Saturday, January 06, 2007


Kathie Shoop

The last four months have brought substantial sickness to my home—at least three spells of strep per person to give you an idea. The last bout came a week ago and because the drugstore was backed up, I had the opportunity to take a close look around the new Walgreens in Oakmont.

Many of my writer friends have a thing for office supply stores. They rarely make it out of Staples without spending at least $100—not including the cost of manuscript copies.

For some reason my heart doesn’t beat a little faster when I’m in a Staples, but boy, set me loose in a drug store and I can’t whip my MAC card out fast enough.

First, I ambled down the baby aisle, feeling the urge for a third baby, marveling at how fast baby-care products change. Just two years ago I bought regular old diapers and sippy cups. Now, apparently, those same items do things like call your name when your child is wet or out of juice.

Next, I wandered into the skin care aisle. This one sported an unprecedented variety of body lotions, sprays, powders, and soaps with matching candles and air fresheners. Most interesting was a line of products called “Bodman.”

One fragrance in the Bodman line was “Really Ripped Abs.” Really? I thought only women were silly enough to think spraying one’s body with frangranced liquid could change, at the cellular level, flab to anything other than mushy lard. Another scent was called Black—licorice, maybe? And another, Fresh Blue Musk—well, who knows, but suffice it say I was surprised men had jumped so fully into the ocean of ridiculous body products.

I perused the make-up aisle and almost spent $110 dollars on liquid foundation, sponges to apply foundation, a new shade of lip-liner, eye-shadow, and foundation that is actually a powder. Juggling these products, a line of seventeen people gave me the time to realize I couldn’t imagine, not even in my writer’s mind, four successive days when I’d manage to apply one type of foundation, let alone two.

Empty-handed and back near the pharmacy section of the store, I checked out the plethora of home tests available. Drug tests for marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and others I can’t now remember. Other kits checked for HIV, yeast infections, and even ear infections.

New pregnancy tests allow prospective parents to discern conception during intercourse and ovulation can be mapped out and charted with just one urine-drenched stick—yes, the stick actually fills out the chart for you.

Who needs an HMO with all this stuff available to the public? If only we could write and fill our own prescriptions then turn around and combine just the right ingredients to formulate a body spray called “You’ll look like Julia Roberts, You Dumb Ass,” we’d be in business.


Nancy said...

Cool! You can buy marijuana and cocaine tests at Walgreens?? I should definitely stroll the pharmacy more often. This info gives me a great idea for a story!

Oh, and sorry you've had so many sick ones in your family, Kathy. Bummer.

Tory said...

I hadn't known about the marijuana and cocaine tests, either. The mind boggles!

Joyce said...

With those tests, I can just imagine the parents of juvenile delinquents telling them, "You WILL pee in this cup!"

Hope everyone is all better now, Kathy.

kathie said...

Hey Nancy, glad you can use the idea in a book! That would crack me up.

Tory, I know! I was shocked to see those tests. Even for someone who loves drugstores, I was wildly misinformed about the breadth of products available there.

Joyce, I thought the same thing--forcing the teen population to pee. It makes me appreciate the trials of toddlerhood a lot more.

Cathy said...

So sorry about your sick ones, Kathy. I've been enduring the flu the past few days, which has made me realize how much I actually do in a day and don't give myself credit for, and what a bummer it is to be out of commission. Hope you will all be well soon.

Drugstores are treasure troves, aren't they? Hidden gems just for the finding. Thanks for an enlightening tour of one.