20 April 2011

Condom Shopping

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.


  1. OMG I'll come back and comment again when I'm not laughing so hard.

  2. I am laughing and also feeling sick to my stomach, cause I have a 12 year old and know that I will be buying condoms soon enough. Let me just say, in my loud, authoritative teacher voice: GOOD FOR YOU. You are a good mom. And if you can live through the mortification of buying condoms for your son, then I can live through it too.

  3. Anonymous20.4.11

    OMG, Daniel and I just talked about our lack of condom knowledge the other day... yeah, we'd definitely have less dependents, if... well, ya know.
    Anyway, Good Mom! (I'll be over here in the corner laughing hysterically with Delia.)


  4. Anonymous20.4.11

    Ok, now that i've finished laughing I can comment.
    I am really, really glad that I won't have to worry about stuff like this for many years yet, and I vote that you point out how embarassing it would be to have to buy them himself.

  5. Go Megan! Good call.

    PS My work here is done if I have AT LAST managed to associate my name with condom durability since I'm PREGNANT lol.

  6. Okay, I'm back. Yay for realistic moms and dads! I'll be in your place in a few years. I hope I have the same fortitude. And that my kids don't block me out.

  7. I am very impressed. You are doing the right thing, without question. But it is a darn good thing that I have will never have to do this. I would be a big wuss. I would probably leave them under his pillow and hope he would attribute their appearance to the little-known condom fairy. Yes, I am that immature.

  8. I applaud you!

    A good friend of mine with two kids, both boys, did something similar. When they got to potential-procreating age, she filled a jar with condoms and explained very bluntly that she wasn't raising any grandchildren. And that was that. I don't know if she provided refills or now, and if so on what schedule. :) But no grandbabies so far! (Youngest still in HS, oldest graduating college with no known direction.)

    It's better to be blunt than to pussyfoot around. There will be emarrassment both ways, but blunt is far more effective.

  9. @June: The Captain tells a story of having seen the Easter Bunny in the hallway of his childhood home. It freaked him out, because he was a HUGE rabbit. I can only conjure up frightening images of the Condom Fairy, so that might not work. We want condoms to be our friends.

    @Lora: Yes, now is not the time to affix your image to the side of any contraception. However, I anticipate the future advertising campaign:
    "When I was pregnant and hyper-emetic, I swore I would never do that again. And now, thanks to unbreakable Durex condoms, I don't have to!"
    It's a winner.

    @Delia: When Two listens, it's only because I've a miniscule amount of street cred. I've done more in my life than I hope he ever will, and I've been honest about most of it. They're all going to do what they want to, and we can only hope they hear our voices in the deep recesses of their brains before they get in trouble.

    @Skye: Sex is a tricky issue, and I'm trying to de-mystify it, without assigning lots of negative morality. Two is going to have sex. I would like him to wait until he fully comprehends the physical and emotional ramifications of that decision. And then, I would like him to respect his partner and himself enough to protect their bodies. Fingers crossed. Off I go with the Trojans...

  10. I have always believed in 'cut to the chase' and 'we can talk about anything as long as we do it intelligently and without emotion.' (especially in the sex conversations) I would hope that the actual act doesn't take place for a lot longer but better he is prepared. I'm proud of you Meg. I still remember your opener, years ago, "Mom, I want to become sexually active." I've always appreciated your honesty. You are SOME woman!

  11. @Norma: Well, good lordy, I don't remember that! I'm glad I said it, though. I don't think my boys will ever say that-therefore, the pre-emptive strike.

  12. Thanks for the giggles, and congratulations on your bravery. I was going to congratulate you on your cojones, which seemed fitting for a resident of the House of Penii, but I refrained. Sorta. ;)

  13. "He's fifteen. The first time a girl says she'll sleep with him, he won't need any encouragement."

    Put a stamp on that and mail it to Focus on the Family.

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