “get an American education, and live the American dream.” Though I’m suspicious of that now, looking back. English educations are significantly better..but maybe that’s just the private sector? Moving along..I would visit Rahim at the home of his Aunt and Uncle. Mostly we would go there after tennis practice (we were on the same High School team). So I would walk in sporting my tennis shorts and a tank top..and his Aunt would scream something at her children, followed by them running to their rooms. Dodging her death-glares, the first time I encountered this I whispered “What??” to Rahim. His response? “She’s telling the children “do not look at the white woman! go to your rooms now!!!” We retreated quickly to his room to listen to music and hang out. However..by her standards apparently I was not a “nice young lady” (I’m paraphrasing for her to keep this PG) because I showed arms and legs..but mostly because I was in a room alone with her nephew. Really, I’m surprised she didn’t check my virginity on the way out. He was a perfect gentleman though, and I was a lady despite what she inferred. We didn’t date long ..we both just sort of ended up going separate ways.
Back to work: Best job for a teenager to have, hands down. Or..up if you’re doing the wave in the wake of it’s awesomeness. I watched movies and occasionally waited on the 3 or 4 customers we had per day. We did get pre-release copies to view at home, to report back and give him our opinions on. We got to keep all of those because they were stamped with the big “NOT FOR SALE, PREVIEW ONLY” nastiness across the front. Part of the job I didn’t like: the “adult” room. I wasn’t allowed in there and I was completely ok with that. Skeevy folks ventured back there, only to return 30 minutes later looking flushed and trying to discreetly hand me a movie like it was a soda from a convenience store. “nothing to see here folks, just getting my soda…” but the whole time their eyes were darting around the store, outside to the parking lot, sometimes they would flash up at me but quickly back down again…”who is looking? who is seeing me buy this? Does this girl know what it is? She has to! This is embarrassing”. I’ve never worked at a convenience store but I’m pretty sure that’s not the reaction you get when ringing up a soda.
Aside from that part…good job. At night I would work in the store alone (not the best part of town..looking back..but I was never afraid. The fearlessness of youth 😉 ) I would turn the music up really loud and sing..so much so that I would get looks from the “gangstas” walking by. I say “gangstas” in parentheses because this is Brazoria County here..not Houston’s 5th Ward. No one ever messed with me though. I think they all thought I was a little “off” in the head. They came in a lot, right before closing. Walk around not really looking at anything, trying to watch me from the corner of their eye. Trying to look in the security mirror so they could look at me without “looking” at me..sometimes venture to the adult section..most of the time just leave without getting anything. Rahim would come a lot if I worked in the evenings. I think he was worried. So he would help me close up and walk me to my car. Unless his Uncle came by, then he would hide because he wasn’t supposed to be there.
Good job, but the busines was not booming. He had to end up letting everyone go and close up the store. Last I heard, Rahim was working at his brother’s convenience store in Houston. I have no idea what happened to the Aunt, Uncle..or their many children that I corrupted with my barren legs.