I bought condoms last night. (I’ll explain why later)
Do you know how long it’s been since I bought condoms? At least 15 years. FIFTEEN!
I’m at the cusp of the age where women stopped depending on the
men boys to provide protection. In the early nineties, when I finally parted from my boyfriend of 4 years, I decided to take control of my sex life. (Just in case I found one again…) So, I bought my own condoms. At first, I would go to Wal-Mart late at night so I could study the boxes without too much interruption. (this was before the internet…where information was just a click away) Now, I’m not easily embarrassed by any stretch of the imagination–I can talk about sex to anyone. But for some reason, buying that first box of condoms was excrutiatingly embarrassing.
Fast forward 15 years later.
I’m at Wal-Mart, in this small town where everyone knows everyone, standing in the condom aisle trying to study my choices. (Just in case you didn’t know, the condom aisle is right in front of the pharmacy. I was there at 6:00 pm…and apparently so was the rest of Oxford.)
Suddenly, I’m completely embarrassed. I just know that everyone is staring at me and whispering. “Isn’t that Mark’s wife? Isn’t that Ian’s and Rader’s mom? Why is she buying condoms?”
It’s ridiculous, of course, because in the real world, who really gives a rat’s ass. But my conservative church upbringing was rearing it’s ugly head–shaming me–making me feel dirty. I’m a 37 year old woman and suddenly I felt the need to confess my sins.
And that just pissed me off. Why should I be ashamed?
With defiance pushing me, I picked up the economy size Trojans. I stuck them in the top part of the basket and made my way through the pharmacy crowd with my head held high. Even though my cheeks were blazing, I didn’t care. I would not be shamed because I was purchasing condoms. Especially since they aren’t even for me.
I bought them as a gift for a friend. It’s an inside joke and I hope it will make him laugh.
I figure last night’s adventure was good practice for the future. I’ve always said when my boys start dating, I’m going to keep a big-ass bowl of condoms at the front door. “Take a handful on your way out…”
Practice makes perfect, right?