Jeff and Marquita

I hate change. I like to think that I’m a person who embraces change. I preached embracing change when I was in the newspaper business. I still preach it in the nonprofit business. But in my own life, I hate change.

Jeff and Marquita run the Daily’s convenience store where the Mayhews have a second home. Mark goes there every day for cigarettes. Noah stops in almost every day on his way to work at Claire’s in the mall for an energy drink.  I have not yet figured out why an 18-year-old needs an energy drink. I have gone all my life without ever consuming one and I have yet to faint dead away from exhaustion.

And I head to the Daily’s for my morning diet Coke in a used Styrofoam cup that I cart everywhere until it springs a leak. Have I mentioned that I’m also cheap?

But today I am shocked to the core. My beloved Jeff and Marquita, who greet me every morning, are leaving for another store. They are needed elsewhere. To do important work for the company. But wait a minute? Am I not “important work”? Is the care and carbonated feeding of Catherine not right up there with containing greenhouse gasses?

This may sound crazy, but I have always been comforted knowing that Jeff and Marquita are waiting for me. They have watched Noah grow from a gangly teenager into a fairly polished young man. They have heard about my BBQ contests, the pain of dealing with a flooded building and funerals at church. They have offered advice and wisdom, smiles and jokes.

And now they are going elsewhere. To a far-off store on Old Hickory Boulevard near Nipper’s Corner. It will be a good move financially for both of them. And I’m sure there are nice customers at the Daily’s near Nippers Corner who will appreciate them.

And I’m sure that whoever takes their place at my Daily’s on Franklin Road will be nice, too. But they will not be the same. They will not be Jeff and Marquita. Godspeed, you two. Godspeed.

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