Small Town Perils

Some things are different when you live in a small town. I’m learning to adjust to the lack of anonymity you have when you live in a town of approximately 8, 500 people (that’s rounding up). Since I don’t know that many people yet I still find it charming to run into an acquaintance downtown. But sometimes you want to run errands in private.

I’m attending a bachelorette party this weekend and so this afternoon I headed to the pharmacy downtown to buy items of an, um, intimate nature for my friend who is about to be married. In truth, I’m sort of awkward about buying such items no matter where I am. I’m a bit of a prude about some things, I guess. As I arrive downtown I remember that every time I’m there I run into someone I know. Often someone from church. Someone I know drives by on the main street and waves. I wave back, already feeling awkward.

I head into the pharmacy and pretend to look at shampoo. I’m tempted to buy a decoy product so that if I do see someone I can pretend that’s what I came for and hide my real purchase behind my back.

No, Karissa. You are a grown woman. You’re married. Who cares if people think you’re buying, um, intimate items for yourself?

Everybody in this town knows my in-laws.

I sneak into the “Family Planning” aisle. (Why on earth is that what they decided to call it?) I peruse my options while pretending to look at First Aid items next to the section. I try and look interested in a rubber ear dropper while peeking sideways at the “Family Planning” section.

Dammit, Karissa, be a grown-up!

I gather my courage and I bravely crouch down to check some items closer. Pregnancy tests are stocked on the bottom shelf. (For pregnant women to see as they feel nauseous and bend over?) Perfect, I think. If I see someone I know, I’ll pretend to look at pregnancy tests. Being pregnant is wholesome, right?

Wait….then they’ll think I’m pregnant.

I’m not pregnant.

That’s a rumour that could spread quickly.

People might start congratulating me.

Then I’ll feel fat.

Moral of the story: I’m paranoid. I didn’t run into anyone I know. Small towns are okay.

Also, I really don’t know that many people here. Talk to me again in a year or so.

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