I realized yesterday that the CVS drugstore a few blocks away from my house is the BEST representation of All That Is The Floridian.
(Notice the cop car on the left. This could mean one of three things: A. Cop is shopping for sundries, B. Cop desperately needs his anti-depressants, or C. Cop is scoping out a suspicious character inside. This particular CVS is home for Suspicious Characters and All Things Suspicious, so I think it’s option C today.)
Every time I go inside that CVS, whether to buy cosmetics or pick up a prescription or whathaveyou, I come across people, mainly customers, who embody everything facepalm-worthy about this state…
Miss Two-Tone Hair: Today, she was in front of me in line at the cashier and was having an immensely difficult time figuring out what brand of smokes her boyfriend had asked her to get. Tight pink halter-top, sloppily homemade denim Bermudas, requisite bad tan, excessive eyeliner, and Miami pastel pink lip-gloss. Her hair and her goods were the most interesting out of all of her human presentation. Her hair was an attempt to do the contemporary Debbie Harry, two-tone look and failing miserably at it. She had flattened, long layers. The bottom layers were a light brown, and the top layers were platinum blond. She looked like a broken vanilla ice cream cone. As for her purchase (besides the ciggies), she’d cleaned out the Arbor Mist section of the “wine” shelf. Apparently, the only flavor available at that CVS was White Pear pinot grigio, and she’d claimed all seven bottles of them. Seven. My prediction, someone was getting lucky…and then the worst artificially pear hangover on record.
Mrs. Bass Pro Hat: Exactly at this time last year, this happened. Troll-like woman reeking of booze, standing in line behind me at CVS (to spacey better half): “Well, I just wanna know if the lipstick I got is gonna be red or pink when I put it on. It’s gotta match my Bass Pro Shop tee-shirt I’m wearin’ tomorrow for his school orientation.” (I wrote this down so I would NEVER forget.)
Humanlike Creature of Indeterminate Gender Sleeping in the Card Aisle: Not too long ago, I had to point this one out to the manager. I’d been one aisle over, searching for erasable pens (CVS ALWAYS has them for some odd reason). I walked around to the next aisle, and I very nearly tripped over it. I still don’t know what…so don’t ask.
Mr. and Mrs. Trying Before Buying: This was a couple I saw awhile back who were definitely the ones responsible for mixing up all of the groceries in the grocery item aisles, leaving opened boxes of Nabisco cookies on the shelves, and walking away from all of their evident spills in the immediate area. They were both in line behind me, munching from a couple of bags of chips they were, hopefully, planning on purchasing.
NOTE: I sincerely believe that Mrs. Trying Before Buying brings in a girl gang of her own every now and then to sample all the cosmetics as well. I can never find my favorite mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast, in the Cover Girl section anymore. Instead, I usually find it in Revlon or, if the day calls for it, the Almay aisle.
Mrs. Special on Pepsi Products: I see replica versions of her every time I’m in the store. She’s usually a Florida relic, deep into her 90’s, and she’s an avid reader of the CVS and Walgreens flyers that come in the Sunday paper. It’s only Pepsi products she wants, and when there’s a two-for-one deal AND she’s got a CVS cashback discount in her hot little hand, you can be sure she will be attempting to yank two shopping carts’ worth of 12 packs all the way up to the first open register. Of course, if I’m ever behind her, it takes a good 20 minutes or so to wait for the entirety of her purchases to be processed, a manager to be called for additional coupons she may have (and she often does), and the realization that she missed a deal on the Coke products as well. Thus, the process begins again, and she expects the line to be held for her Every Single Time.
The Redneck Stalker: Every damn time I’m in the place, there’s always that one guy there. Age and build — it doesn’t matter (they come in all forms — they’re just very white and very inarticulate due to a lack of teeth). He will hone in on teenaged girls in the cosmetic, shampoo, and/or magazine aisles or confused women like myself who simply want to know where things on her list are so that she can get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. He sometimes plays coy and asks his target(s) about certain products in the store. He has been warned numerous times by management not to enter the store, but the employees there know him — all forms of him — by name, and they honestly couldn’t care less that he’s there, looming…
There are certainly many more types at my local CVS, and all adequately represent the mullet-shaped area of the U.S. that just happens to be my state. I may have to treat this as a continuing collection of sorts, all primed for a proper anthropological study I couldn’t adequately provide without shaking my head in embarrassment.