Friday, February 22, 2008

Mmmmmm...Drug Stores

I love the smell of a good old drug store...inhaling a mixture of Vicks Vapo-rub, perfume, hairspray and all the chemicals they use to develop the film from my camera...ahhhh. I know I'm in a place where I can browse for hours. Dr. Scholl's Insoles, Ace bandages and paper clips were not on my list, but I might need these items in the future and well, now I'm stocked up.

Because I color my hair...that's right, I am NOT a natural redhead, I am overwhelmed when I see the hair color aisle. They have to use the entirety of aisle 3 just to accommodate the plethora of colors available to those of us who think of hair as a blank canvas. I've been blonde, brunette, auburn and strawberry blonde...and I say, "Why NOT?"

My drug store sells shampoos that are specially formulated for women who use hair color, so I've got that covered. I don't look at the ingredients because I wouldn't understand what a one of them were, and because I don't want to know that they are exactly the same ingredients as the shampoos that are NOT for women who color their hair even though I'm paying an extra two bucks for that.

I trust my pharmacist more than my doctor. They are taller than my doctor. Not really, and I've always been a bit confused by the fact that the floor of the pharmacy is higher than the floor of the drug store itself. Why do you suppose that is? So we will think they know what they're doing, that they have more power than we do or what? I even like that little opening in the pharmacy counter that is the "private counseling" opening where you can ask the pharmacist in a whisper about what you should use to get rid of the green hairs that grow from your nose. You wouldn't want just ANYone to hear that question. And, they always have the answer. Why, I've had a pharmacist actually tell me that the advice my doctor gave me for something was WRONG and to do what THEY tell me, and so that's what I do because I trust them more than my own doctor!

Second only to a book store is the collection of magazines at a drug store. They have everything from Popular Mechanics to Town and Country. Where else can you buy a birthday card AND a boardgame...a bar of handmilled soap and Glucosamine with Chondroitin?

And, in our town, we still have a drug store with a soda fountain. Their gigantic magazine rack is right next to the soda fountain and they actually allow anyone to pick up the mags and read them while they're waiting for their greasy cheeseburger. Of course, when you go to buy that particular magazine, it's so greasy it slides right out of your hands onto the floor, but it's there if you can handle it.

I don't go to the hippie, organic drug stores anymore because I prefer chemicals for whatever ails me. They work better and much faster, and evening primrose pills gave me HIVES! But, those drug stores serve their purpose and I was able to buy a neti pot there that would not be available through my regular old drug a matter of fact, they didn't even know what a neti pot was. The only reason I used it was to rid myself of a potential sinus infection, and it worked, but if I could have cured it with chemicals instead, I woulda.

I need some Claratin today because our cedar trees are causing me hay fever. I can't WAIT to go to the drug store. Need anything?



My favorite drug store in the whole world was in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the plaza. It was called Capital Pharmacy. It had a white, marble soda fountain counter all the way down the left side of the long room and the drugs at the very back. Why do they always put the drugs at the very back? You would think a pharmacy would put the drug part up at the front.

On a hot day in Santa Fe you could go to Capital Pharmacy and get a cherry-lime. It was basically a little 7-Up and grenadine with 6 limes squeezed into it and then poured over shaved ice. That's right. You heard me, SIX LIMES! Real limes I tell you, not that lime syrup shit. You could sit up at the counter and have a banana split or you could take your cherry-lime outside and sip it while sitting on an iron, garden bench by the fountain and watching the tourists go by. The very best thing though, was to go down to the other corner to Zook's Pharmacy and get a Frito pie. Zook's also made the best grilled, cheese sandwiches of any place in the whole world. Zook's also had a white, marble soda fountain counter that went all the way down the left side of the store too but they had cigarettes and pipes and tobacco and Zippo lighters.

Then you could go back to Capital Pharmacy and get some Pepto Bismal for the heartburn the Frito pie gave you, some coconut oil for the sunburn you got from sitting on the bench on the plaza and a fake, turquoise ring for 'a-buck-fifty' that looked strangely like the ones the Indians were selling on the plaza for seventy five dollars.

Those were the good ole days,


Anonymous said...

I too have always wondered about why the pharmacists stand on an elevated floor. Do you think it's a profession that attracts an unusual number of short people?

Betsy Bird said...

Oops! I'm the one who just commented about short people, and I meant to leave my name. I was just too busy continuing to wonder about that floor!

Janie said...

When I'm traveling, give me a drug store anyday. I trust them, they're a lot easier to snag into than a grocery store, and almost always have what you need.

We have an old drug store with a fountain and mega burgers that will make you slap yo' mama, they're so good. It's (still) in Good Ol' Stanton, USA.

I know, y'all have Midland roots, so, yes, Graham's Pharmacy is still here, but it absolutely makes me crazy.

Oh, that made me think!! It makes another Midlander crazy, too - go see her post here:

That reminds me, go to

Janie said...

forget the bottom line...I didn't take my hormones today.

Snooty Primadona said...

I love good ole fashioned drug stores! Once, I had a horrible sore on my leg that wouldn't go away, so I went to the Dermatologist, who prescribed an ointment of some kind for me. I used up the entire tube but the spot was just getting bigger.

So, when I went to the pharmacy to get a refill, the pharmacist looks at me and says "You're not going to put this on that (pointing to "the spot") are you?" "Umm yes" I replied. So, he proceeds to tell me that what I have is RINGWORM and the ointment won't do anything but make it spread. He grabs a tube of Tinactin or something like that and told me to use it. He didn't let me fill the prescription again until I used the over the counter stuff. Sure enough, it was totally gone in 3 days, after 2 months of misery. So, YES, I love drug stores too! You should always trust a good pharmacist over your doctor!

Cheers ~ Snooty (Liz)