Monday, June 11, 2007

The Teenage Trauma of Buying Birth Control

Bash #768409

<Scotty> Oh my fucking God. I just spent the best 20 dollars of my life. On a bet, anyway.
<Scotty> After school, me and my friends went to the drug store.
<Scotty> And my friend brought a box of condoms to the counter.
<Scotty> And she scanned them.
<Scotty> And he acted like he didn't have enough money.
<Scotty> He was like, "Shit, I'll be right back."
<Scotty> So he puts the condoms back, and comes back with a bag of rubber bands in one hand and a box of plastic wrap in the other.
<Scotty> Oh my fucking God
<Scotty> Until the day I die
<Scotty> I will never forget that lady's face.
<DanT> haha
<Scotty> Best bet I've ever lost.

True story:

My senior prom was neigh, and I had a really hot date. She was even from out of town, and looked like a brunette Farah Fawcett. To this day, I don't know how I managed to draw her attention, but there you are. Met her at church camp, which we guys attended only because the girl to guy ratio was a very favorable 3 to 1. The guys at my school were duly impressed, and I even had the upper crust of the jocks stopping me in the hall and asking where I had found such a hottie (insult clearly intended).

TLD: I have always been and will forever be a total geek when it comes to dating women (so thank God I'm married to a wonderful woman). I lack the knack so completely that somewhere in my late 20s (a year before I met my wife through a blind date, if I recall the timeline correctly) I had resigned myself to being single - which was quasi-OK, save for the one woman at work who became convinced I was gay and actively started introducing me to "nice guys." (Which had its own entertainment value as the guys could tell within seconds I was straight, and it was fun to watch their faces fall when the realization dawned. Not "fun" out of any mean-spirited thing, but just kinda like watching that guy at the meat market who can't get anyone to dance with him.) Ironically, at the time, I was having my formative "older woman" relationship with someone at the same company, so we kept it mum since she was an executive and I was a drone. For all young geeks out there, I do recommend Benjamin Franklin's advice on having "older woman" companions prior to marriage at some point.

The hottie had hinted around that we'd most likely have a fun time after the prom as well, so I decided it was time to procure myself some birth control.

I knew this was going to take some planning to limit potential for extreme embarrassment, like getting caught by one of the girls from school, a parent I knew, etc. So here it was: I was a senior, and our study-halls were "free," meaning we could leave campus. I had one in the early morning, and anyone else with the same would use it to sleep in, thereby limiting the potential for bumping into aforementioned female classmates. I would sweep the store and scope out any parental units I knew, and if none where in evidence, I would steal back to the drug dept. and get my booty. I would request a paper bag for opacity. Not foolproof, but still a strong plan.

At first it went smoothly, and so I sidled up to the counter. The ancient drug store clerk was shuffling around in the back, and I knew it would take a while before she pretended to notice me and come forward, so I held the package in my hand until she actually made it to the counter five minutes later.

The moment arrived, I placed it on the counter, and she began to peck at the keys to ring it up. A puzzled expression crossed her droopy face and she halted for about 20 seconds. "Oh dear, I've entered it incorrectly," she mumbled, and took out a page-long form she claimed had to fill out when she'd erred. She bent over painfully after a protracted search for a pen, and began filling it out.

By the time she completed it, a queue of about 5 octogenarians had formed behind me. Embarrassing, but I didn't know any of them, thank God.

This was the time I figured out one of the societal patterns of the gray panthers. They're up at the butt-crack of dawn since they can't sleep, and by this time they've had their coffee at the shop and caught up with who died in the night, so it was time to pick up the meds and think about whether they'd have ice cream or a donut for brunch. Not only was I making them field-test their support hose by making them stand there, I was cutting into ice cream time, and perhaps even risking someone missing the first of their stories (their nomenclature for the daytime soaps).

Prunella had completed the form and was back to pecking the keys, when the exact same puzzled expression crossed her face, complete with a pause of the exact same length, and she mumbled, "I did it again." She had kept the pen out this time, but had to extract another form.

At this point I asked, "Do you have to fill it out again? Can't you note on the last one that it happened twice?"

I was young, so you'll have to forgive me about not knowing better. Of course, this gave rise to a bubble of wrath from Prunella who explained that it could not be so, and why. At length. Then she bent to the form.

By now the line of white, pink, and blue heads was stacked up fifteen behind me, with everyone taking their turn to bend sideways and shoot me a look, some looking at the item I was purchasing, planting me with a grim sneer, since I was a teenager buying sex products. Shame, shame on me.

I reached out and slid the box in front of me so the gawkers couldn't see it, but this made Prunella stop and inform me in that cat-scratch voice some elder women can summon that she needs to see the numbers on the box so stop moving it, and she slid it even further out for clearer viewing behind me. The "tsk, tsk" chorus behind me sounded like chickens pecking for feed. People were even beginning to mumble opinions about me and my purchase to each other. And I heard the words "my stories" a couple times.

After all this, she finally rings it up right, and then bags it in a clear plastic bag, which she actually went out of her way to go back and get. I asked for a brown paper bag and she informed me she had already given me a bag, to which I responded I'd give it back when she gave me the paper one. She bestowed upon me one of those lingering, withering Jack Benny glares, fished out a paper bag and handed it to me.

The only way to escape the counter, the way the store was configured, was to turn and walk past the line that had formed. If the weight of frowns could actually cause physical damage, I would've been crushed like a grape at that moment.

In case you're wondering, the protection never made it out from under the seat of my car. Yes, some fun was had, but her hinting turned out not to be about a home run, but something a little more afield, if you get my drift.

BC purchase humiliation doesn't stop in old age either, I've found.

(I think I've already told this one, but am too lazy to check, so if you've read this one, surf on.)

On a trip to the grocery store once, my lovely wife dispatched me to go get some condoms. When I arrived at the aisle, three teenage girls were in the midst of it, presumably selecting feminine hygiene products, so even though my target was at the beginning of the aisle, to save us all a round of blushes, I blithely cruised past and continued on to the magazine rack which thankfully was a couple rows down.

The girls either were not in actual shopping mode and just talking, or they were indecisive, because some time passed, and my wife appeared at the end of the aisle, right by the condoms. Before I could do anything - and I saw it coming because my wife looked at the condoms, looked pointedly at me with that special look all wives cultivate to communicate to their husbands that they are questioning their ability to go around unsupervised - she points at the rack and yells, "Honey, the condoms are right here!"

The three teenage heads swivel to her, turn ever so slightly to look at the rack of rubbers, then they all spin to gaze aghast at me. Then they predictably do that thing we've all seen teenage girls do where they all huddled together leaning forward and do a group giggle.

Blushing to the roots of my hair, I plodded past them, plucked a package from the selection, said, "Thanks Hon." and continued on my way. About then it dawned on my wife what she'd done to me, and I had to endure her laughing her ass off all the way back to the car.

Love that woman.


The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Dang, I've got nothing that good. At worst I had the (much milder) embarrassment of trying to explain to a Texas pharmacist, while other customers listened, what a basal temperature thermometer was and why I needed one and how it worked, none of which got me any closer to replacing my broken one. Hey, can I explain mucous symptoms too?

Yahmdallah said...

I am aware of what mucous symptoms are. But that might make an interesting post for the young men who don't. (Evil Grin)