Sunday, July 01, 2007

My trip to buy OPKs

I've probably mentioned before that Big Clinic doesn't seem to use birth control pills with their IVF cycles much. Not quite sure why that is, but then Big Clinic marches to the beat of its own drum, and they are Big Clinic after all, so they must be doing something right. So, this is the cycle where I start the estrogen patches and ganirelix, and I have to monitor for ovulation so I know when to start everything. Which means I have to use ovulation predictor tests. And I've been putting off buying them, because I have started to hate the OPK/HPT aisle at my local CVS. I have bought so many things there over the years, initially with so much hope and then only sporadic hope, and then a sense of doom and futility. And I always feel like the idiot staff there are judging me, particularly one woman who I'm sure looks for the (lack of a) wedding ring each time.

Anyhoo, as further background, my next door neighbors are big partyers. They're not loud and raucous, you understand, it's more family parties and barbecues. Except they have a lot of family, who all seem to have a lot of SUVs. So every weekend, about 3 SUVs are parked in front of my house. And this is their big party week where they've got people staying from all over, and hired a dude with a special enormous barbecue for roasting slabs of meat, which was parked in front of their house. It's an annual event. I never say anything about this, or the regular weekend parking, as after all, it's a public road, but it bugs me. Why don't their guests park in front of the other neighbors? Why just my house? They do also park down a side street but usually not in front of other houses in our street. Am I so obviously lame that I am the easy target? Plus, earlier in the week the neighbors had pissed me off by putting garbage in front of my property (they do this all the time too) on the wrong day. I came home to a violation notice from the city that the garbage was out on the wrong day. I left a voicemail for the city worker that it was my neighbors' garbage, and left the violation notice on their front door with a polite note (they were out for dinner when I got home from work). They did move the garbage when they got home, so I was all prepared to forgive them when the city worker called me back early the next morning. Oh, she said, I was going to issue a violation notice to both houses, because it wasn't clear whose garbage it was, but your neighbors were in, and specifically told me it was YOUR garbage. Grrrrrr.

Cut to Friday night. I get in from work, make dinner, close the front blinds, read a bit, slump in front of the TV, and for some reason decide to peek outside at about 8.30. Not only were there cars and SUVs everywhere, one was actually parked right across my driveway. Blocking me in. I wondered if they were actively trying to piss me off, or whether they were just idiots. But at that moment decided that they had to know that this was unacceptable, coming on the heels of the garbage incident, as it did, and that I need to have access to my driveway. For which I needed an excuse to get out of the house, and decided that it was the perfect moment to go and buy those OPKs. So off I toodled, and rang the doorbell. After an age, the man of the house opened the door. I was quite rude, I admit, and said that I was blocked in. He said they'd cleared the garbage away. I said "I saw that, thank you, but I need to get out of my driveway". Various people spilled out of the house. Some woman who I've seen before (the wife's sister I think) tried to engage me in conversation, gushing about my lovely accent. It was probably a ploy to stop me from being a bitch. Eventually they figured out whose car it was - "oh honey, it can't be family, we'd never do that, it must be a friend", the guy emerged, and moved his car. I drove off, huffing.

Well, the local CVS is literally a 1 minute drive away. If that. So I thought I'd go to a further one just to pretend that I really had somewhere to go, and wasn't being petty and making them move the car for no good reason. As if they'd actually be checking on when I got back to my own house, but still, I was in a huff and not thinking straight. I don't like the next nearest CVS to me, as it's pretty skanky, but I remembered this big shiny one at the north end of downtown, right by the hospital. That'll do, I thought, and it's bound to be a 24hr one, so no worries about it being closed. Off I drove. I got there, and was a tad surprised to see a uniformed guard at the door, but OK, the north end of town is a bit ghetto, so not too surprised. But when I got to the "family planning" aisle, I was really pissed off to see all the condoms, pregnancy tests and OPKs behind locked doors. You have to ask for a staff member to get them for you. Eff that, I thought, I'll go back to my local CVS. But as I left, I just got angrier and angrier.

I mean, I used to work in a big store when I was at school/college. We knew that condoms were prime theft targets. After all, teenagers and young adults don't have much money and are embarrassed buying them. But they need them. So most places suck it up as the cost of doing business. I've also noticed when I go to Walmart to buy Equates that lots of young males use the self-service checkout buying condoms (makes me laugh, when I'm also in line buying pregnancy tests and they probably think I'm also embarrassed, but I'm really just impatient). Anyway, I thought, that's good for the guys, they can get their condoms without hassle. Cool. Things are moving on. But this CVS, in the part of town that has most need for access to condoms, locks them away. For fuck's sake. In this day and age, when we should be working to prevent the spread of HIV, and teen pregnancies, a rich company like CVS can't just deal with some condom thievery? Or can't put a vending machine there or something? I was put off my OPK purchase because of the hassle. How many young men and women walk out of there without buying condoms or pregnancy tests? How much heartache is caused by this? It made me want to scream.

Of course, if I had the courage of my convictions, I'd immediately boycott CVS and write them a letter explaining why. But I am pathetic, I don't like Walgreens and Target is a long way from my house. So I went to the local store, made my purchase and came home seething. At least I had full access to my driveway when I got back, but the lack of consideration for other people this world shows amazes me sometimes.

1 comment:

mimi said...

As you know, I am also in S. Florida. My local supermarket doesn't even sell "family planning" equipment, they told me, because of theft. And once I tried to buy hpt's at the Dollar Store because everyone on FF raves about how cheap and wonderful they are, but they were locked behind the register, and the two morons who worked there couldn't find the right key, so I walked out feigning anger, but really feeling inexplicably embarrased (and, well, yes, angry about feeling embarrassed). Don't forget we also live in one of only two states that sponsors a pro-life license plate, but not a pro-choice one.