Monday, August 19, 2013

Nothin' But Drugstore Lovin'

Being pregnant is like nothing else you will ever experience. 

Sixteen years ago (omg), I was "great with child" through an extremely hot and uncomfortable summer. All the things you expect when you're expecting happened to me. Coworkers, with whom I was not exactly touch-feely, reached out and rubbed my belly. Uninvited. Diners at the next table audibly tsk-tsked over my apparent drinking problem. (Hello! It was ginger ale, people!) Older mothers sighed with envy and wistfully wished me well. Younger mothers regaled me with stories of 18-hour, pitocin-induced, episiotomy-required labor.

And, every, every, everyone had some snippet of wisdom to share. All of it well-meaning. Some of it valuable. Oddly enough, the one observation that my husband and I both remember as being the truest thing we heard was this ...

"From now on, every trip to CVS will cost you $50."

It did!

There were disposable diapers, baths and lotions and ointments, bottles, formula, pacifiers, bibs, thermometers, powders and creams. The nice young clerk would ring us up and — BINGO — $50.

As many other advisors promised, the baby time went by too fast. And with it, went our need for all of the above. Soon we were buying art supplies, chewable vitamins, and detangling spray. (Any of you with long-locked girls (or boys), take note. Suave makes a great product in a green bottle with a friendly octopus on it.)

CVS has also come in handy when a teacher springs something at the last minute. "Bring in poster boards tomorrow." Or, "You'll need 100 index cards by Tuesday." Before I trek over to Staples or Target (both an inconvenient drive away), I always check CVS.

Now, with a daughter who is about to turn sixteen (I repeat, the baby time went by too fast), we have new requests that take us to CVS. Suddenly, we are going through more shampoo and conditioner. Suddenly, there is a need for skin cleanser and scented body wash. Suddenly, we have to look into each and every product advertised in the gospel according to Seventeen.

At least it seems that way to me.

I was never a big drugstore girl myself. I've had short, short hair nearly my entire life (there was an ill-advised experiment growing it out when I was in my mid-thirties, but I've burned most of the photos). I wear very little make-up. And, I am notoriously cheap when it comes to health and beauty aids. I realize, of course, that my daughter isn't necessarily going to follow in my footsteps in this department. A lot of young women don't.

In my senior year of college, I went down to "Spring Break" in Florida with three other girls. En route, we stopped at a supersized drugstore somewhere South of the Mason-Dixon line. I don't know why my travel companions felt compelled to buy so much, but suffice it to say that there went two hours I'll never get back.

Like so many other aspects of mothering a teenage girl, when it comes to drugstore lovin', you either laugh or cry. On our most recent trip to CVS, I had to laugh. Shampoo and conditioner and astringent and cleanser and Cover Girl pressed powder and strawberry gum and ...

BINGO. $50.

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