Last night, I went shopping in The Christmas Tree Shops. I was on my way to Target, and realized I needed grass for Easter baskets. The Christmas Trees Shops carry discount seasonal items (although, judging by the name, at one time it was only the one season), a random assortment of foodstuffs, and cheap housewares. They are run by the same company that owns Harmon Discount, so there is also a separate section of health and beauty supplies within the Shop. I needed children's Tylenol for the woebegone Five, so I wandered over to browse.
I'm not a particularly girly woman. I don't often go in for mani-pedi's, I have no skincare routine, and I rarely need more than three products in the shower. The other day, I had to use my shampoo for body wash, because I forgot to replace the empty bottle. Nevertheless, I can be persuaded to purchase site-specific products, especially as I age. I was drawn to the Bio-Oil for stretch marks, although those suckers are so old, I'm not sure anything short of a steam-roller would do the trick at this point. I picked up a foot file, thinking I might remember to use it if I put it in the shower. I stocked up on sunscreen, because it was on sale for three dollars a bottle!
I rounded the corner, and spied condoms. I am fairly certain I have never purchased a box of condoms in my life. I haven't even seen a condom in twenty years. Yes, I know; I'd probably have fewer children if I'd been a little more familiar with the rubbas, as we called them back in the day. That said, I wasn't shopping for personal contraception.
My condom curiosity was sparked by a conversation I had with Two. He was doing his homework while I was writing, and he kept answering text messages. Only after I threatened to stomp on his phone and smash it to bits, did he offer any details.
Me: "Who are you talking to?"
Two: "Some girl I want to hang out with on Thursday."
Me: "Who is she?"
Two: "Melanie. She's a friend of Allie's."
Me: "Melanie Who?"
Two: "I don't know her last name. I met her on facebook, and she really wants to hang out on Thursday."
Me: "You don't know her last name, and you're going to hang out with her? Does she go to school with you?"
Two: "No. But we've been trying to get together, and Thursday is the first day we can do it."
Now, Two didn't necessarily mean DO IT, but I did get the impression he's trying to mingle outside his normal dating pool, which has been quite shallow lately. I don't begrudge him this opportunity. But the idea that he might be meeting some unknown girl for a random hook-up made me nervous. I decided I was going to buy him condoms. I told the Captain.
Captain: "Yeah, but it's not a good idea..."
Me: "I don't think it sends the message that I'm encouraging him."
Captain: "That's not what I meant. He's fifteen. The first time a girl says she'll sleep with him, he won't need any encouragement. I was just going to say it's not a good idea to walk around with condoms stuffed in a wallet. He'll sit on them and wear them out."
I love the Captain. I told him I would give Two the condoms, with instructions on wear and tear. Honestly, we both hope they expire in his top drawer, but better safe than sorry. So, I set about purchasing condoms for my teenage son. There were a lot of choices.
I remembered Lora's mention of Durex as the brand with the best record of non-breakage. However, it soon became clear that sometime in the past twenty years, condoms became about "female pleasure." They all touted their ribbing, and thinness. I don't care about satisfying Two's dates, and I definitely don't want him wearing THIN condoms. I want reinforced steel, with nuclear strength spermicide to eradicate any wily swimmers that might manage to escape. I bought Trojan Classics.
Now, I have to actually give them to Two. I'm sure he'll be embarassed, but no more so than if he had to buy them himself. Which is why I got them. I don't trust his penis to do the right thing, and one of us needs to be thinking about his future.