Jul 14, 2009

a certain kind of vanity

I'm pretty sure I'm vain.

But not in a "look at me, I'm pain-inducingly beautiful, and holy cow my butt looks good in these jeans" sort of way. My kind of vanity is different - I think that people care.

Let me clarify.

A few days ago I was picking some stuff up at Costco. (Sans kids, which was glorious.) And as I'm waiting in the checkout line I see that they have big cartons of Viactiv caramel calcium chews. This is great because I was just thinking the day before how I should really be using something like this because milk and I don't really hang out that much, and seeing as I don't think Osteoporosis sounds like killer fun, preventative measures should be taken.

So I take a couple side steps from my basket in line to grab a carton.

And then I realize that at the top of each of the 972 cartons in the mondo Costco sized stack has a pink strip with the words: "New Breast Health Information!" And a crowded Costco full of people just saw me grab one. So now everyone within a 20 foot radius has got to be staring at my breasts, naturally.

It took a good few minutes of inner dialogue to convince myself that NO ONE CARES.

See what I mean about being vain?

This has actually been a life long thing for me. I think my imagination thought that my childhood was too dull. Because I would entertain myself by pretending that my parents had put hidden cameras around our house, and swapped out the bathroom mirror with two-way glass, just to make sure I wasn't an evil double agent or something. I'm not sure who would have been on the "evil" or "good" side of this scenario, seeing as there wasn't anything to take sides for, but being covert while taking a potty break had a tendency to at least spice things up.

Sometimes I would crawl into the bathroom so that the two-way mirror wouldn't even know I was there (because apparently two-way mirrors have sensors to human activity or something, since I was also pretty sure my parents were busy most of their waking hours.) But sometimes I would be feeling saucy and dangerous so I would put on a show for the mirror, always trying to fool it into thinking I was doing something opposite of my real reason for being in the bathroom.

I was also pretty sure that if I hid in the pantry none of the hidden cameras could catch me on tape. It was probably a pretty foolish plan, since if I were to plant cameras in my house now I would probably want to see which kid was sneaking into the chocolate chip stash.

Once I got old enough to get bored with thinking my parents were spying on me I just broadened my imaginational scope and decided that there had to be a secret Russian (or American, or possibly just the boys on the other side of the block) agency that needed to gather information on my incredibly important life.

I got really good at secretive wedgie picking and nose blowing - because those were things that I knew I wouldn't want Russian Agencies (or the boys on the other side of the block) to see.

Once my obsession with being spied on ended I just switched over to this whole public awareness thing. I used to hate buying deodorant, and thought it had to be the most embarrassing item to purchase in any store, because the clerk and anyone who happened to see my cart will know that I sweat. But then my mom stopped buying "Lady's Days" supplies and I really learned the value of an embarrassing purchase. But of course, in my world, every other human being (and possibly a couple of bugs) in the store would KNOW that I use tampons (which was considerably devastating.)

I've pretty much gotten over that now though. Although I have periodic episodes of thinking people are staring my boobs. And I still check every single restroom for a two-way mirror, because you never really know for sure. And I hate buying pregnancy tests, because the checker is going to know what you did to need a pregnancy test (as if the 4 kids in line with me didn't already give that away.)

So if you happen to meet me someday, at say Costco for example, and I quickly hide either a package of tampons, deodorant or a carton of Viactiv, it's just because I know you're part of that secret Russian agency that has been spying on me for decades.


Rachel Sue said...

Have you ever had to buy condoms? Personally, those are worse than pregnancy tests.

Barbaloot said...

Well of course there are Russian agencies spying on us. Why would they not? They need to know the day to day workings of the most important role in American---the stay at home mom!

Emmy said...

Love this post!
I bought a pregnancy test and the checker asked, so do you want it to be yes or no?!? I couldn't believe it. Talk about everyone looking at you.

Jaron and Michelle said...

Has everyone ever told you, you might be crazy? I never thought our parents were spying on us that is so funny you thought that. You also forgot to add the part in where you would travel to the moon when you went into the pantry.

R Max said...

That was YOU I saw at the pharmacy counter purchasing the Emergency Contraceptive Pill.

Thought so.

Alison Wonderland said...

I think I was Emmy's checker. But honestly I wasn't thinking about what she did to think she might be pregnant, only about the fact that she thought she might be. Now the couple buying whipped cream, KY and condoms... Well that was a whole other thought process.

wonder woman said...

I'm with Rachel -- buying conoms is worse than tampons or pregnancy tests. Hemmorhoid cream is also up there.

I'm vain like this, too. I think people care. Whenever I'm choosing outfits before hanging out with friends or people from church, I always think about what I wore last time we were together. I don't want to wear the same thing. But then I remind myself that if I have to try so hard to remember what I wore, they probably have NO idea what I was wearing.

But I never thought my parents were spying on me. That's kinda nuts. Ü

cc said...

Buying condoms at costco = big mistake. Not only do they look at you like they know what you're up to, but they act as though they think you're going to be doing a WHOLE LOT of it. And those big boxes are much harder to hide amongst the other items...

I also used to think people paid a lot more attention to me (and what I wore), but now I know that I'm actually invisible to many people. Go figure.

You are a bit crazy, but crazy's good company! Funny post.

Melissa Bastow said...

I absolutely refuse to buy condoms. (especially at Costco - that's funny.) I figure if the hubby wants it bad enough he'll have those on hand - - because I can really hold out if need be. (And by "need be" I mean: if I'm the one having to go out in public and be seen with those THINGS, our bedroom activity would undoubtedly be non-existant.)

We Are Family said...

Love the post and I have those same vain thought that everyone is looking at what I am buying especially if it is a personal item. Condoms have always been out of the question!

annie valentine said...

You were the wierdest kid ever. And also possibly the coolest.

RhondaLue said...

I make hubby buy all items that would make me blush. Including lady's days items (super plus, extra long with wings!..well before I got my baby holder surgically removed, anyway-now he buys my daughters stuff!)

I'm also embarrassed of wart remover stuff (people will think we're all warty and gross but really..it's just the 4 yr olds foot that got one!) and anti-fungal creams. Again, people will think we're yucky. We couldn't have that.

My husband will proudly buy things just to make the cashier blush...I won't say what SIZE or TYPE of contraceptive but he was proud to buy them. ha ha