You may have heard me say that grocery stores are the earthly home of evil. They produce copious amounts of anxiety for this young woman, what with the fluorescent lights and shelves that rise far above my head. I firmly believe that Satan lives in the self-checkout stands. It is a place of unspeakable darkness.
But if the grocery store is that deep, ugly place of evil and indecision, then the drugstore is the home of sexy temptation.
There will come a time in the near future when I will be unable to infrequently borrow items from the other members of my family. Self-sufficiency and a suitcase will be my constant companions, and I must be prepared for whatever life throws my way. Several trips to the drugstore, therefore, are in order for this adventuresome young lady.
I walk into that place with butterflies of anticipation, and the fluorescent lights have a new meaning. They shine their flickering, slightly interrogating glow to highlight my faults Perhaps I should be offended, so enraptured is this place with my deficiencies, so enamored with opportunities to improve me. Like Freddie Prinze Jr. to my Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That, the drugstore reminds me of what I want to be, but also whispers, “Don’t worry, I can fix you.” No one can say no to Freddie.
Anything is possible when staring at those long shelves of boxed chemicals and hope. My hair can be shinier. My nails can be longer. My eyelashes can be thicker. I grow two inches as I walk through the door, so inflated am I by the idea of what could be. Two more inches of perfect leg to show off.
There are so many choices, and miraculously, they all could be the right choice.
Forget about the fact that you’re allergic to perfume and break out into hives with the wrong shampoo. Forget about the fact that you have olive skin and baby blue is a terrible color choice. Forget about your bleach-blonde highlights and go for the auburn hair dye which will most certainly not turn your head neon pink. Nothing, nothing can go wrong.
No stray hair goes unplucked. No pimple goes uncovered. No toenail goes unpolished. For every problem, there is a solution. And goodness, it is seductive…
Here! These bobby pins are for you! And you’re going to love this foot scrub; it makes for such a nice massage after a long day of work! You can afford an extra $7 for the best curling mousse, can’t you? Of course you can! You see? I give you presents, for which you must pay exorbitant amounts, but they are still gifts from my highest regard! Because I love you!
And love me, the drugstore does. It wraps me in comfort, but sometimes the embrace is just too close and the price is just too high.
Just like my dear Freddie, the drugstore watches with sorrow as I walk away. Although I appreciate all of the advice and selfish promotion given to me, I have to leave and find my own way. I have to express my own creativity, to boost my own self-esteem, to make my own beauty destiny, to go to art school wearing those awful overalls. No, not the last one. That was Rachael…
There is no make out scene by the pool, but if Freddie were actually here, that would probably happen too.
And so the drugstore lets me go, promising to love me forever and be waiting for me with open arms. Especially if I ever want to take care of those split ends.