i’m convinced that hormones are the spawn of satan.

i stopped taking birth control a few months ago because the current setup i have involves too many hoops to pick up refills, and i haven’t had the energy to get a good recommendation. you can’t just choose a gyno out of the yellow pages, you know?

anyway, i went back for refills last week and didn’t really think much about what the surge of hormones back into my body would do. i’ve gone months without birth control and it’s always a bit of a shock going back on.

needless to say today, i almost started crying at work for close to no reason (no reason would actually be better than the REAL reason, so we’ll stick with that) and decided to venture out into the car and get some fresh air.

for whatever reason, i found myself at longs drugs. my reasons for this were twofold: air conditioning as found in drugstores can be mighty soothing for the soul, and i also needed to pick up some things while i was out. seemed a logical enough choice.

after about 10 minutes of wandering the place enjoying the crisp air, trying to get in touch with my center and breathe, i couldn’t help but notice the caliber of people who shop at drugstores during the weekday.

as an example: a couple, both seemingly hard of hearing, were arguing at an uncomfortable decibel with each other about trivial details regarding what purchases they should or should not make, like mouthwash and aspirin. The problem was, neither was listening to the other (if they could hear one another at all) and they were two aisles apart. luckily, what i needed weren’t in either of their aisles.

maroon 5 faded off the overhead and was replaced by a too upbeat michael mcdonald, and it was clear i needed to wrap this already short visit up if i wanted to leave without incident.

i waited at the counter with my basket while the girl in front of me finished her transaction, and then emptied out the contents of her purse onto the conveyor belt trying to locate her ID. trying to repeat my mantra, i calmly placed all four of the items i needed on the checkout. the identification-challenged baglady continued to scrounge and a woman much too old and tan to be wearing what she chose as an ensemble for the day bolted in the door, stopping abruptly about eight inches from me.

her complete lack of concern for my personal space was dwarfed by her erratic huffing, and every-three-second change in posture. after looking around the place as though panicked, in a deep accent she barked at the checkout girl, “are joo dee only one vurking?”

evidently the answer was not the one our foreign friend wanted, and with every nervous sway, she crept irritatingly closer to me, like i was a star point guard in the final game of the sweet 16. as she got close enough to breathe on me, i closed my eyes in hopes that she might vanish if i hoped hard enough. and then, in a voice that sounded like a cross between a ridiculously fake gypsy palm reader and a female version of sesame street’s The Count, she bellowed, “Joo heffgot too bekeedme!”

i realized then, much too late, that longs drugs is not my happy place.