1. Today is/was my last day working at my dad's store. "My" location is closing tomorrow.
2. Twenty-two years ago, I was 8 years old and my best friend, Katie, and I hung out eating Taco Bell (as always) in the coin laundry next door, which my parents bought in conjunction with the dry cleaners. (We subsequently sold the coin laundry a couple years later and bricked up the windows and doors so that the two properties were officially separated. But in the meantime, it was a good place for a little kid or two to hang out and be out of the way, but still in view of the parents!)
3. By the time I was 9 and tall enough to reach the rails, I was allowed to occasionally work with my mom and earn a little money.
4. One summer, Katie and I dressed up in southern belle ball gowns several mornings a week (early in the day - it was HOT in those dresses, especially in the Florida summer heat!) and held a sign advertising the store and waved at the passing cars. We made $2 an hour.
5. By the time I was 12, I had regular hours there - working some Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. Katie usually worked the other shift.
6. It was where my sister and I really, truly became friends. It was also where I fell in love with my nephew when she started working part-time and bringing him with her. She was the first of us to bring the baby to work (followed by my friend Kris and eventually myself). We all had silly dreams of the kids growing up to have their first jobs there when they were old enough.
7. There are a bunch of my friends (old and current) who have had jobs there over the years, including the girls I mentioned above (Katie, Kris, and my sister), my husband, my first boyfriend, my friends Cara, Tammy, Lindsey, Nerissa, Margie, David W, Candice, and I'm probably forgetting some of them, but that's all I've got in memory right now. It holds a huge chunk of my childhood memories, my personal history, and a lot of hours of my time for the last 22 years. I will miss it and I will miss what it represents in my life.
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