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Conversation with Kristina Parker

Parker, Kristina
Lorenz, Phillip
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Childhood adventures
Kristina Parker talks about visiting England, working in her father's liquor store, and dealing with her mother's second marriage.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Phillip Lorenz interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
KP (Kristina Parker): OK. My first trip to England I was 14 and I went with my mom and my step dad because he's English and his whole family lives in York and Manchester, and I was really excited and really nervous because we were meeting his family for the first time. It was right before Christmas when we left, it was really, really cold and I thought that everything was going to be really good in England but it sucked. [Laugh] I expected it to be a lot of fun, the only thing good was the shopping. We got there and I froze the whole time and um, we got rained on and I remember we went to go see a bunch of shows we went to go see Grease um, which was really good and on the way out I remember it started hailing so hard that I started crying, cause I had big lumps all over me and everybody made fun of me cause I was crying and I was pissed cause I was in my new shoes. And it was the most horrible night that I thought I'd ever live through. And it really made me mad when um, they had a cold water faucet and a warm water faucet and it was like well how am I supposed to wash my hands? I'm freezing one and burning the other. And they were like you know, "Just stop up the sink," and I was like, "Yeah but then it's all soapy," and so that made me mad. And then um.
PL (Phillip Lorenz): I remember that when I was in England.
KP: It sucks doesn't it, and then the food's bad. And it was really, really bad and then the only thing I like is cereal. It's like the only main thing I eat and their milk tastes funny over there.
PL: True.
KP: So I was like so excited and then I ended up being really disappointed, on top of the fact that my cousins and I, my new cousins and I, we didn't get along. And so that was kind bad and they just wanted to sit around the house and watch TV and I remembered I just wanted to go out shopping. I found some good deals, so that was good.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: And then, um, let's see we spent Christmas there actually we went to Scotland over Christmas. And that was really good. But we got snowed in at some hotel. It was the Marriott. They had a Marriott over in Scotland which was pretty Americanized so that was nice.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: They had normal faucets. I didn't want to leave there, I remember that. And then on the way back we got stuck in a snowstorm on the freeway. For five hours our car didn't move.
PL: Ooh.
KP: And I had to pee [laugh].
PL: Yeah. [laugh]
KP: So I started crying about that. And then I think after that my cousin set out a pretty big hate for me. Like we went back to England and we went to Manchester and that was fun. It's good for teenagers but I was too young to really do anything.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: Except for drink cause, they let us drink.
PL: \\Yeah.\\
KP: \\Really young\\ over there. Then let's see what did we do? Then we went home and then we went back in the summer time that same year. And I was really excited about going back, I was like well you know it's been a while, we'll have so much fun. And I remember I talked my mom into buying me all new clothes for me to go over there and then it was cold. In the summer it was July, and everyone wanted to go to the beach and I guess over there 60 degrees means let's take off all our clothes and go jump in the water and I was miserable. I was in shorts and tank tops cause that was the only thing I had with me were all really summer clothes and it was like 60, 50 degrees and raining. And everyone just wanted to go to the beach everyday and there was nothing else to do.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: But stay inside. And so it was another bad trip. I've got to go back for Christmas again this year and my parents are pretty much making me go an I'm not happy about it cause I don't like anything there.
PL: Yeah.
KP: Cousins and I don't get along and I don't know what it is about the little warm water and cold water faucet but I can't get used to that. That's pissed me off too I, I stayed in England for a month over the summer and I hated ( ). And the people there are really rude I think, like I guess in Charlotte and in the south it's like hey we wave to everybody, and over there it's just kind of like they are real blunt about stuff like you'll walk around and they'll be like, "I don't like that," "I don't like what you're wearing," or you know, "Why did you say that? That's dumb." You know they're not really friendly, so I don't really like that aspect of it either.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: But. When I was, I think I was in fifth grade I was probably 10, we had, my mother and I had already moved to Charlotte but my dad still lived in Santa Barbara and he owned his own liquor store and you know I've been making drinks ever since I was probably three for him but, he used to let me run it cause he was a bookie [laugh] and he used to run his own business in the back of the store and I was, you know, 10 trying to sell liquor and everything and um, it was OK and I remember one day this one 14 year old girl came in we knew her, we knew her mom, her mom would always send her to the store, she would pick up beer for the house and we always sold it her because we knew her parents or whatever. And I remember I sold it to her but then the same day I sold it to her, like the cops had pulled her over and then you know she got in a lot of trouble ( ). And then um, another day I remember being in there and this guy came in and um, I had a really funny feeling about it, it wasn't like we had a button or a panic button or anything so my dad was in the back and he always said, "Don't ever leave the counter, you cannot leave the register no matter what you do." So I'm sitting there, you know, I'm so short I can barely even see over that register and this guy's coming in and I could tell he's got like, a knife or something in his jacket, I couldn't really pay much attention I really didn't want to stare at somebody I didn't know. And um, he came in and he was like being really rude and he's like, "Where's this?" And, "Where's that?" And I was just like, "I don't know," and he's like, "Well, what's your best kind a vodka you've got here?" And I was just like, "I don't know but it's, you know, it's on the shelf," or whatever and he was like, "Well, give me a bottle of it," and I was like, "What do you mean give you a bottle of it?" He's like, "Yeah, put it in the bag." And I was just like, "Ah well let me get my dad," and he was just like, "No don't do that," and I was like, "Yeah," and uh I was like, "Hold on," and he was like, "Don't start screaming," and I was freaking out and starting to cry or whatever and um, I remember he took, it was probably about a fifth of a bottle of vodka and then he took about three packs of cigarettes and he, I think on the way out he ended up grabbing a bag of like corn chips or something. And as he was running out the door I remember I was screaming and took a bottle of wine and chucked it at him while I was screaming for my dad and it hit him in the leg. He kept running away. [Laugh] I was so scared cause I was young you know.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: And then and then, um, of course my mom flew from North Carolina to come up there and just reamed my dad for leaving me up there for that.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: And it was a bad experience. It was then you know and he didn't care he was still trying to get me drunk or whatever.
PL: Really.
KP: My dad always been trying to get me drunk ever since I was little he'd have a few and \\ then next thing\\.
PL: \\ ( ) \\.
KP: You know he'd be like, "Here have this, it's a virgin margarita." ( ) No it wasn't and I'd be walking around the house drunk. [Laugh] He's an alcoholic needless to say.
PL: Yeah.
KP: All right when I was probably oh, just turning 14, I lived in a small neighborhood and I was friends with, um, at least six other people and we were all really, really good friends and my mom dated for the first time ever cause I guess when I was growing up she thought, "I'm not going to date, you know I'll devote all my time to you," or whatever and as I started growing up she realized, "She's got friends she can go off on her own. She's about to hit high school," so she started dating. So the first guy she dated I guess she fell in love with and um, she decided to get engaged or what not. I remember I was so happy it was my ninth grade year, I was still in middle school and she said to me like, "Kristina, um, I got engaged yesterday," and I was like "Whoa." She said, "What do you think about that?" And I was like, "Congratulations." And um, she was like, "Oh my God I can't believe, you know, you approve," or whatever, and I didn't but I just said I did because she waited my whole life to do that. ( ) When she went off that night I remember I ran away and cried [laugh] all night long and she didn't even know cause she was out all night with him celebrating or whatever and I stayed out, and I remember I was in the woods crying with my boyfriend um we had been together for like 11 months, my very first boyfriend, and um, I was like, "Oh my God I've got to move to another side of town and I'm not going to be able to go to the school, the high school with everybody," and it was a big mess.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: And I was really, really upset but I couldn't tell her because, you know, it would break her heart. And then it turned out through the whole time of her wedding that no one approved, our whole family, didn't they didn't think it was right that she was entering or having another guy enter our lives considering I was still living in the house, and she ended up needing my support really bad, uh, her mom turned against the wedding, her brother and his wife, her sister-in-law turned against the wedding and then like everyone was being really bad about it and she really needed. So I was there for her and I remember we ended up moving all the way on to the south side of town cause we lived more on the east side. It was a big change. I had to switch schools and it was horrible 'cause I ended up going to Myers Park and it was so stuck up.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: My mom just on kept saying, "Oh it will be good, it will be good for you," and I wanted to transfer but I couldn't because they wouldn't let me cheer, and I thought about that and I ended up staying at my school because they wanted me to get a cheerleading scholarship to State cause they offer those.
PL: ( ).
KP: And I have actually I could have gone for it but I didn't want to go away for school and but I had to stay at Myers Park to do it and it turned out to be a really bad 10th through 12th grade year.
PL: Uh-huh.
KP: And you know I could just never say anything. He's a good guy and he treats me good.
PL: He does.
KP: So you, it's good but the wedding was really rough to go through. And now that everyone knows I'm in, things are going to be turned around. You know, all the people I was friends with kind of turned away from me. I moved on the south side of town and they're like, "You're stuck up now. You're snobby." I'm not friends with any of them any more, but--.