Monday, 3 October 2011

Cringe: shopping!

Ever cringed about having to buy something? 

Ever tried to strategically hide it under other things in your shopping basket?

Keen to avoid identification!

I’ve just made a trip to the chemist – for Fybogel

“Have you used it before?” asked the assistant once I’d chosen the quantity and flavour.

“It’s for a friend!” I answered, probably a little too quickly.

“Has your friend used it before?” the assistant persisted.

“Oh yes” I replied, again probably a little too quickly. I then turned on my heels and ducked out of the shop as quickly as possible – scarlet!

Although the sachets weren’t for me – honestly, and despite the fact that someone working in a chemists probably gets asked for laxatives on a daily basis, in my head I could still hear her saying “For a friend? Yeah, yeah – a likely story. Bit bunged up are we?” 

Oh the shame of someone thinking I might have constipation.

It got me thinking about all the other occasions I’ve had to buy things that have made me cringe.

I think it all started when I was about 15 years old and I was forced to buy my own sanitary equipment from the Spar, our local village shop. I remember whipping a box of ‘Wwwwwooooohhhhhrrrr Bodyform – Bodyformed for you’ from the shelf and hiding it in my basket under a packet of J-Cloths, that I neither wanted, nor needed, but which gave excellent camouflage!

I waited my turn in the queue and when it came to my turn, I looked at the floor, the ceiling, the door .......

“BODYFORM EXTRA ABSORBENT – HOW MUCH MAUREEN?” shouted the Greeta the cashier – across a shop full of people to the owner at the other end of the shop.


A minute felt like an hour as I shuffled my feet, tried not to make eye contact with anyone and mentally dug a big hole to jump into.



“Your Bodyform extra absorbent is 79p!”

Fifteen years old is a very sensitive age. I’ve clearly been scarred for life.

With this in mind, imagine the humiliation when I picked up a verruca on holiday in France. The shame of having to purchase removal cream. “I’m going to bazuka that verruca”  I joked lamely to the cashier trying to lighten the mood. It didn’t work – she had a face like a verruca.

Control pants – there’s another one. It’s like going up to the cashier in Marks and Spencer and saying “Hello, I’m fat!” 

I always feel the need to tell the story. “I’ve got a very slinky wedding dress you know. It’s very unforgiving. Gok Wan says that everyone needs a good foundation.”

When I was little, I used to get very confused. My mum had girdles with a control panel. I thought it actually had hidden buttons that could make you thinner. Later I modified my theory to include changing channel on the telly.

Don’t even get me started on contraceptives. I can’t even say the word. I usually just make a whistling / clicking sound. 

I tried to buy some ‘tingling gel’ once from Boots and ended up making my friend buy it for me. I was 39 years old!

As I grow older, I look forward to future purchases such as Tena Lady and haemorrhoid cream with as much relish as licking my own feet.  

 I think I may be a candidate for hypnosis!

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