Dear 7-Eleven: Thank You For Always Being Open Through The Hard Times

by Elizabeth Baugh

Dear 7-Eleven,

On this day, your day, I want to thank you, not only for your free Slurpees, but for being there for me every step of the way throughout my 25 years.

A child of divorced parents, I was subject to one of those weird arrangements where Dad picks you up on a Friday after school for the weekend. Our first stop would be 7-Eleven, where I’d get a Slurpee and a pack of Nerds.

Every Friday. It was one of the few fun rituals he and I shared before he moved away when I was 10.

I fully believe that my early-onset Slurpee addiction is the reason I’ve never had a brain freeze. Honestly, I don’t get them. I have an uncanny ability to drink frozen beverages because of you, and it’s saved me from years of writhing headaches.

It's also helped me excel at margaritas, daiquiris and the like.

In high school, groups of us would pair up and compete on Free Slurpee Day. We’d drive to as many 7-Elevens as we could between 11 am and 7 pm (duh), getting one free Slurpee from each location.

Each team had to bring back all of their empty cups to determine the winner. According to several Google searches, I’ve determined there could be as many as 83 of your locations in my hometown.

It’s possible, because from my experience, there’s one of you on every corner. We drank a lot of Slurpees every 7/11.

I bought my first cigarettes from you when I was 18. I got caught smoking them by my best friend’s parents, and never truly lived down that embarrassing moment.

The other day, I went to one of your locations while on vacation with friends to buy Black & Milds to smoke on the beach. It reminded me of all the fun times in high school and college where I’d buy beer from you, or get a Big Gulp of Coca-Cola to cure my hangover.

You aided in my corrupting youth, but I forgive you for that.

At times, I've gone to great lengths to find you. On a drunken night, when boys we liked had disappointed us, my best friend and I walked six miles to you in tears because we knew the night could only be salvaged with a Slurpee and a taquito.

Over Memorial Day this year, at a beach house in a town we were unfamiliar with, my boyfriend and I walked aimlessly one morning to find coffee. I chose to turn left at a crossroads, and by fate, the street led to you. I can always count on you in times of need.

When I moved to a sketchy neighborhood in the city, you were on the corner. I felt safe knowing you were open late, so if I ever had a problem walking home at night from the subway I could run to you.

Not to mention, you sell everything I’d ever need in an emergency: flashlights, gallons of water, condoms, sunblock, an ATM machine, ice cream. I can’t even begin to count the number of times you’ve saved me.

Now, you’re two blocks from my office. I come into your store for coffee almost every day. The employees know me and it makes me feel special.

The other day, I declared around lunchtime, “I cannot go on with this day unless I have a Slurpee!” So there you were, with my favorite piña colada flavor.

You saved me from banging my head against my desk in frustration for the rest of the day.

You've gotten me through so many tough times.

7-Eleven, I've remained loyal to you for all these years, choosing you over Wawa and other competitors, and trying all the weird new products you come up with (please bring back Slurpee Gum!).

You’ve become more than a convenience store to me. You’re an emotional support system in any phase of life, and I'll never stray. You've proved time and time again that I can rely on you (aside from an occasional broken Slurpee machine). I truly thank heaven for you.

Love, Elizabeth