Feeling Needed: More than money can buy

After yesterday’s monologue about my overwhelmingly successful yet somehow hopeless sentiment about life, I had to take a long public transit ride home from work since I can’t drive for a month. Even though it’s only six miles away, the train and bus times don’t line up at all for people traveling my direction, so I took a two minute train ride and had to wait an hour for a bus to take me three miles up a large hill. That gave me some time to think, and wander around a mini mall.

I decided to spend that hour in a CVS, because drugstores are oh-so exciting. Kind of like a museum of cheap things that define American culture. While in the store, I was wandering for a while and at one point this 40-something year old man came up to me and asked me a very weird question — what should he do about a spot on his head that was both dry and oily. Really weird question. I was immediately suspicious of his motives, first thinking he might be working fraud protection for the store and attempting to determine if my hour-long wandering around was actually me stealing a bunch of stuff (of course it wasn’t, I was just killing time I didn’t have to kill).

I tried to blow him off, saying “I don’t know,” but he was pretty set on getting an answer from me. Then I thought, I have this hour to kill anyway, can’t I help the guy out? He wasn’t hitting on me (or if he was he was doing a terrible job at it) and if he happened to be a store employee testing out my motives for lingering in the makeup department with a giant purse and backpack, then I might as well play along.

I told him that it sounds like he has combination skin, so he should probably get a moisturizer without oil in it. He was perplexed — “a moisturizer without oil, what do they use for moisture, water?” So I took him over to the aisle with the moisturizers and acne products, which he thought was in a “woman’s” section of the store. I showed him some anti-acne moisturizers that were oil free, then decided those wouldn’t be right for him since he was, apparently flaking. I found him another Aveeno moisturizer that I thought would be good, but it was $16, and he didn’t want to spend $16 on moisturizer. So I then identified a CVS-brand moisturizer that was labeled “for combination skin” and it was $9. “Here you go,” I said. “This is perfect for you.” He thanked me, and I walked away.  I have no idea if he actually bought that, or if he was just a nut job, or a security guard.

Either way, when I left the store, despite being mildly creeped out, I felt really good. After a long day of feeling hopeless, I, with my not-so-deep knowledge of moisturizers, might have helped a man solve his skin problem. How random is that? But I know I feel good when I feel helpful, and I feel depressed when I feel helpless. So I guess the question I need to solve is, how do I make myself feel less helpless and out of control and drowning on a daily basis? And can I afford the psychotherapy required to help me get to an answer to that question?

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One comment

  1. amy says:

    you could walk those 3 miles if you want some introspection time. or you can keep playing shopper helper at cvs which is also good use of your time!

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