Unfinished rum is not trash

A memory

It’s 1998 and Erin has asked me to move into the sorority house with her for the summer. My first summer away from home! I borrow my parents’ Previa van and load up my belongings from my dorm room, then swing over to Erin’s dorm and we load up her belongings.

One of the things she’s brought along for the new place is a half-finished bottle of Bacardi. She puts it in the glove box for safekeeping, and we drive the 2 minutes to the sorority house to unpack.

Wow, what a great house! 8 girls living across the street from the fraternity house. Our dream summer, about to begin (and oh, what a summer it was!) We unpack, got settled, and immediately start enjoying our first taste of real freedom.

A few days later, I am out with my parents for lunch, and my mom breaks out a brown bag. “You left something in the van,” she says. Uh oh. Damn Erin and her rum!

“Umm … What?” I say. She hands me the bag, I look in. “That’s not mine!”

My parents look at each other. Riiight. “Was anyone else in the car?” they ask.

I can’t throw my new roomie under the bus. Hmmm. Think, think, think. “Yearbook staff!” I blurt out. “I took the yearbook staff to K-Mart. … I don’t know all of them very well … maybe it was one of them … ”

They don’t believe me, or maybe they do. But the travesty is, Mom stops at the next trash can she sees. She looks at Dad, “Should we throw it away? It’s perfectly good liquor … but we don’t know whose it is …”


At 20 years old, a bottle of liquor is not the easiest thing to come by. And there it was. In the trash.

This probably goes without saying … but once I got back to the house and told Erin the deal, there was actually a minute or two long discussion about whether we should go back for that bottle …



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