Of all of my periods that I have ever gotten, I easily remember my third one. That’s the one where my mom figured out what was happening. We were driving home one night and I was sitting in the back seat and we had this extremely awkward coming of age talk that mothers have with their daughters when their daughters start their monthly reenactment of a volcanic eruption…except it’s upside down. The gist of the conversation was that if I ever thought anything was wrong then I should talk to my mom. I was eleven at the time and I didn’t have a whole lot to say to my mom since I’d yet to lose any shame that I had for whatever brief period of time that I had it. It was just a damn awkward moment to say the least.
But it wasn’t the most awkward. Having my dad on one side of the underwear section of a Wal-Mart, holding up a bra and shouting “HOW ABOUT THIS ONE?!” during my very first bra shopping trip might have been the most awkward moment of them all. However, for every awkward and embarrassing moment that I had as a pre-teen and teen meant that as an adult I would be comfortable with a lot of things. Bra shopping (It was a big deal for me because I didn’t want to start wearing bras), buying tampons, getting on the pill and staying on the pill and condom shopping.
As my life worked out, being able to buy condoms turned out to be a skill that was much needed among myself and several of my first and second year friends. Not only that, but my comfort level with condoms was a huge asset for me and my friends. After countless trips with my dad and my sister down the “Family Planning” aisle to look at and buy condoms for our various jokes, I was ok strutting into any store and buying a box of condoms. Sure, I was more comfortable turning condoms into balloons and science projects, but after watching my friends walk into a store to pick up a box of condoms and then fill a basket with all sorts of useless crap to hide the fact that they were buying baby stoppers I was happy for this skill I’d acquired.
One of my favorite outtings was with a girl that I lived with in dorms who was planning on having sex for the first time. We went to a Shoppers Drug Mart that was near SFU campus and my friend being the shy and easily embarrassed girl that she was, wanted to go look at everything else in the store. Suddenly she needed cover up, shampoo, batteries, toilet paper and all sorts of little things that are useless and way to expensive for an average student to be buying at Shoppers. Finally I managed to drag her to the condom section in the store and not only was the poor girl freaked out at the prospect of having to buy condoms, but she looked so damn squirrely that a security guard kept walking past us as we stood there quietly arguing over whether or not she was actually going to buy any condoms.
While I was waiting for her to actually build up the courage to look directly at the condoms, I grabbed a box of my favorite brand of rubbers and tossed them into my basket. I love One condoms. They’re pretty and they come with a cute case that I now have a small collection of. I even tried to collect the wrappers for a short period of time because they were all really neat looking, but I soon realized how icky and weird that was so I tossed out the 30-odd wrappers that I’d accumulated.
It literally took my friend 15 minuets to work up the courage just to pick out a box of sperm dams and by that time a security guard had come and stood at the end of the aisle we were in watching us. I think he was waiting for us to do something bad so after making sure my friend hadn’t picked out crappy condoms (She chose a box of Durex…the ultra thin kind) I dragged her up to the cash register to traumatize her by making her pay for her little box of naughty deeds on her own. As we were leaving the aisle I glanced over my shoulder, saw the security guard was still glaring at us so I did the only thing that I could do:
I mooned him.
And was promptly asked to leave the store which left my poor friend to pay for her anti-pregnancy devices on her own.
It took her 20 minuets and she came out with 6 bags full of stuff…but at least she got her condoms, yea?