I learned something new a few days ago: Circuit City carries Advil.
It’s right there by the checkout counters, along with the candy racks and soda coolers, at the nearby box store. Simple, travel-sized containers of the stuff.
My guess was that so many people get so stressed over the holidays (this actually happened on Dec. 30, but I didn’t get around to writing about it until now) that people were actually willing to make impulse buys of a painkiller. It’s obvious how they sell the soda and candy. Parents go through the line with kids, or even adults buy the snacks for themselves — if you’re dropping hundreds of dollars for a VCR, what’s a buck-fifty for a snack?
But it was hilarious to imagine people making the same calculation about Advil. “Okay, I’ve got the digital camera for Marc, and the Dead Man’s Chest DVD for Laurie — MAX, STOP KICKING RILEY! — but the guy here said that Flaming Crusade thing Greg asked for isn’t for sale yet, and I still need to go to the mall for Chuck’s family’s presents and then CostCo for the month’s groceries… ooh, an Advil sounds good right now.”
Anyways, I bought some. This had nothing to do with how stressful the weekend before New Year’s was for me, though (at least, I don’t think so). No, it’s just because I didn’t have any of the stuff.
After all, this is only the second time I’ve lived on my own (college doesn't really count) and the first time was a brief stay in a fully-furnished house. So the first couple months in my apartment were punctuated by buying a whole lot of minor-but-necessary stuff. Cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, stamps, etc. Purchases like that have diminished over time, but every so often one pops up. And I had noticed about a month or so ago that I didn’t have anything like aspirin, but it was never worth making a special trip, so that day at Circuit City is when this happened to pop.
And as is apparent by now, that post I'd planned to write (introspection with a dose of a Douglas Adams) is not coming. Oh well. Holidays are stressful for a lot of people, I understand, and it turned out that way for me. But whatever-it-was is resolved right now, or at least noticeably closer to being resolved, or at least easier to ignore.