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Pickup at Walgreens

Updated on December 17, 2010

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

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 e·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...



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