I pride myself on being a good mother. I take risks and put my own personal well being on the line for my children on a routine basis. Motherhood is just one step removed from martyrdom after all. It causes women about as much grief as any other existing ideology and many of us do it for all the wrong reasons. Still, most of us have the best intentions, and a willingness to accept the risks.
So when my son began dating his first girlfriend I decided I would be progressive and proactive. I took it upon myself to nurture their blossoming relationship right from the start. After all, I am sex positive. I am positive they are going to have sex.
So I made a trip to my local pharmacy, which happens to be in my local grocery store. I headed for the condom section, which turned out to be a condom aisle. A whole aisle. I had no idea.
I stood there stunned, and a little too afraid to actually pick up any of the boxes and read the fine print. I don’t know how long I stood there surveying the shelves. Maybe five minutes, maybe three hours.
I was woken from my stupor by a voice over my left shoulder. As soon as I realized that voice belonged to an actual human being and wasn’t coming from inside my head, I turned in that direction. I stood face to face with a handsome twenty something man smiling at me with genuine concern.
“Do you need help?” He asked.
I instantly had a hot flash and blurted out “Not for me, for my son…”
He nodded empathetically, fully aware that women of my age obviously didn’t have sex, let alone safe sex. He took a cautious step forward, hands visible at all times, and reached out and pointed to a box on one of the shelves “These are my favourites.”
At this exact moment his girlfriend showed up, and he turned to her to explain himself “This woman is buying condoms for her son, isn’t that great?”
She clapped her hands “You are a wonderful mother! Did he tell you these,” she also pointed, “are our favourite?”
I think I nodded.
I stood there.
She picked up the box from the shelf and offered them to me.
I grabbed them, turned around, and ran for the cash. The cashier didn’t mention it. I didn’t get a bag, I popped them right in my purse and prepared for a hasty retreat back to the safety of the parking lot. It was all going well until I got to the door.
There at the door was that lovely young couple, and as I passed them they waved and said in unison “Wish your son good luck!”
Now I have to find a new grocery store because I cannot risk going back there and having them asked me how he did.