Remember thinking, when you were young, how cool it was going to be when you were grown up? All those things you would finally get to do. Drive. Stay out late. Get up when you wanted? Well, be careful what you wish for my young friends. For as you grow into the grown-up stage of life this is what you may find…
As a full-fledged grown-up I found myself in a line with several other grownups, waiting. This particular grown-up line was at a pharmacy. Yes waiting to get medicine. You know the old saying, “A hospital is no place to be sick?” Well I am here to tell you that a pharmacy line is also no place to be sick.
It starts with the signs. As if I was driving my car I am directed to enter the line to the left of the sign and wait. I’m waiting behind the guy coughing and sneezing into what he thinks is his sleeve but in reality is my face. Yes he has turned his head, raised his arm, but his sneeze missed his sleeve and sent a whirlwind of microbes my way at an amazing speed. I held my breath for a period of time that I deemed was enough time for the germs to scatter up and over the top of me to land in the cold and flu isle and not up into my nose. I don’t know why but after years of sneezing there are new sneezing instructions given out, “If you do not have a tissue don’t cough or sneeze into your hand, use your sleeve.” Yuck. I have a better idea. If you are coughing and sneezing, stay close to a box of tissues and use them. But again I am slipping off track.
As the line slowly moves forward the next sign comes into view. Line instruction signs are spaced kind of like old Burma Shave signs placed along the highways and byways of the country in the 1950’s, uh without the humor or rhymes. In the grown-up pharmacy line the next sign says STAY BACK AT LEAST 3 FEET, BEHIND THE RED LINE TO GIVE PRIVACY…. Privacy? What about the never ending line of people walking between the person receiving the medicine and the person BEHIND THE RED LINE? Are those people walking there so they can hear what the sick person is being told? Like, “sign for your insurance and that will be $48.95.” Let’s move on.
As I am standing in line, ducking the microbes from the guy in front of me who really needs to be in bed with juice and chicken soup, I noticed a floor display of sun glasses with a summer brown skinned healthy looking model with a come hither look wearing a pair of the dark glasses. Placed not as a display to sell the sunglasses as much as it is placed to keep us “line waiters” in single file as to not spill over into the line of traffic passing us on the right. So I began to think, maybe I need new sun glasses. By this time the line has grown to a length of more than a few car lengths but still less than a football field. Point being that I am now mid line, between Mr. Sneezy and the lady behind me on her phone telling whoever she was talking to and all of us within earshot, that she just got out of the dermatologist’s office and is waiting in line to get the cream he ordered for her. Seems he thinks her rash might be contagious so she is warning the person on the phone not to come over for dinner that night. Wait, what? Contagious skin condition. Did she not see the sign about the red line and privacy? I took what I perceived were a few unnoticeable steps forward. Not too many steps as I didn’t want to be pummeled again by the goodies given off by Mr. Sneezy.
The lined moved forward one person. I’m now right next to the sunglass display. Just as my hand reached for a glamorous pair of glasses, to try on and look at myself in the plastic mirror glued to the display, a voice in my head screamed, “Are you crazy putting those on your face! You are in the pharmacy line!” I don’t even want to imagine where those glasses have been.
Needless to say along with my medicine I bought enough hand sanitizer to go home and bathe in… Yes, being a grownup is truly something to strive for.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts an opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.