I have found 3 situations in which it is hard for me to make small talk: annual exams at the doctor; check ups at the dentist, and today, a new place: the pharmacist. Specifically, the pharmacist to pick up Albenza, "an anthelmintic used to treat infections caused by tapeworms."
Usually Sue, the checker-outer at the pharmacy, is the only person I see. Today, there was a "gathering" at the pharmacy counter: two pharmacists and Sue. All curious eyes seemed to want to ask the same question: are you Lizzie and are you contagious? They made a point of telling me, not the side effects but the fact that "we didn't have this medicine in stock." Suddenly, I didn't feel the need to be polite so much as the need to appear... clean. competent. not Lizzie. But instead of small talk, out came what is commonly known as Too Much Information. "We've had her home for three months, but the first stool samples leaked." "Oh, she's probably had these parasites all her life but she's just used to them."
The good news is the prescription was only $8.53. In an effort to make everyone feel more comfortable about this very personal transaction, I said, "Wow. I thought it would be closer to a million dollars. Maybe they feel sorry for people who need parasite medication."
A weak "heh-heh" was all that I got from the curious audience which now included at least 2 other customers who were probably picking up medication for tennis elbow and golf knee.
The other good news: I got a $10 giftcard with my new prescription. So actually I got paid to have parasites.