I don’t like buying tampons. I’m seriously looking forward to menopause so that I never have to make that walk of shame up to the cashier ever again. I put it off as long as I can, and when I finally force myself to go to the store, I end up spending hundreds of extra dollars on crap I don’t need so that I can strategically hide the tampons in the cart and then position them just so behind a row of cereal boxes on the grocery conveyor belt. It’s a science, really. Oh, and if the cashier is a male, forget about it. I will pace the aisles for three hours until a shift change so that I can check out with one of my own kind.
I don’t know why I hate it so much or why it’s so mortifying to me. My husband is perfectly fine waltzing into a store, going straight to the aisle of unmentionables, and making his selection (ok, my selection) just as masculine and nonchalant as he can be. And that’s why I normally con him into doing it for me.
But not today. I had to bite the bullet while I was out running errands, and I experienced the exact nightmare that I’ve been fearing for years. I was checking out at the pharmacy (hello, less conspicuous) and the cashier/pharmacy tech actually did a running commentary of my purchases. She put everything out on the counter and made conversational remarks about everything I was buying. This is the conversation I had with her:
Cashier: If you want, I can ring your stuff up here.
Me: That would be great, thanks.
Cashier: (Sarcastically) I just don’t know if you’re old enough to buy that wine. (Rings up wine.)
Me: Got my i.d. right here. It will be a sad day when I stop getting asked for it.
Cashier: Mexican night? (Rings up taco seasoning and salsa.)
Me: Yeah, something like that.
Cashier: But not having any fun tonight. (PATS MY BOX OF TAMPONS AFFECTIONATELY WHILE LAUGHING A VIOLATING, PERVERT LAUGH.)
Me: Ha. (Would be digging straight into the floor to escape the conversation had the floor been made of anything weaker than concrete.)
Cashier: And that’s why you have this. (Now taps the bottle of wine with her weird, making-me-impossibly-uncomfortable fingers.)
The rest consisted of me trying to swipe my card and get the heck out of there in record speed without making eye contact with any of the people in line behind me or the cute young pharmacist who was totally within earshot. So, if I didn’t know before why I dreaded this monthly shopping trip, I will certainly have justification from now on. And now, I need a shower and a glass of that contaminated Merlot.