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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Look that Says it All

This evening the sunset was a sight to behold - pink and blue and bright, especially so after leaving a Walgreen's victorious, temporarily, in my personal battle (seemingly ongoing, perhaps due in no small part to my place of business and the college kids running rampant therein) against oblivious entitled 20-somethings who seem to lack all self-awareness, or are aware of themselves, but just don't care if they're COMPLETELY ANNOYING AND ABSURD and well, obviously more important than you. Obviously.

Do I sound old and bitter? It's generational, I'm sure.

But why was there a silent war? And how was I a silent victor? A silent alliance with a sympathetic "Are you effing kidding me???" look from the woman working the pharmacy counter at Walgreen's (bless her!) made it so. Because she made them wait. And checked me outta there and back into the sunset. And even did so professionally.

So, most times a pharmacy counter might be a bit crowded in an after work buzz time, like the grocery store, or Taco Bell's drive-thru line at 2 a.m. Part of making a trip easy involves avoiding a busy time. I thought I might be remotely safe at 7:30. There was still a line, but not too bad. There was a man who seemed intoxicated picking up something for his wife. There was an annoyed woman chewing her gum like a cow chews cud while not looking up from her iPhone. And then there was the oblivious couple canoodling in the pharmacy line, talking about how it's awesome to not have claaasss on Friday and like, how it's so crazy how even in such a tough semester, not having class on Friday like, totally just happened. Midterms are going to be crazy. But at least it's almost the weekend.

The girl was wearing short shorts and flip flops and her college sweatshirt (sigh, yes, that same one) and her beau was wearing a surf-brand endorsed aquamarine professionally distressed t-shirt and shorts. They were discussing how many things were like, totally hard. And how many things were like, totally awesome.
And somehow, when the red sea of their love and sympathies for each other's daily struggles conversationally broke and they physically parted, they revealed warfare - a cart. A cart full of stuff. At the pharmacy counter.

Now, did I buy two items at the same time as my prescription? Yes. Yes I did. But do I believe there's an unwritten "express-ish lane" law governing acceptable behavior in the pharmacy register area? Yes. Yes I do.

Sure. If it's 10:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, and you are checking your blood pressure like you do every week and maybe you have 2 boxes of epsom salts in your cart because there is a sale and suddenly the tin of danish butter cookies in there is holding up the tube socks you are buying because they were on the display, sure. Go ahead. Because there is probably not a line behind you. And the pharmacy isn't closing at about the same rate that the sun is setting. And you are probably 85 years old and retired and enjoying some shopping, and EVERYONE ELSE THERE IS TOO. That's the custom at that time of day! And you've earned the right to bring your cart to the pharmacy - you're 85.

This did not qualify to the two able-bodied-yet-highly-annoyed-while-oblivious-to-the fact-that-they-were-highly-annoying young people in front of me. When I say able-bodied, I do not exaggerate. Like, I wondered if this girl was on the diving team. She had the muscle definition to qualify. But not, apparently to wait in the line at the front of the store to avoid pissing off the 4 people behind her.

Cart contents:
Giant jug of water
Giant box of tampons
Lean Cuisines thrown randomly about the cart
Toilet paper
Miscellany*

*There was enough miscellany to necessitate use of the front and the seat portion of this cart. A lot of miscellany.

So this girl starts unloading her items, puts about 4 of them on the pharmacy counter like it is in fact the grocery store but the checkout girl just happens to be wearing a white coat, and casually asks for her prescription.
Which was like, called in like 10 minutes agoooo.

Amazingly, the prescription was not ready, as it had to be prepared in the real world, where gratification is not, in fact, instant at all times (even I have to suffer this hard lesson in my impatient moments).

Response to this news?
"Ohhhhhhhh. Ok."

Totally un-stymied, she left the 4 items she'd unloaded on the counter, and just lingered there with her cart and her boyfriend and her car keys and her hair twirl, oblivious to the fact that the woman working the counter intended to help other people in the space she was occupying.

"Next," said the pharmacy tech. I loved her. She was not about to put up with this b.s.

The drunk man's wife's prescription was also not ready yet.

"Next," she said, and eyed me like she knew I had murderous rage on my mind.

She even went so far as to re-orient the credit card machine to me and away from the girl's 4-item road block in a passive aggressive attempt to get this girl to get an effing clue and move herself, her stuff, her cart.

It was her boyfriend that picked up on it, but said nothing. He just went and sat down in the chairs (usually occupied by the elderly at 10:30 as they wait for their prescriptions to be filled) set apart from the counter, and she soon followed.

"These are like, massage chairs or something..." She said, acting as though she was in Brookstone at the mall and not a Walgreen's.

I don't think I rolled my eyes, but something must have come out on my face to show my disdain because that was when the pharmacy tech and I had the most loaded "Here you go" and "Thank you" exchange I've had in a long, long while.
In just saying that and moving our faces, here's what was really said.

Me: I cannot effing believe she just left her lean cuisine spaghetti and meatballs and a pack of mini kleenexes on the counter in everyone's way and just has no clue it's totally annoying.

Her: Not as annoying as what's coming out of her mouth.

Me: Tell me about it. When's the last time I felt sorry for a college kid who had to suffer the slings and arrows of a 4 day week?

Her: Never. Which is about when I want to fill that prescription.

Me: Yeah, but they'd probably never get the hint and would stay here until their cell phone batteries ran out.

Her: L.O.L. I'd say if I were her, instead of laughing.

Me: Totallyyyyyyyyy.

Her: Anyway,

Me: Thanks again. Keep fighting the good fight.

Her: You too. Into the sunset you go.

And so I did.
The best medicine perhaps? Being understood!

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