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I hate my mail-order prescription service, Express Scripts. Though I’m required to use it because it saves Big Brother at work big bucks, there is nothing at all “express” about Express Scripts. This huge pill-delivery company just happens to be located about five miles from my home, yet they cannot manage to get a prescription to me in less than two weeks. Time and again, my plastic bags of pills show up late, bearing stamps from Brazil, Taiwan, or Canada.
My doctor’s office also hates Express Scripts because when a prescription is lost, they have to write yet another one to tide me over until Express Scripts actually delivers. This happens so often that I frequently find myself waiting in line at the drugstore pharmacy, paying even more money for pills that should already be at my house.
Such was the case yesterday when I went to my local CVS to pick up a short-term supply of Solve-It-All, the drug that quells my chronic nerve pain enough so that I can do all those things you see old people doing in the TV commercials—arrange flowers, bike, serve a nice heavy turkey on Thanksgiving—without screaming. If I had grandchildren, I could pick them up; if I had an elderly partner, we could cuddle…and still, I would not scream. But the key here is Solve-It-All, without which I grimace and groan and cry out at inopportune moments, jeopardizing new friendships and surely preventing career advancement.
Just like any drugstore, CVS has everything you might need, so before I picked up my prescription, I looked around for awhile. Not finding much of anything, I wandered towards the pharmacy section, passing through the Family Planning aisle. I happened to spot a large display of condoms. Condoms, I thought. I don’t have any of those. Do I need those? Not right now. But shouldn’t a single girl like me always have some of those on hand, just in case? Isn’t that the responsible thing to do? I should buy some condoms. I hate buying condoms…it’s so embarrassing. But I can pay for them at the pharmacy where no one will see me; it’s not like I have to carry them all the way through the store.
If you have ever purchased condoms, you know that there is a multitude of choices: they come in all colors and flavors. Some are ribbed, some are extra-large, some promise more than any man I’ve ever met could deliver. I sighed and searched through the extensive selection, squatting down to get a closer look at the value packs on the bottom shelf. Down there I found a $25 bulk-sized variety pack that would surely deliver more bang for the buck. I took it off the shelf and was about to rise when I realized that I couldn’t—not without my Solve-It-All. What to do? Unless I wanted to set fire to my nervous system, I would have to waddle.
And so I did, waddling down the Family Planning aisle with my canary yellow box full of condoms. Emerging into the brightly lit pharmacy section, I was met by the stares of a thousand splendid people sitting and standing around, waiting for their own prescriptions. I stopped in my webbed tracks as I looked up at their faces, wondering what they were thinking of a girl who needed so many condoms, and in such variety as well.
Must be a prostitute. Can’t even stand up.
Good for that crippled girl!
Wish I was gettin’ that much.
I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting with all of these other customers, holding a yellow shoebox full of condoms. I couldn’t imagine crawling into a chair and engaging in chit-chat with my entire sexual future sitting on my lap.
I turned and waddled back down the Family Planning aisle, put the condoms back on the shelf, then made a beeline for the exit. I still needed my Solve-It-All, but I needed my self-respect more.