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Published on April 14, 2020

Future mommy diaries

I’m young, pregnant and in the old folks line for toilet paper

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

We needed toilet paper desperately, which meant using desperate measures - my seven-month pregnancy.

I’ve heard that nothing can compare to your first pregnancy. So they say. When they said that, whoever they are, were not in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When information started to come out about this virus, I stopped going to the store. David, my husband, has been making the supermarket runs, but for two weeks straight, he came back without toilet paper. By the time he got off work, it was long-gone.

I decided to take care of it myself and headed out to Costco.

On Tuesday and Thursday, pregnant women and anyone over the age of 60 can go shopping before the store normally opens.

The line outside snaked around the building, but I could stand in line for as long as needed. I got in a hunting frame of mind.

I was the youngest one there, which a couple of women behind me immediately noticed.

“I didn’t know there were going to be so many young people here,” one of them said, staring directly at me and loud enough to be heard by me, and probably whoever was standing at the end of the line.

I turned around and showed them my large, pregnant belly.

“I’m only here to find some toilet paper,” I said.

One of the women yelled: “Oh my, she is very pregnant! We weren’t talking about you, honey.”
I smiled and turned around. They were ready to cheer me up some more. “Good luck finding toilet paper with a line this long.”

I was on a mission now to prove them wrong, and failure was not an option. I was going to hunt down some toilet paper and drag it back to the house, no matter what. I was ready for action.

I spotted the store entrance. There was light at the end of the tunnel, except we were outside, so it didn’t make any difference. I was getting close.

I was the last person let in before they cut off the line of people waiting to enter. There were just so many they let in the store at a time. I made it inside. The women who made me feel so welcome were on the other side of the cutoff line. If that isn’t karma, I am not sure what is?

It was like a treasure hunt. I was walking faster than I had ever walked in Costco. The toilet paper was located in the back right of the store. I started seeing people’s carts with Charmin Ultrasoft and picked up the pace. Victory was within reach. I was thinking nobody better get in my way - or else!

I really didn’t have an “or else,” but it sounds good.

I approach my destination, only to see another line - the toilet paper line. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one desperate to continue practicing good hygiene. What if they run out, and all this was for nothing? The nightmare scenario was flowing through my mind, but I wasn’t listening. There is enough. The alternative is unacceptable.

Then came my turn. I was handed a 24-pack of Charmin. They were limiting it to one per customer. They treated it like it was made out of gold. But I was glad to get it.

It was handed over with a strange look. I was being judged again for my youthfulness. That’s because I am young - pregnant and young. Nothing mattered now except the fact that I had Charmin in my cart. I felt like I had won the lottery.

What are those, Clorox wipes? No way. I had been looking for disinfecting wipes forever. This must be the bonus round. I grabbed one pack and ran off like I had done something wrong.

As I walked out with my treasures, I saw the women who were behind me finally being allowed into the store. I smiled and hurried past them to the car, ready to transport my treasures to a safe location.

Yes, it was a great day to be pregnant.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)