You Got Me, CVS

Hey CVS,

Your long receipts with the “extra bucks” offers do not motivate me to return to your store. I will be coming back to CVS no matter what. You have all the shampoos, tubes of toothpaste and toenail clippers we need. You have all the deodorant options for my family, including Old Spice’s vast array of carnivorous animal-themed body washes and deodorant for my boys. Actually, I am most overwhelmed in that realm. It would much easier to have just two options, maybe the wolf with thorns or the bear with gloves.

I am already convinced that product offerings are your specialty. Everyone in the family can get what they need and probably things they don’t need. I go into CVS for throat lozenges, and I end up buying a few travel-sized items, a couple of cans of tennis balls and more face cleaning wipes for our teenagers because the flavors look so juicy and delicious. Grapefruit is my favorite flavor for any item, but I also have a strange weakness for cucumber lime as well. Years ago, I thought this flavor was a passing trend, yet it persists. I may be partially responsible for keeping cucumber and lime in demand because I can’t resist the refreshing concept. I wonder if the lighting and smell of your store put a spell on me. I could save money by slicing up some cucumbers and put them in pitchers of water in spa-like form, but I choose to rub that jive on my face and in my armpits in the form of products from your store instead.

I am all for saving money and using coupons for things I need, but the extra bucks offers are rarely for anything I actually need. Saving opportunities for items like Theravent for snoring or “American Home Candles” are not even slightly enticing. The brain space required to keep track of the one coupon that I actually will use is exhausting. It is hard to manage the regular contents of my purse. Now I am fifty-two and drifty, too. I work up anxiety trying to save $2. Besides, no coupon or extra bucks strip of paper will ever rival my in-store CVS unraveling of good sense. A list of five necessary items consistently turns to fifteen when I walk into CVS, and I rarely regret my purchases. I usually stick to the mostly useful stuff, but I can go astray. You can rely on that.

Killing time in your store at night leads even the most disciplined shopper off the rails. One time I found myself with forty-minutes in town before I had to pick up my daughter. I decided to stock up on tampons, gum, shampoo, Q-tips, Chapstick and floss at CVS. Once I completed my list, then I straggled my way toward the registers, a path on which trouble usually crops up. Right after I had successfully fought off the urge to buy a Frosty-themed snow globe (in early November), I rounded the corner to find my friend placing a pair of Rudolf the Reindeer slippers in her cart. She looked so focused and taken by those slippers until she looked up and saw me with a look of slight guilt. We burst out laughing at the unspoken understanding of what happens when you have too much time in CVS. She was also using up the forty-five minutes before she picked up her daughter. Like me, she had a cart filled with necessary items, but she had succumbed to the peeling feeling for oddities.

By the way, CVS, you also have the prescription meds. Even though we minimize our use of medication of any kind, we had a run on injuries and surgeries over the last couple of years. Wisdom teeth and ski accidents require the purchase of pain meds just in case of a late-night desperate pain rage. Even though our kids slept through most of the pain, we bought the meds every time just in case. We spent a lot of money on meds that ended up in the prescription meds receptacles at the police station. Surgeries also call for stool softeners – sometimes docs prescribe several variations. On my way home from the hospital, I panic and buy the largest bottle of stool softeners and largest box of laxative packets as if I will be snowed in for years with my whole family suffering constipation. I always discover that we already have at least three full bottles and boxes of the fecal assistants in various places around the house. I won’t remember these four bottles of stool softeners next time and will buy more whether I have coupons or not.

I assure you that the crumpled two or three feet of extra bucks coupons on your receipt at the bottom of my purse is never the thing that makes me choose CVS. I am devoted to you and dependent on you just the way you want me to be. You are conveniently located, open all the time, have everything and parking is a delight. Retail
therapy with stuff that will be used is easy to justify, and while I am in there I will buy a lot of other stuff. I will be back.


A Returning Customer

P.S. I love your store, but your bags are atrocious. Reusing your bags is impossible, even as a garbage can liner. I worry that at least two of the thirty-one plastic bags found in that dead whale’s stomach I saw on Facebook were CVS bags. I try to use my own bags at your stores, but the friendly CVS prompt thinks I am lying. I set my bag up on the little structure, but she becomes displeased and tries to boss me into using your sketchy bags. After some buzzes and beeps, she tells me that help is on the way. Your bags and the many feet of receipt are horrible for the environment.

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