The sun was just starting to set behind the prolific white rain clouds that had been lingering over my neighborhood all week as I walked into my local CVS.
The warm hues of orange that cast from above slowly vanished into bright, fluorescent bulbs in the drug store. I needed to pick up a few essentials and had my list on my phone that laid in the pocket of my black puffy vest. Walking past the aisle of medicine and sleep aid, I thought it would be nice to pick up a new round of laxatives. I noticed I was running low on them earlier this week. It can't hurt to keep some more in stock.
I always seem to have the same young and charming college boy cashier every time I pay for my things at this particular CVS. He's someone I appreciate talking and smiling with. Innocently though! I might be able to be his mom. Back to the laxatives. I turned my head to catch a peak at who was cashiering tonight and saw that it was a young woman whom I didn't recognize. "Yep, this is a good night for a new round of laxatives." I tossed the small, bright pink box into my cart and kept shopping. After grabbing all of my needed items I walked to the checkout and waited next in line to pay for my things but then my friendly, college boy cashier came out of nowhere and waved me over to help me pay. "I can help you right over here." He said. I acted like everything was normal. Maybe he won't notice. Maybe he'll scan items without looking at them. We began talking like normal and I began placing my items in front of him to scan the bar-codes. I made sure to strategically place the pink box in front of him as we spoke about the detriments of recycling plastic water bottles. Placing it face down and the last item seemed like the right move. He picked up the box, immediately scanned the bar-code and didn't flip the package over. I did it! He didn't see what item that was and he's not paying attention. I enhanced my voice while transitioning into talking about my disliking for Priuses thinking I had just escaped public shame for wanting a regular bowel movement. But then something came up on his screen and he had to re-scan the last item. His attention was specifically brought to what the screen was saying and he went to pick up the last item - my little life savers. He flipped the package over and read the front. He flipped it over again and scanned it a second time. He then waited while the computer gave him permission to bag the rest of my things. But his silence told me that he saw. He knows. Now he knows. In these moments I realize you just have to give up defeat. You have to say, "Yeah, I do buy CVS Brand of Women's Gentle Laxatives from time to time. And you know what? I'm OK with that." He didn't say anything because he's a polite kid. I remind myself that I have more peach fuzz on my upper lip than he does and I shouldn't be so shameful any way. And from there, a simple goodbye worked within that moment. I figured that would be the only smooth move I could manage.