Why is it that whenever you go to the drug store to buy certain items, the last person you’d want ringing you up for them is always the only one behind the counter?

Granted, I don’t have a lot of shame; if I need to buy something I’ll damn well buy it, no matter what kind of smocked employee gives me the side-eye.  Still, I can’t help but notice this unfailing trend.  Buying condoms in college, it was always the disapproving grandma type ringing me up.  Unfailingly when I buy tampons, it’s from an awkward teenage boy.
This evening was a particularly bad example of this phenomenon.  I needed to buy a certain item that I don’t feel like discussing.  Of course, the requisite teenager was behind the counter.  All right, fine.

“How are you ma’am?”

“I’m good.”

When I’m buying certain items, I always have the impulse to answer truthfully.  “How am I?  Ahem.  I clearly could be better.”  Anyway, the transaction went fairly smoothly, and I escaped out the front door with a sigh of relief– until the theft detectors went off.

I gave that sheepish “you don’t really think I’m stealing anything, right?  Can I just keep on going here?” shrug-and-smile combo, but to no avail.  For the first time in recorded history, I was called back to the counter– and this time the disapproving grandma clerks (two of them!) got in on the action.  They rifled through my bag and pulled out the last box I wanted them to pull out.

“Is it this?  I think it’s this,” they chorused, and handed it back to the teenage boy.  “Rub it on the desensitizing mat,” they ordered him, then added, “No, harder– you really have to rub it on there.”

I stood there.  “Of course it’s that,” I said, and was ignored.  My face burned.

Finally they put it back in the bag and passed it to me.  “You’re free to go,” they said.

I got the hell out of there before I could start giggling hysterically.  Next time I’m going to CVS.

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