Liquor Store Friendships

Maybe in my time as a beer rep, I forgot proper liquor store etiquette (which I’m now told is to simply go purchase your alcohol and leave, and not go buy something and drink with the owner for awhile). Or maybe I just love making friends. Anyway, I went into a liquor store on my way home tonight for a bottle of wine and the employee greeted me so warmly and was so sweet. We exchange some small talk at the register as I buy my wine and when my relationships come up casually, he says, “you should talk to me about this! We have a glass of wine!” And I responded, “sure, sometime we totally will!” Thinking it’s one of those plans that will never actually come to fruition. And he says, “okay, please go get my keys from my car, I was warming it up to leave, but now I will get us the wine.” Well. I already agreed to this, and I guess I’m doing this now. Plus, I’ve had plenty of drinks with liquor store owners! Always as a beer rep, and always while working, so I guess it’s a little different just agreeing to a glass of wine while not in that situation, but whatever. I agree that this is a good time for some wine, go get Singh his keys, and return to the liquor store and follow him and a bottle of Pinot noir to the upstairs office. I fail to register that this is abnormal behavior.
So Singh and I start talking about my relationship issues, and he brings up the difference between American men and Indian men. I ask for more details, and he kindly obliges. He shows me pictures of his nieces wedding in New Jersey. It is gorgeous, and I decide I want to marry an Indian man. At one point, Singh grabs my hand and tells me, “We are friends now. You never be afraid to ask me anything! I will not be being offended!” We laugh, and have more wine. After a little over an hour of philosophical conversations, comparing cultures, and giggling about how ridiculous people are, I decide that I should perhaps stop drinking wine with the random person I met an hour ago and leave the attic of this closed liquor store to go home like a normal person would have done after making their alcohol purchase.
But seriously, even though following the owner of a liquor store upstairs to drink wine at 10pm in a closed liquor store on a Sunday night might sound weird, it sure is a raging good time, for real.

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