Throughout your four years of college, you meet the people who will influence and direct you the most. A group of ride or die pals, that professor who went the extra mile to help you get an A, the random adviser who worked you through switching majors (for a third time). These people get us through some pretty important milestones, but in our moments of shining glory, we often forget the little people. College is tough, and we need these people to help us stay sane. The people who got us through the day to day grind. The people who never judge. That special someone. I’m referring, of course, to that heaven-sent individual: the liquor store guy.
These angels can be found littered about every college town, and like all great relationships, mine happened by chance. It all started freshman year. After a long hard day of waking up at noon to attend my intro Psych class, sometimes I just needed to unwind. Most functioning adults would exercise or perhaps read a good book, but not I. Instead I’d gather my band of miscreants and head to the shady liquor store near our dorms to load up on Moscato. There he was, bored and exhausted behind the counter. He gave us a half-hearted “hello” and there was no turning back. The trips became more frequent, my taste in wine matured from $7.00 white to $7.00 red, and our friendship grew deeper.
Now, two years later, I can honestly say that my man Rocky and I are the most unlikely of BFFs. Tragic? Maybe. Convenient? Absolutely. When I need to stock up for a ladies night, I know right where to take my hard-earned money (read: allowance from Dad). Nevermind that I just sat four very large wine bottles on the counter. Nevermind that my fake says I’m 5’2 and was born in 1989. These things are trivial to friends. I know that on any given day, I can waltz in and talk about a difficult class, the boy who won’t text back, or why Taylor Swift’s skanky war path through the hot men of the world is ruining my life. No matter the topic, I can always rely on the praise and advice of a middle-aged Indian man. Sometimes this place gives away free pizza on Friday, and you best believe I’m always the first to hop on that train.
These people see us at our best and our worst. Post-finals victory run, game day hammered, and post-Netflix binge when you haven’t seen light for three days and just really need some chips and salsa. They’re there to greet us with a grin on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes. Boys come and go, but this is a friendship for the ages.
So no matter what college town you live in, whether it is an uppity liquor store or a gas station that may or may not hack your debit card, take the time to appreciate the silent heroes that put up with our college student bullshit. They truly are the real MVPs. This one’s for you, Rocky..