I placed the items down on the counter: some super hero band aids, a pregnancy test and a bag of cotton wool balls. I had carefully positioned the bag of cotton wool balls around the First Response box, so it acted as a wall of privacy and was out of view from the line of other customers behind me.
I was feeling good, I had nearly completed my special shopping trip without seeing anyone I knew and now all I had left to do was to pay for my goods and get to the car. I was nearly there!
Just as the woman who had served me was handing me by bag of items she said, “I hope you get the result you are looking for.”
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She smiled, the woman behind me smiled, I am pretty sure the elderly man with the hearing aid at the end of the line smiled. What had been a discrete visit to a pharmacy to buy something that I wanted to be kept private was now the pharmacy community news.
For context, I live in a regional city where everyone knows everyone else, or at least someone who knows someone you know. It is a place where secrets are a bit harder to keep than other places.
So the purchasing of particular items that you’d prefer to keep private, you know sensitive type products like Rogaine, laxatives, wart removal cream, pregnancy tests and the like can sometimes be like a covert mission that involves a stake out of the area to check for people you may know.
It also entails a well-researched and thought out plan to decide which shop and what time will provide the safest outcome and sometimes some swift manoeuvres to get in and out to guarantee the highest possibility of success. So, you can imagine my disappointment when my well executed plan fell to pieces right at the last hurdle.
I was disappointed, I was shocked, and I was also embarrassed that something I had wished to remain private was now known by several complete strangers. A choice which was taken from me by a pharmacy cashier I had never met.
I hurriedly exited the pharmacy and then nearly… nearly broke into a jog to get to my car as soon as humanly possible (I do not run).
After I closed my door and was in my private space, my shock and my embarrassment turned into annoyance about what had just happened.