Monday after work, I popped in at the local pharmacy to get my flu shot.
For those of you who think I'm crazy for getting a flu shot, I don't want to hear about it. Well, actually, that's not very open-minded. Let me change that. For those of you who disagree with my choice to get a flu shot, I would love to hear your scientific arguments against it and I promise to read each and every one.
Back to the story...
The pharmacy I chose to go to is the one I go to every year for my flu shot.
I like it there.
They are nice there.
I also like it because it's a pharmacy that is smack dab in the middle of several different neighbourhoods. Some of the most expensive homes in my city are within walking distance. So is much of the affordable housing. Doug and I live right in the middle of it all and I love that all sorts of different people live around us in a way that just seems to work. My 7k morning runs take me from one end of the socio-economic scale of our city to the other and back again.
I make a point of going to this pharmacy because it's one of those rare places where everyone feels welcome. It doesn't matter what you're wearing or how much money you have. It's open. It's accessible and nothing seems to phase the people who work there.
A rainbow of colours. People of all ages. Different accents. Tattoos. Piercings.
And that's just the staff.
I walked up to the counter and asked for a flu shot. I filled out the form and had to wait my turn behind everyone who had dropped off a prescription before me.
Two people had come in for their daily methadone maintenance treatment. They nodded at me when I made eye contact. They leaned against the wall casually waiting their turn to be called up.
A young mother covered in tattoos and piercings brought her young daughter in. She proceeded to open a chocolate bar and share it with her daughter while they tried on sunglasses, debated between Ninja Turtle and Barbie bandaids and waited for whatever it was they were waiting for. The mother kept yelling her daughter's name if she wandered too far and, instead of giving her annoyed looks, the other folks grinned at the precocious little girl who clearly had a mind of her own.
Seniors made their way in and each one was greeted by name. They looked at the little girl and then grinned at me.
University students with their strategically messy buns, pyjama pants and UGG boots were slumped in chairs waiting for their names to be called.
A woman dressed to the nines strolled in. She probably looked the most out of place. She too smiled when I made eye contact.
I choose to get my flu shot for my health and for the health of the people around me.
I choose to go to the pharmacy that I go to because it's a community that I enjoy being a part of.