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How K-Mart Changed My Life

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post #56
bio: kristen

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My father relates a cute story about me as a toddler.

I loved k-mart. It was my favorite store. In fact, my name is kristen martin, and I always thought that children would tease me and call me K Mart, but so far no takers...

Apparently I was wearing this snazzy pricey faux fur black coat.
Someone complimented me on my style and asked me where I got the coat.
Although it was purchased from Davison's department store, I said 'k-mart'. awwwwwhhhh. cute. Daddy was embarrassed. Honestly, if I'm around him and other people for more than an hour, the story will come up. Honestly, there aren't many stories da can tell as he wasn't really involved in my life all that much (timewise).

Anyhoo, here I am at age fifteen. Laurie M___ was in my homeroom. She was a cheerleader who was nice to me. At the time, I was still chasing the dragon's tail after reading such bookfair fare as "the popularity contest".

She worked at k-mart. I was a bit shocked as I would have thought k-mart would be a non-glamour job. I would never have considered working there, but as all things, it's nice to have a forerunner. So she suggested I apply there. They were looking for help. (As an aside, Laurie M. also invited me to Young Life ((a christian youth thing)). Holy shit it was appalling. Picture it: I arrive on my own -borrowing my mom's grey honda accord with pricey gold hubcaps and blaupunkt speakers - which was later to be my first car. They talk about god and shit, and I see all the hoi polloi testifying about god and stuff. This was the drinking crass popular crowd. Hypocrisy in action. It was heady, and it took some time to become jaded... but that's just an aside...). I lived in East Cobb County, Georgia. We were all rich, and there was no store that would be gauche?

Anyhooo, I apply. Laurie's name gets me the job. I get my worker's permit from the school counselor (well one of them. In my day, we had several). My mom co-signs on my first checking account, and bob's your uncle: I'm a teen with disposable income.

I was a checker. One of the people at the cash register for about a month? Through my diligence and non-stupidity, I soon got the golden egg: promotion to a department.

Appliances and Jewelry. It was heady folks.

Having a department opens a whole thing for you. You are only called to the cash registers to open a drawer if they are SWAMPED (which was about once a week or a bit more).

A different layer of my social life grew at k-mart.

K-Mart changed my life.

Eric L. was soon moved to appliances with me (we only covered jewelry if someone needed a watch battery when Don the fulltimer wasn't there).
He went to school at Lassiter.

I remember when he got hired. It was funny to see this long haired guy who adored Z. Cavericci's and Duran Duran and Paulina Porzikova working the cash registers. It was fun to pick and choose the buddies.

We were pretty much all comrades in arms at K-Mart. Who took it seriously. The only person was Pam from high school who became the cash registers manager - the one you call for a void. She worked there well into college...

Eric and I were the part-timers in appliances. Billy - a longtimer- would help us out from time to time -as would Sammy. Mostly it was Eric and i hanging out in the stock room and talking about shit. Who remembers what. Also, we got to be the ones who could open up a tape to put in the demo stereo outfits. For a time i was obsessed with "for your love" by the Byrds.

We also sold cameras and did the film developing thing. Honestly folks. I knew jack shit about cameras, but I would totally just read the box to you when you would buy the camera or ask me questions.
K-Mart brought out the bullshit artist in me, but I bullshat with love.
I figured all you really wanted was an answer.

In the summer, Mr. Bright moved me to the garden shop. I got to work outside. This is where I hung out with the poythrus brothers. I also met

Dave Gober here (I'm sure he won't mind rich). What a last name. The first memory I have of him is him wearing a Hot Tuna t-shirt. He made me laugh. We would exchange k-mart mocks to one another. (Oh yes, often we would have fun with the intercom system in a subtle way. They all loved my delivery. I even got to do a few blue light special announcements). Dave knew how to drive a forklift. He thought his fork lift license was hilarious.

I remember Scotty Poythrus saying to me "you know kristen, it's a strange man who you will ever have as a boyfriend." Righto. Dave Gober became my first boyfriend (besides Dan the Senior ((to my junior)) who I will tell about in the later - suffice it to say he dumped me on the way to six flags and said that "pretty girls make graves" reminded him of me).

Dave was older and hung with an older crowd. He had dropped out of kennesaw college and was looking for life. Mike, his pal who I had a huge crush on, told Dave i would break his heart.

K-Mart was a social network. We all went out together.
My heart did a tumble when Brian Breed (a junior to my senior) came in the store to see me. Nothing ever happened, but I still have a crush on him. He was in the art crowd I craved desperately by my junior year. I never made it. I was in the netherland crowd - smart odd kid crowd?

Our managers were hilarious. One was a buttoned up secret goof. One was an ambitious smart flowsy blond. One was a secret scoundrel who i adored. Hell I adored them all, but the scoundrel was the first one of whom I learned the existence of rim jobs (via dave).

Such characters. My favorite memory is of one of the Indian cashiers (they were never moved to departments) asking for a price check on "ramses condoms". I also bought my first (of two that I've purchased) pregnancy test from k-mart. I told one of the fat twins that it was a joke for the girl party I was going to.

Dave Gober wanted to marry me. Even at 17, I realized this was insane, but I was weaker then and crueler. I never broke up with him. I just never called him once I drove away to college. (I have gotten payback god. please forgive me.)

So, I was at UGA getting my freshman fifteen and living at Brumby - the virgin vault with my high school friend cindy who was joining a sorority. My closer friends, Allison and Stacey had gone to Georgia Tech. I was rather stuck with cindy, and the whole sorority thing did not fit with me however hard I tried.

I remember calling Erik (oh yeah, he was erik with a K) at his dorm - historic Reed Hall in the center of campus and downtown athens. (brumby was 70's on the very outskirts - close to Milledge Ave (frat/sor row).
I would call him when I was lonely in these first few weeks. We would talk for hours.

He strongly suggested that I transfer to Reed Hall. It was co-ed.

I did, and my life changed. All of it started at Reed.

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