Pickup at Walgreens

I want a new drug

I'm not straying too far from home these days. No job, little money, but primarily, I have been helping my friend and neighbor in her recovery from surgery. Our apartments are separate, but in the same "Art Deco" building. I have been walking her rescue dog, Charlie, and my own, Scottie, MacGregor; separately, but in the same neighborhood. I want to be available to my friend, for any reason she might need me, on a moment's notice.

Today is a beautiful, sunny, Indian summer kind of day. The temperature should, according to the meteorologists, reach 87 degrees. My own internal thermostat says we have already reached, possibly exceeded, expectations. After today, it's a downward slide into the more moderate, typical, St. Louis climate for this time of year.

Time to push away from the computer and competing television screen for some outdoor activity other than at the end of a leash. I decide to take my Miata around the block for a trip to the local Walgreens to pick up a few sundry items; bleach, dish-washing liquid, a new toy for Mac, an eyebrow pencil for me, in addition to my crutch, Marlboro Lights. The smokers realize that the cigarettes were the primary basis for this trip. No excuses necessary on a day like today. The smoker only faces the fact of addiction when "neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night shall stray these couriers from their appointed rounds" in acquiring the drug of choice.

I manage to keep eyes averted from the myriad choices of makeup, and thousands of tempting items that devour time and dollars, and hone in on my dismal "must haves" and make a quick exit.

Little did I know that Walgreens, mother of all drug stores, held the queen of all anti-aging drugs in their parking lot..for me...today.

One that don't cost too much

I wear this short skirt so I'm not invisible

Men believe they have the market cornered on ego. Speaking for myself, ego equates to self-esteem. I have an ego, because I feel it when it's bruised. I am easily bruised, it doesn't take but a glancing blow. Not even glancing can be the biggest blow.

(plural eĀ·gos)
1. Self-esteem: somebody's idea of his or her own importance or worth, usually of an appropriate level
2. Inflated opinion of self: an exaggerated sense of self-importance and a feeling of superiority to other people
3. psychoanalysis part of mind containing consciousness: in Freudian psychology, one of three main divisions of the mind, containing consciousness and memory and involved with control, planning, and conforming to reality
"The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three." (Sigmund Freud The Anatomy of the Mental Personality, Lecture 31 ) See also id1superego
4. philosophy self: the individual self, as distinct from the outside world and other selves

[Early 19th century. < Latin , "I"]

Every human being on the planet wants to be seen, recognized and valued. Genetics, nature versus nurture, cumulative experiences, influences of peers, family, friends, the media, and marketing all factor into our personal visions of the world and our part in it. The equation is skewered in my assessment of personal value. I place no blame, nor do I apologize. It is what it is and in my youth it served me well. Looking good gave me power. Provocative clothing ensured I was noticed. But, now the mirror reflects the beginning of the natural progression toward becoming invisible.

Marketing for the cosmetics industry, an industry that despite the economic downward slide is booming, is profiting in the knowledge that the world looks beyond the aging population to the prowess of youth. Aging today is not viewed in the way the Chinese use to value the experience and lessons of their elders. In America today it is treated as a disease, something to cover up, delay and hide beneath anti-aging serums, creams and science. Growing old is not desirable.

Yeah, I'm an old fart now

Rejuvenation is not always found in a bottle

I leave the store with two small bags of purchases and approach my car, parked close to the entrance. A young man in a hot car asks me if I know where Compton Avenue is. I told him "No, I just moved here". He asked me where I'd come from. Instead of being a smartass, I answered truthfully. He then replied, "You're hot!" I said, "I'm old". He said "You're hot. Are you married?" I said "No, I'm recently divorced". This gorgeous, young man, possessing masses of pulled-into-a ponytail dreadlocks, asked me out..."his treat" he added, in a way that makes me assume it is unusual. When he asked for my number, I took the power and got his phone number instead. He said, as he handed me the slip of paper with his phone number, "Don't be a stranger". He then nearly ruined it and said "I like older women". However, he wasn't over 30 years old, a youngster, and relative could be 35 or 40 or 45, I rationalize with myself. This reminds me that before I was laid off and still "in the world", I had this type of thrill happen regularly. So, if nothing else, I am rejuvenated and he didn't even have to buy me dinner.

My trip to the drugstore remedied all that ails me and it didn't cost me a dime...that's some magic potion. And so it goes...



epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...if they were to film a 'reality' show around some of your writing this would become my 'new drug' .... lol lol - you make each one of your life experiences come alive with your evocative writing, honesty, wit and candor!

You are more than just an alluring woman - you're a honest to goodness human being with wants and needs and anxieties and concerns - and right about now I would like to serenade you with Carole King's You've got a friend!!!!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

....and yes on the music front ...... I always admire and enjoy your choice of music videos which seem the thread your hubs with a theme and unity! Ole!!!!

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epigramman, my favorite...Ole!!! The man everyone loves. It's so easy to see why. Thank you, my friend

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Amy - your exposition is awesome; your choice of videos inspiring. Thank you for making my day. :)

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear drbj, no thank you for making my day. I sincerely appreciate your time and comments.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

That is quite the elixir you found at your neighborhood Walgreens. Thanks for the excellent story. I enjoyed reading it.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I didn't know I would find the fountain of youth at the local Walgreens. Fun to experience and write about. Thanks for your time, James, as always.

Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

This was awesome and easy to read. A lot of hubs have me nodding halfway through. You have a really great "voice".

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Stan, thank you for your compliments especially since I find you to be a great writer. Infusing a piece with humor, which is a quality that you have in abundance, is a tightrope. Too much and it's becomes too "Stooges" (if there is such a thing) and too subtle and readers miss it. You are masterful.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

I can so relate to this hub, Amy and your honesty about our needs, our fears and the ways in which we try to assuage them. I'm glad the young man approached you and made you feel, for that instant, alive and attractive. My mother once said,( when we were in line at a local mom and pop market) to an old man also waiting..."our bodies may be getting older but our minds are still 30 with the same needs and wants." I didn't understand, then, but I sure do, now. Great and honest hub, Amy!!

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

See, that's the difference here; people like you that choose to be kind and understand. My last workplace had a number of very judgmental individuals. The women spent alot of time back biting instead of supporting each other. The judge and jury had me convicted before I got in the door! Thank you, Lucky Cats, for your kind words.

Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

Wonderful hub Amy! Quite visual. Nothing wrong with an ego boost. Men have been enjoying them for centuries!

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Amen, sister.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Amy - So what happens when the thrill is gone?

I'm just askin' being the curious frog I am...

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I don't know yet, as I haven't experienced the decline of the thrill. I'm just much more selective now.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

And you selected good words and wording to tell your story. I took the trip around the block with you, in and out of the store, and admired your "Give me yours instead." Thereby you not only preserved the possible connection, but (if you ever wanted to act on it) you would be able to know the who and where of the elixir. Good tip for other gals.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I appreciate your discerning, clever brain, Perspycacious. Shortly after I "left home", I had an especially frightening incident that made me realize I needed to learn to protect myself. Blind trust is stupid and dangerous. I had no interest in the young man, but wanted to feel what "I'll call ya" felt like. LOL Thank you for your attention.

HaleyMCruz profile image

HaleyMCruz 4 years ago from California

I see why your friend Epigramman wanted me to meet you...you're writing intrigues me. It's so easy going, and so down to earth, and it's amazing how you turned a simple trip to the store into a real story. It's an honor to be a follower :)

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Haley. This was a piece I wrote not long after I began at hubpages. Now, most of my work is poetry, which I had never even tried, until I was inspired by Epi man. I am so glad he introduced us.

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Amy, this is so funny and satirical at the same time! I know how you feel sometimes. I have been "picked up" also by younger men. I tell them I'm old enough to be their grandmother, but they don't believe me. It is a hoot but it does help the ego a bit! LOL Men my age are all going for the "younger woman" to assuage their egos. This is a great article - voted up! Love the songs and music you chose for this.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Life is a hoot, isn't it, Suzette? Just when I feel I've hit the pits, a comment in passing or a smile picks me right up again. On the occasion where I indulge a "woe is me" attitude, I invariably think about the times I was down at a low point and how glad I was to have "hung in there", because one small moment can change everything. Forrest Gump's mother was right "Life is like a box of chocolates. You just never know what you're gonna get." Thank you for reading my story and finding the satiric comedy in it, my brilliant friend.

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