I remembered an episode from my teens and felt the need to write it for posterity here.
My mom told me she was going to the store and needed me to come help. I'm not much of a shopper and never have been, but I am into bonding time with my mom, so I went. We got to K-Mart and I saw she had arranged to meet her best friend there too.
They each grabbed a cart, and had me grab one too. I said, "What are we buying that we need 3 carts?" My mom said, "It's a great sale, hurry!" I had trouble keeping up.
I got my first trickle of alarm when my mom had to stop and ask a guy who worked there where the feminine hygiene aisle was located. He pointed the way and our train of carts was off again.
When we got to the aisle there was a huge display of Stayfree Maxi Pads, buy one get one free. My mom and her friend started loading up their carts with as many boxes as they could. These were no small boxes. This was before the advent of Ultra Thin Maxis. I stood transfixed and horrified as the ramifactions hit me of wheeling carts full of these boxes through the store on a busy Saturday. Mom shook me out of my horror by snapping at me to hurry, fill my cart!
I don't remember filling the cart. It was probably so traumatic that I've repressed the memory. Too soon we were on our way, only they had stacked the carts so full that we couldn't see past the boxes to navigate through the store. When the checker saw us coming, he (of course it was a HE!) called for more checkers and he couldn't help his look of shock. Hell, neither could I.
Even worse, after he'd been scanning the boxes for what must have been 10 minutes, Mom felt the need to say something to the effect of what a great sale this was, especially for us, since we had 4 women in the house who used Stayfree. All at the same time, chuckle chuckle. Of course it never occurred to her to say something less embarrassing, like she was shopping for the women's prison, or that she worked for Stayfree and that a recall had happened and she was instructed to buy every box from every shelf in town.
I wished I could spontaneously combust right then and there, and hoped that my burning face was an indication that it was about to happen, but NO.
Wheeling my Leaning Tower of Maxi out to the car was the most embarrassing thing I've ever done. I had to keep one hand on the top of the stack to keep it from tumbling all over the parking lot. It took us forever to load them, and you could see the boxes and boxes through the windows. But the horror didn't end there. We lived on one of the busiest streets in town! Imagine driving by and seeing us unloading those boxes in a big line of kids from the car to the garage. We had a tall shelf unit in the garage, and it was full to the MAX (I know, puns are perfect in a story like this) for years.
You'd be proud of the inventive ways I kept friends from ever, EVER, seeing that garage.