I am in love with CVS. I'm not sure when it started, or why. Perhaps it was when they started popping up on every street corner in Houston. Maybe it was because they remind me of my childhood trips to the mall in New Jersey, back when there were drugstores actually inside the malls themselves. Or perhaps it was just fate.
It's unusual, I admit, a love affair with a convenience store. I'll often go more than once in the same day. Do I really need anything on these repeat trips? Probably not… But I want something. Many things, actually. When I walk through those familiar orange doors at my neighborhood CVS, I am met with “Hi, Beth,” from the cashiers and the pharmacists know me by name, too. When my husband goes without me they ask him where I am. It is my CVS.
So what exactly do I get at CVS, besides the usual holy-crap-we’re-out-of-toilet-paper trips? Well, there's the basics—tissues, paper towels, milk and sparkling water, but it's mostly about the beauty products. I spend hours perusing the aisles of beauty products—name brands, CVS brands, brands I have never heard of. I hang out in that weird aisle with things from other countries like “conch shell” cream and oils made of things I didn’t know you could make oils from.
Yeah, I know, Walgreens is all fancy with their LOOK boutiques featuring well-lit, Sephora-like aisles and prices to match, but CVS has my heart and clearly my wallet.
On my last bank statement, the pie chart of my expenses showed that over 30 percent of my spending occurs at CVS. Excluding food and booze, I spend more money at CVS than on any other single thing, place or activity. I obsess over the reward points and save receipts in my car like a crazy coupon lady, even though I know there's an app and I could just download them. But the coupons are part of the fun! The stream of paper pouring out of the cashier’s printer teases me with all the things I could save money on—things that I might not even need but have to get 'cause it’s a deal.
Yesterday I went three times. My CVS is always open, always welcoming, always waiting. You can find me in aisle four.