Creativity Magazine

Oversized Sunglasses and Incognito Tampax Store Runs

By Legosneggos @LegosnEggos

Oversized Sunglasses and Incognito Tampax Store Runs

Yeah, these errands often go awry, and in case they do, you need a pair of these:

Oversized Sunglasses and Incognito Tampax Store Runs

The size is indeed ridiculous — I mean, WHO has eyes THAT big — I know, but they serve a greater purpose than just making a woman’s face appear smaller. They’re the perfect disguise.  Sure, people might notice you around town, because you’ve got to look fashionable and all, but they can’t identify exactly who you are.  I eventually hope to find a pair that just covers my entire face, much like the faceguard on motorcycle helmets — call it the FaceShade (get it? like Facade?).  I think I’m onto something!

This morning, I was a mess and had overslept but needed to run by our local Walgreen’s to pick up some sundries (that’s code for feminine sanitary products) after dropping off my youngest at school, and so I forwent (you know, past tense of “forego”) my shower fresh out of bed, sans makeup, and threw on a cleaning t-shirt — you know, the old favorite soft but ripped one that you wear to clean the bathroom, the one that’s just a couple of washings from being ripped into two cleaning cloths? It was a little wrinkled from the line, I’ll admit, but I was just going to do my usual run in.

First rule is that you don’t go to the big grocery store for an emergency tampon/pad run like this.  There are just too many people, the expanse of pavement and flooring is much broader, there’s that long walk through the parking lot the size of a football field, and the sun is able to find you more easily and highlight your sorry state as cars stop to let you cross.

So you go to a local Walgreen’s or CVS.  Sure, you’re going to pay a little more — OK, you’re going to get ripped — but sometimes it’s just worth it when you haven’t showered yet and have privacy concerns.

Second, when you arrive at the convenience store, a mom (especially one to four children) never parks directly in front, as that’s where you invariably run into neighbors and other mom acquaintances making similar runs — but theirs are for Lunchables and makeup, which you’re not even concerned about right now.  Also, they always seem to look more put-together for some reason and are fine with a conversation while you’re wilting as the sun kisses your unshaven legs and chipped toenail polish good morning, as you lift one foot behind and then the other, hoping your friend won’t notice.

These moments are when you really miss your kids, as you have no convenient distractions while talking to another mom and can’t hide yourself or your bad pedicure behind their little shoes.  It is full-on eye-contacting conversation with another adult.  For that simple reason, beforehand, you always scope the 30 or so feet of the parking lot for any familiar faces before exiting your vehicle.  Once you’ve made a run for the door, keep your head down until you’re in.

The final rule is that you must don a pair of those huge plastic-framed dark-tinted sunglasses — mainly because you have on no eye makeup and also because bug-eyed sunglasses with huge lenses provide the perfect distraction from bed hair, which — let’s face it — looks nothing like it does on Victoria’s Secret models.

Having followed all my rules for clandestine feminine product missions, I felt confident.  Right?

I ducked into the store, power-walked, and hung a quick right, and immediately found a quiet aisle with my elbow ready to load up supplies.  Ah! Feminine Sanitary aisle free of men and children! Yesssssssssssssss!

But then I’m looking and see — what is this? — next to the 36-count S+ Gentle Glides (it’s a bad week) for $7.79 (convenience store rape special prices), I see a coupon for a free box of 18-count Ultra tampons for free with purchase of the other! Booyah!

The only thing that speaks louder to me than staying unrecognizable in public fresh out of bed is saving dough.  I’m so cheap.

Anyway, the getaway looked clear as I approach the front.  What’s this?  No one is manning the front register.  Where is my usual co-conspirator lady friend who checks me so quickly on these missions that I practically don’t even have to stop at the register?  WHERE ARE YOU!!?!

There are people walking up.  Oh, no…oh, no.  A showered and totally put-together lady is walking up, too.  She does not have on shades like I do because her makeup’s flawless this morning.

Next, the assistant at the back in One-Hour Photo is yelling — is she yelling up to me, asking if no one is here?  I can feel the wind on my face as it’s wafting in from the front door, and I consider making a break for it.  But I’ve never shoplifted, I can’t run anymore to save my life, and I can’t imagine how God-awful my mugshot would be.  Hey, it’s a small town, and people here check the weekly police blotter to see who’s in the news.

More customers are walking up, and I’m feeling a little messy now.  The lady from the back has gone outside, I think, to check for the…what’s that she said? — the boy who is supposed to be up front?  Great…just great.

He runs to the register — “he” being an out-of-breath golden boy rushed off of his break, with a good attitude anyway — and smiles good morning.  I hand over my goods, free tampons and all.  Great, he’s looking and sees the Super-Plus and Ultra on the boxes, so I know he is thinking, “Poor old lady, I’ll bet she’s having a crappy day.”

Acting all Jackie-O in my shades (he is too young to know who that is), I whisper, “The Ultras are free. There’s a coupon.”  Why did I even…?

Sweat is breaking out on my upper lip.  ”The Suavitel is also buy one, get one free today,” I say to better frame my argument.  (That is a good deal, though — I mean, for Walgreen’s.)

I tell him, “You’re going to do a price check; I can just feel it.  You don’t need a price check.”  I purse my lips and ready my reflexes to slap his hand in case he reaches for that microphone.

He chuckles, as does the lady behind me.  But she is kind and, though quite thin (of course she is, and I’m sensitive because I’m so freaking bloated right about now) she has created between me and the other impatient  customers a kind of wide shield for me — this nervous woman with the messy hair, in the over-sized sunglasses, in a ratty t-shirt and obviously unable to find her wallet.  What a kind lady, who doesn’t judge or stare even though she has it all together.

And so that’s pretty much what my town’s like as it relates to incognito feminine product store runs.  The stores are short-staffed, male clerks are more in a rush to get us out than we are, women stick together, and I get to go home and clean my bathroom in my old clothes.  So I’m really glad I didn’t waste time showering this morning to come home and get all dirty again.  Of course, I didn’t feel that way at the time, but you forget the trauma of those morning runs — that is, until next month.  Am I right, girls?

Note: These monthly runs are why we women continue to buy those ridiculously alien-esque oversized sunglasses. It’s not because they’re fashionable at all; we just say that.

Also of note: “Crazy big sunglasses” are on Abstract modem’s list of top things that will keep a woman single forever…not like that’s a problem.  Who said we’re even looking, huh?  We’re dealing with periods and cramps already.  We don’t care, you silly males, because we love our huge plastic orbs and aren’t looking for a date today anway, so…yeah!

Oversized Sunglasses and Incognito Tampax Store Runs

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