I’m so glad we’ve had this time together

Goodbye slippers!

Goodbye slippers!

But it’s time to say goodbye. The Walgreens week ended, and now the Walgreens blog is ending. Thanks for reading, and to those of you who interacted with me during the week, thanks for not making fun of my outfits.

I do need to make one thing clear before I go, however.

Several people have asked me if I was sponsored by Walgreens, or if I let them know about my experiment, in the hopes they could cut me a deal me or something.

The answer is no. I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Walgreens corporation. Honestly, now, is that really what you think of me?


Spam and pop tarts

Who knew? Evidently, the Navy buys their supplies from the same distributor as Walgreens.

OK, being trapped on a cruise ship with no power for three days is not exactly comparable to living off Walgreens for a week. But the food choices were eerily familiar. If we can believe multiple news sources, the Navy helicoptered in emergency supplies: spam, pop tarts, canned crab meat and croissants.

I could kick myself for throwing out any of the food I bought at Walgreens. I’m sure the passengers would have enjoyed some fully-cooked bacon or mini powdered donuts as a respite from all the mayonnaise sandwiches they were allegedly offered.


What’s the damage?

ReceiptsI wasn’t planning to do any kind of economic analysis of my Walgreens week, but Ellen suggested I save all my receipts, so I did. However, it wasn’t until I couldn’t spend money anywhere but Walgreens that I realized how much money I actually do spend elsewhere, without really thinking about it. And it’s usually on food or snacks.

Last Tuesday after I voted, I walked to the L train and thought, oh, I’ll get a cup of coffee and a custard tart at the Chinese bakery, since I’m right here. Oops, couldn’t do it. Thursday walking on Market Street I was suddenly parched and headed to the donut shop to buy a bottle of water. Oops, couldn’t do that either. At work, I really wanted to go out with Carolyn for our usual Specialty’s cookie at 3:30. Stop at the Peets in the Embarcadero Muni station? Go to the Ferry Building for a cup of gelato? Order pizza for dinner? All just a normal part of my middle class, disposable income lifestyle.

So what was the damage for my Walgreens week? $297.21. I have no idea how that compares to any other week of my life, but there it is.

That amount includes some things that will last much longer than a week (skin care products, clothing, cornstarch). It also includes a bunch of stuff that was/will be thrown away or donated. It doesn’t include all the items I bought from Walgreens ahead of time, like sweatshirts, dresses and corduroy slippers. And it doesn’t include the cost of my $60 Clipper card, even though I did buy it that week.


Honestly now, did I cheat?

Here are the things that I wore/bought/used all week that were NOT from Walgreens:

  • Contact lenses and glasses. Although I just found out they sell contacts online.
  • Toothpaste. My teeth are super sensitive, and I have only found one toothpaste in the entire world that does not contain mint or licorice, and they only sell it at Rainbow.
  • Scooter clothing. The one time I rode my scooter I wore my jacket with the armor, and a pair of real shoes, for safety sake.
  • Gas for the car. But Walgreens doesn’t sell gas. Or cars.
  • Condoms. I like Lifestyles brand, which they don’t carry.
  • I did go see a show, but I had bought the tickets months ago, so that doesn’t count.

Surprising things that really were from Walgreens:scooter gloves

  • Clipper card
  • Reading glasses
  • Scooter gloves. A seemingly average pair of $1.99 grey acrylic gloves, but the palms are covered with little rubber dots for traction! Perfect for the scooter.

Things that could have been from Walgreens, but I didn’t want to redecorate my entire house. It’s crazy enough that I bought an entire new wardrobe.

  • Dishes
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • Laundry detergent
  • My daughter’s hair straightener. Actually, I might have bought that at Walgreens… hmm, I don’t remember.

So yes, I stayed true to Walgreens and did not stray.

I’m such a baby

This was really hard. On Friday I was ready to give up the Walgreens ruse and go out for dinner. I mean, who would know if I were lying, right? I had a date Saturday afternoon, and I couldn’t find an outfit to wear that didn’t make me look like a sad suburban housewife. But I ended up with the perfect outfit: my pleather jacket and underwear. Joke.

I was also having a bad hair week. I just got bangs and have been trying to get used to them. Unfortunately, I felt like I had an 80s hairstyle with wings all week, which, on top of my 80s outfits, really sucked.

I’ve been thinking about why this week was so hard for me. Especially since nobody made me do it. The thing is, I hate being told what to do or not do, even if it’s only me talking to myself. I would not do well if I were ever incarcerated. I’m actually kinda surprised that I kept with it for a week and didn’t cheat.

Bottom line: I am extremely grateful for everything I have in my life. I am grateful that I have freedom of choice. I am grateful that I am a single adult and can pretty much do whatever the hell I want (when I’m not with my daughter). I am grateful that I live in San Francisco. I am grateful that I can wear my black boots tomorrow.

Mission and 1st Walgreens

I started out so enthusiastically...

Day 7 – Sauvignon blanc to the rescue

After bottoming out on this whole Walgreens thing yesterday, today was much better, a fitting end to the week. First of all, I didn’t really have to go anywhere, so it didn’t matter that I was wearing sweatpants, a baggy sweatshirt and slippers. Second of all, I planned a nice final dinner for myself and my daughter.

Pumpkin pieI made a pumpkin pie this afternoon. It was nice to bake, I felt like myself again. All we had left for dinner was frozen PF Chang sweet and sour chicken. So I took a last trip to the Westlake Walgreens to get rice and hopefully a salad. And guess what? All the wine and beer are on sale! So I got me some rice, and got me a bottle of Barefoot sauvignon blanc.

Had an early dinner, since the clocks outside may have changed, but our inner clocks haven’t adjusted. I lighted up a Walgreens fire log, served chicken, rice and canned peas, popped in the Dixie Chicks documentary I found for $3.99 last week, “Shut Up and Sing.” For desert, homemade pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream.Last dinner

Day 6 – I hate food

Normally I have a fairly high tolerance for gross food. In fact, I’m often the only person eating it. But some of the processed foods we bought at Walgreens are just too hideous. Food I’ve thrown away:

  • Sarah Lee bagels
  • Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon (don’t ask, my daughter picked it out)
  • W Café mini powdered donuts (who knew Walgreens had their own food brand?)
  • TGI Fridays buffalo chicken wings (again, chosen by my daughter)

Around Wednesday, I started to feel completely bloated. By Thursday nothing I ate tasted like anything, it was all just… sustenance. Friday night my daughter had a sleepover at a friend’s house and I didn’t have to cook dinner so I simply didn’t eat. I haven’t eaten since then, and it’s Saturday night.

ChocoVineOK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I have drunk lots of tea and eaten two pieces of bread with butter.  Oh, and I broke out the ChocoVine. If the wine part hadn’t tasted like vinegar, it could have been pretty good.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel hunger again.

So far my daughter has had five meals at friends’ houses. Can’t say I blame her.


Day 5 – My feet stink

My feet stink. In fact, most of me stinks (more than usual). It’s a combination of synthetic fabrics, the hot weather and these damned slippers worn with no socks.

I’m tired of wearing slippers. There’s an evil, insidious feeling that has seeped out of these slippers and into my psyche. Wearing slippers all the time makes me feel stupid, shlubby, like I’m not really engaged in life, like I don’t count, like I’m invisible. It’s weird. Both the feel of soft loose shoes on my feet and the shiffing sound they make walking around is starting to make me depressed.

I need hard soles on my feet to keep me grounded!Corduroy slippers

Day 4 – Do I dare to eat a pear?

Full disclosure: I consumed something not bought at Walgreens today. I drank a cup of Good Earth tea. Although they do sell it there, so it could have been from Walgreens. I mean, for all I know the owners of the French bistro buy their tea from Walgreens…

I had an interview scheduled with Giuseppe and we had agreed to meet for lunch at a French bistro on 6th Street near Mission. Aww, man, I couldn’t believe I was going to have to pass up a yummy French bistro meal eaten on a rooftop patio. So I ordered a cup of tea and robotically consumed the cheese sandwich I had packed that morning, while Giuseppe enjoyed his ratatouille quiche and mixed green salad. Sigh.

Day 3 mealLast night’s meal was somewhat normal. It wasn’t all high-sodium packaged foods. Tuna melts, vegan minestrone soup and iceberg lettuce salad. Minestrone soup has vegetables, right? Iceberg lettuce is technically a green vegetable, and it’s fun to crunch, but it’s more like chewing water.

Yesterday I saw a woman eating a pear on the L train and I almost cried it was so beautiful.

Oh yeah, my outfit. Today I wore my favorite Walgreens dress. It was such a nice outfit I almost didn’t mind wearing corduroy slippers. Almost.Day 4 outfit

Day 3 – Go Giants!

Giants paradeHow those scissors have come in handy! For my Giants parade look today, I simply sliced yesterday’s dress in half and wore it over an undershirt. Once again, quite an 80s kind of look, but today, as long as I’m wearing orange and black, no one’s gonna care.

I’ve got to hand it to the downtown Walgreens on 5th and Market. Most of the other large stores had shut down and dropped their gates, expecting rioting fans from the parade, I guess, but Walgreens stayed open. With an employee at the front entrance dutifully vacuuming up the ticker tape bits of paper being tracked in.

Along with 3 full aisles of San Francisco souvenirs (including a dozen different styles of jackets), this Walgreens has an amazing array of European cookies, presumably for all the homesick tourists who pop in. And the best news yet: I found a pair of pants! They’re sweatpants, but they don’t look so bad.Day3-outfit

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