Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Personal Revelation

Part of my blog is going to consist of personal observations and experiences. I feel unusual in posting about these kinds of things in such a public forum, but I don't keep a diary of my own, and a friend or two might come across this, so for that, it's worth it. Besides, any other stranger who reads this isn't in a position to judge me. My rants tend to ramble and become disjointed, so forgive me.

Anyway, I've been at my job for over 3 years, I manage a liquor store. I really like my job for what it is, it'll never take me places, but it pays pretty well and I'm pretty much my own boss. Anyway, one of the negatives involved is that I'm too good at my job and always reliable & dependable, so I work a lot of hours. Six days a week to be exact. This doesn't leave me a lot of room for a social life, or opportunities to meet new people and do stuff. This would be hard enough without the long hours this job entails. I have disabilities that affect me in various ways, so it's always been difficult for people to accept me and welcome me into their fold.

I'm going to be 30 in a few years, and have never really been in a relationship. I've been on a few dates here & there, but there's never been anyone earth-shattering or who I've felt a deep connection with. So between my disability and that time isn't waiting up for me, I do feel a little pressured to try to take things to the next level with anyone who I feel a connection with.

Unfortunately, the only place I've been able to find this with anyone, more than one person actually, is at the place where I work. It took me a really long time to realize how the business I'm in is a real no-no for forming relationships. I finally realized this when I met this one customer. She was really nice, she even called to wish me a Happy Birthday on my 28th. That made me feel like a million dollars. A few weeks later, I suggested that we hang out whenever she had time off from work. She asked what day I had off and even suggested a Thai restaurant.

I've had far too many letdowns to really get my hopes up about this. It turned out I was right, the day before we were supposed to hang out, she came in and cancelled, like you would cancel a doctor's appointment. I was also upset that she didn't suggest another day. That was nearly two weeks ago.

Why did she cancel? I still don't know, she has my number and has never called me to explain what was going on. I was very upset and distraught at first. I have trust issues due to my disabilities. Also, I blamed myself a lot for "shitting where I eat", meaning that I use my job to form personal relationships. But in the end, I realized that neither of those emotions I felt were really worth blaming myself for.

I deal with many people at my liquor store. A lot are riff-raff, homeless people or close to it. They're the derelicts, who haven't bathed in weeks, live in the same clothes for the same amount of time that they don't bathe, smell horrendously, have the shakes when they're going through withdrawals. But I also deal with decent, upstanding people who are clean, coherent, have jobs, drive nice cars. It took me a long time to realize that besides the differences in hygeine, social status, and income, these two groups of people really are not that different.

As normal and well-balanced as someone might seem, the fact that they're regular customers at a liquor store shows that they have problems deeper below the surface. I'm not judging anybody, if anything, I'm at fault for not seeing this earlier, before I attempted to forge friendships (or more) with a couple of customers. Someone who comes in two-to-three times a week, and buys a 1.5 liter bottle of red wine, or someone who comes in once a week and buys one or two boxed wines, needs alcohol as a part of their regular day. This says quite a bit about where they are in their lives. The darkest point of my life was in the 2nd year of being away at college, away from home. I wasn't making friends, no one gave a shit about me, so I took whatever money I had (which wasn't a lot) and spent it on beer and liquor. That was the only time in my life when booze was a part of my everyday.

All I can feel, is that I'm kind of like a drug-dealer. I'm much nicer than a drug dealer, and my job is sanctioned by the state, but I'm similar to a dealer in some respects. We both sell goods to people that are meant to give them temporary relief from the tedium and the anguish of their everyday lives. If these people didn't have problems or serious issues in their lives, there's a fair chance I wouldn't know them, as they wouldn't come to my store. I can only vow to do my job in a professional way in the future, and try not to get too close to people who obviously have problems to sort through.

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