For Women Only!
Navigating the monthly hormonal obstacle course.
Warning: This column is for Ladies only.
If you are of the male persuasion and become squeamish at the letters “P” “M” “S,” turn and back away now.
Because we are at full PMS overload.
And it isn’t pretty.
It begins, my Lovelies, with an innocent, “quick run” to the store.
I realized my heightened hormonal state approximately 15 minutes ago while attempting to check out at a store that shall remain nameless. (For kicks, though, let’s just say it’s name rhymes with “Tall-Cart.”)
I had about ten items. One “20 items or less” line has about six people. The other: one. Guess which one I choose? Thaaaaaat’s right! The one where the person before me wants a price check!
As I am stuck in Pampers-Price-Check-Hell (have you ever noticed it is always Pampers?), I see the alternate line whittling down.
I begin to twitch, and realize my nerve endings are tingling with a hormonally-familiar “I must hurt something” desire. After a good seven minutes, the checker comes back with the offensive Pampers and announces that the price is, indeed, incorrect. But can she fix it?
Now we get the joy of waiting for a manager to saunter over and fix the error on her register.
And that, campers, is gonna take another many minutes.
(Moment of Sanity: I do realize that the managers at Tall-Cart work hard. I’ve seen them run around trying to help 18 people at once. But when you are in Price-Check-PMS-Frenzy, EVERYONE is sauntering, yawning, and otherwise taking three hours to do something that should take 16 seconds.)
Inhaling a deep, controlled, breath, I eye the displays of salted foods and chocolate like a lion in a butcher shop.
Of course I am now in a quandary: Do I dump all my stuff back in my basket and jump over to the other lane, now nearly empty? Or do I wait it out, assuming that the manager will be here in mere seconds. I am afraid to joggle my tenuous tower of hormones, but as I watch the checker’s face glaze off into the distance, I decide to bail.
The other lane will be a fast haven, I am sure. There is one lady in front of me, she has toilet paper and that is about it. But then…. the vastness of retail Hades opens wide again.
The two checkers now want to discuss when they should take their breaks.
Naturally, this discussion cannot occur while my new checker rings up toilet paper. The break discussion must have her full attention.
I hold my breath, fearing I am about to spit fire.
Will she ring up the toilet paper?
Will I move up in line like an American Idol contestant awarded a ticket to Hollywood?
Of course not. Because the toilet paper customer now begins talking. She, apparently, is an employee and wants to talk about who can take her shift on Friday.
I close my eyes and meditate on the image of Linda Blair as she vomits pea soup. Every cell of estrogen in my body wants to shout “JUST RING UP THE DAMN TOILET PAPER!!!” For the good of the people, and the fact I don’t want to have a criminal record, I contain myself.
It is at this point that I feel my hormones firing like a Fourth of July Fireworks finale.
It is exhilarating.
I am woman, fear my wrath.
The checker flips off her “open” light. And this is when my head exploded. “No, no… you are OK” she says, hearing me scream in pain. (“Yeah, I’d better be.” I think using my best Angelina Jolie-kick-butt voice.)
Finally, the improbable happens. She rings up the toilet paper. The customer pays. Defying all odds, it is now MY TURN. She begins to bag. Nerve endings tingle violently as I watch. I have three boxes of pop-tarts. She puts ONE in a bag, spins that stupid bagger-thing, and moves on.
Trying to keep from turning Hulk-Green (“You won’t like me when I am angry”), I review what she has done. She has bagged as follows:
Bag one: One box of pop tarts.
Bag two: two 16oz bags of shredded cheese.
Bag three: two boxes of pop-tarts.
Bag four: three bags of candy.
Bag five: Two bulky-ish and sorta heavy boxes of Capri-Sun.
“There’s no place like home… it has wine” I chant to myself as I combine the five bags into two and leave the line.
Trying to move without causing my Jenga hormonal tower to come tumbling down, I stealthily walk to the exit like a CIA trainee navigating a booby-trapped room. I make it to the car and drive home. Safety.
Or so I thought. My husband is watching “Jonah Hex.” Help me Obi Wan.
Thank goodness my Tall-Cart purchases included chocolate.