This post is brought to you by the letters P, M, and S.
My biggest challenge is learning to not worry about what others think of me. I struggle with this every day, every moment, no matter what I’m doing or how I’m feeling. This morning, I awoke to find that Mother Nature’s curse had begun its pillage on my body. Of course, I am running low on supers, again. My hubby is sick, so I know that I have to go to the grocery store myself this time. We live in a small town and the nearest grocery store is in an equally small town. Our little grocery store has a deli, with chairs and tables. All the farmers gather there to have coffee. Can you see where this is going? When I worked, I worked at the local bank, where we catered to ag customers. The tampons are a straight shot from the deli, so I went in that door. I am unwashed, unbrushed, and in my pajamas. Basically, the definition of a Hot Mess.
As I look up and focus, I see someone I recognize. Do I smile? No. Wave? No. Why? Because I automatically assume that those farmers can all tell why I’m there. As if I just asked them, “Where are the tampons?” Which sounds crazy, because it is crazy. I look down at the ground, which doesn’t look guilty at all (sarcasm, cough, cough) and speed-walk past the seating area. WTF! Why am I speed-walking?! It’s 8 o’clock in the morning! Get ahold of yourself, Susie! I start to say, “What other people think of you is none of your business”, except I mean to say it in my head, but I say it out loud. Cheese and rice! It is way too early for this. I then, restart my mantra, but in my head this time.
There I am, speed-walking, through the frozen section (Dear God, I’m going to pay for this!), I find my tampons and head to the registers. Sort of. What I actually do, is walk through the meat section (Holy hip spasm, Batman!) and look down every aisle I pass until I see the register that is farthest from the farmer-r-us meeting at the deli. I limp down this aisle and (Thank you Jesus!) find a register that is open that is not immediately next to the farmer-con convention in the deli. I throw my one box of super tampons down.
That’s right. No shame here. At least, not anymore. I’m totally bluffing. I usually try to buy more than the tampons, like maybe a bunch of bananas and a loaf of bread with disguise the bright pink box of tampons and no one will see them sitting there, saying, “Look at what this woman’s buying! Bet she’s in a bad mood today!”. The nice lady in front of me smiles sympathetically and I just want to rip her face off. Don’t acknowledge the embarrassment!!! The last thing I want to do right now is acknowledge my embarrassment, but when you smile at me in that way, I’m forced to either shrug at you like, “I know, right?” or something else to let you know that I saw your smile. I look away.
There is a female cashier but there is a male bagger. He is smart, though. He is either married or very well-trained. After assisting the lady in front of me, he walks away. I think he might be psychic or he can just see his death in my eyes. The female cashier ain’t the sharpest crayon in the box. She puts my bright pink box of super tampons on the little shelf right in front of me. Put it in a bag woman! Are you serious?! I realize she expects me to put them in my purse, but then it just looks like I’m hiding something even more. And I am super paranoid about being suspected of shop lifting. I hate to dig in my purse while in the grocery store. Also, when you go to the register, you should leave with a bag. Double bag that STAT!!!
After I pay her convenience store prices for my tampons, I shove them in my purse and make all nicey-nice but I really want to throw them at her head. I limp out of the door on the opposite side of where I came in, with my head down and my dignity in the frozen section.