Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bad Medicine

Ok, so here's what I won't miss if I leave New York: The Duane Reade prescription counter. And I think it is limited to Duane Reade, and not all Manhattan pharmacies, but I could be wrong.

For those readers outside Manhattan, Duane Reade is the corner drugstore, on every corner. It's like a CVS, or Walgreens. I personally loved Walgreens while at Brandeis -- I would fill my prescriptions for the Pill or some acne concoction with great ease. All of my "grocery shopping" was also done at Walgreens, which consisted of diet coke, candy corn, Honeycomb cereal and Marlboro Lights. Four years of this -- it's no wonder I ended up infertile!

Generally, I love drug stores. When I leave to allegedly pick up toilet paper, my husband knows I won't be back for at least 30 minutes. I love to finger the cosmetics, hoping for a new find. Peruse the candy aisle and wish that I was not glucose intolerant. Pore over the magazine rack: "REESE AND RYAN DIVORCE DRAMA!", etc. This summer I even purchased flips flops at CVS which my brother swore looked like Prada until they split mid-step after one month.

Duane Reade is a whole 'nother story. Their merchandise is fine, stores generally clean. But the pharmacy, the pharmacy....It's a necessary evil. Be it the pill, prenatal vitamins, penicillin, whatever. You find yourself at the end of a long and ignored line of people whose ailments are always highly contagious in your imagination. You try not to breathe. The line does not move. The singular cashier is rifling through baskets of paper bags, asking again and again for the spelling of names. "When did you call this in?" Sometimes, she will dissapear behind plexiglass, only to vanish for what feels like hours as you are surely acquiring the Bird Flu as you wait. With a last name like mine, you are screwed. K? C? And then the inevitable insurance issues -- "do we have your information on file?" My blood boils, a fist tightening in my chest. I hate the cashier, her frizzy hair, her bad skin, her open bag of doritos, her poor vocational choice. I once made the mistake of wearing Chloe in the Baby Bjorn for such a venture, only to cover her head with a blanket ala Michael Jackson for fear that she would somehow breathe in someone else's toxic virus. No, I don't want to touch that pen which is crawling with cooties if such a things exist.

It takes alot for me to feel rage when there is an US Weekly a few feet away. But Duane Reade does it every time.


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