Let’s talk about drug stores because we can. Freedom of Speech is a beautiful thing, especially when it enables me to drone on about something as inconsequential as CVS and Walgreens. I kind of think that Freedom of Speech is meant to protect our right to speak out against the government, but the only time I got in “trouble” during high school was when I was constantly talking to my friend in Government class, so I clearly wasn’t paying attention. Full disclosure: I also got sent to the Dean once for chewing gum in Mass when I was a senior, but the instant I got to his office he sent me back to class because he didn’t know who I was and I also don’t think he was Catholic so he didn’t care all that much.
I have several distinct memories of drug stores. The first is of the CVS that was down the street from us when we lived in Chicago. I used to go there all the time because they were constantly sending me coupons for two for one ice cream. I figured this was good because it was the double-churned kind of ice cream, which is allegedly less unhealthy than the regular kind. Four months and thirty pounds later, I stopped believing that. The problem with CVS is that unlike Walgreens where there are actual little checkout aisles, CVS has this giant area up at the front where you are just supposed to stand around and form a line. It is a fact that humans cannot form lines if left to their own devices. They will just meander around and likely climb onto each others’ shoulders unless they are corralled in an orderly fashion. Without those little nylon barriers you often see at the airport and banks, customers at CVS can become feral. There were uncountable times when I would go and buy my ice cream and the person behind me in line would be literally four inches away from my back. I am lucky they didn’t breath on my ice cream and melt it. They are lucky I didn’t punch them.
Another great memory I have of drug stores was when B and I were back in Memphis for Christmas 2011. One day, my brother, my mom, and pregnant me were going to go to a local jewelry store so my mom could show my brother some charms for a charm bracelet that she wanted for Christmas. I tagged along in the hopes that someone would forget that the shopping trip was for my mom and buy me some jewelry too. While we were out, my mom asked my brother what he wanted for Christmas and he said that we should go to Rite Aid so he could show her. Since Rite Aid was across the street, we headed over and my brother picked up two giant canisters of whey protein that you make into a shake after you lift weights. My mom was like, “Really? That’s all you want for Christmas?” and my brother nodded. We went up to the checkout area – which, I might add, was a lot more organized at this particular Rite Aid location than at CVS – and the lady rang us up. The total for the whey protein came to like $120 and suddenly we all understood why my brother didn’t want to buy it himself.
My final memory about drug stores isn’t really my memory at all. It’s my husband’s, but since we’ve been together for so long I can lay claim to his memories and pass them off as my own. Plus, this memory is indicative of 99.9% of the stuff we talk about so you can get a good glimpse into the depth of our relationship. One time he was at Walgreens, which evidently puts out a circular with all the sales and promos that are going on at the store. You can find them inside the newspaper but you can also find them at the front of the store if you want to live dangerously and wing it. I think on the day in question he had just ducked inside Walgreens to pick up some almonds and a Naked juice because his drug store food purchases are always far more nutritious than mine. In the checkout line, there was an elderly lady ahead of him who had scoured the circular and found an ad on Whitman’s Samplers. She was trying to get the discount for them, but apparently that was an outdated ad so the nineteen year old checkout person was trying to explain to her that Whitman’s Samplers were no longer 1% off or whatever. The standoff continued for what seemed to B like eternity and he finally left without his snack because he had to get back to work. That one incident isn’t all that interesting by itself, but I swear ever since it happened, every time I go to Walgreens there is an elderly person bickering over the circular with the sales attendant. Here’s a word of advice to all of you aspiring Walgreens checkers: just give them the discount. They are retired so they have all the time in the world to wear you down.
This blog post is in honor of my homeboy Mooselicker AKA Tim Boyle AKA the Voice of a Generation. He wrote this post that spawned the one you just read above. He is one of the nicest people I have encountered while blogging and to him I say “thank you” and “huzzah!” for being unapologetically original and great.