Monday, June 25, 2012

Judge, Jury, and Prescriptioner

Let me start this post by announcing that I am in my late twenties.  I haven't lived under my parents' roof since college, and I have been more or less financially independent since just a bit after that.

Also, my mom is awesome.

Also, periods suck.

Also, I hate my hometown drugstore.

Some years ago, when I did still live with my parents, I sat down with them to discuss the possibility of me going on birth control.  Because, you know, getting your period twice in one month is no fun, and also I'm a huge whore.  (I'm kidding on one of those.  I'll let you guess which.)  My folks, being reasonable and cool, agreed it was a good idea, and we never really talked about it again.

Fast forward to two summers ago.  I am visiting my parents for the weekend and realize I need to renew my prescription.  This is why I use a national chain drugstore--you can pick up your stuff anywhere.  My hair is growing out, and is a weird length where the only way I can get it out of my face is to put it in pigtails.

(This is probably when I should tell you that I look like I'm about twelve.  Especially when I'm in pigtails.)

I ask my mom to swing by Big National Drugstore on our way back from running errands, and of course it's no big deal to her.  She and I walk back to the prescription counter and I give my name and tell the pharmacist, a not-old man, which prescription I need refilled. 

He stares at me.  Then he flicks a glance at my mom.  Then he scowls at me.

"What's your last name again?" he finally asks.

I say it. 

"Can you spell that?"

I spell it, speaking slowly and clearly because I once worked as a receptionist, and hearing letters clearly isn't always as easy as you think.  He continues scowling at me, not typing or writing down my name.

"Can you spell that again?"

I do.

"One more time..."

(This is probably a good time to point out that I do not have a particularly long or difficult last name.  Sure, it's a bit on the Dutch side, but this is my hometown--plenty of other names like it.)

After he asks me to spell my name six times (I wish I were exaggerating), he finally turns to his computer and puts his hands to the keyboard.  He looks at me, waiting.  I spell it one last time. 

Very loudly.

Very slowly.

Very are-you-fucking-kidding-me.

He types.  He pulls up my info.  He sees my age.  He goggles and then finally does his job and starts filling my prescription.

(My mom held me back from throttling him.  Barely.)

Moral of the story:  Work more, judge less.


(True:  This.)


  1. OMFG! Could he have been any more of a jackass? What business is it of his anyway!? It's not as though you were asking for ammo, though that might have been an interesting combination right? "I'll take a refill on my birth control and would you throw in some .357 shells for my Smith and Wesson?" Ha! What a jerk! Kudos to you for not taking him down! Even if your mom had to stop you. ;)

    1. I know! I mean, I understand it's a small town, but you'd think a pharmacist would be aware that BC treats more than just promiscuity...

  2. I would have stopped after spelling my name the second time, looked him in the eyes, and told him, "I'm [your age] years old. Without birth control, I have two periods per month. My medication is between me and my doctor."

    But then I'm an asshole, and I've discovered the best way to deal with people who are trying to bully you is to overwhelm them with TMI.

    1. I should have done that. I'm notoriously bad at dealing with bullies in the moment--it's only later that I think of a witty retort.

      Tangentially, whenever a guy asks me how cramps feel, I want to punch him in the kidneys and tell him it's just like that. But for a week.

  3. I had similar problems for many years and in my early twenties, the doc put me on birth control pills for a while too. I remember when I picked them up the first time, the pharmacist YELLED across a very crowded drugstore: "Are you the girl that wants these birth control pills?!" I just nodded, turned red, and slunk out of the store with a bunch of disapproving old people glaring at me. That was over twenty years ago, and sadly, it doesn't sound like much has changed.

    1. Not in my hometown, it hasn't. Sometimes I feel like home is stuck in a perpetual "twenty-years ago"... I live outside of Chicago now--never been a problem here. One of several perks of living in the Big City, right along with being able to get french fries after 8 pm and not having to drive 45 minutes to reach the nearest Starbucks.

  4. Could be worse. My doctor "suggested" to me mother when I was 13 that birth control might make me less prone to anemia, given that mine is very irregular and I sometimes have less than a week and a half between 12-14 day periods. My mother refused on the grounds that I didn't need it until I was sexually active, and she knew that nobody would be interested in me. That, and she didn't want to explain to the school why I needed it...

    Btw, sorry, was offline for a month, am going to go through and read the rest soon :)

    1. Welcome back! That must've been tough--I was lucky enough in that other than an irregular cycle and back pain, mine never caused any serious health issues.

      Isn't being a woman wonderful?

  5. What a DoucheSpigot! To hell with him and all Judgey Judgersons like him.

    1. It marked one of the few occasions that I've lodged an official complaint with a company. I was a just a little peeved. Also, the term "DoucheSpigot" is graphic and wonderful, and I'm totally stealing it.