Friday, November 09, 2007

Preventing Teenage Pregnancy: My Condom Story

During my high school years, my mother decided to go back to school and finish her degree. For the most part, I was a spoiled brat teen-ager about the fact that she choose to focus a small percentage of her attention on something other than me. However, by the time I was in 10th grade, I had a partial change of heart.

You see, my parents have always been pretty liberal, and while they encouraged me and my brother to wait until we were married (or at least in love) before having sex, they knew that there still a decent chance we wouldn't be. At my mother's college, student organizations would hand out condoms during AIDS awareness week, and she would collect them up and give them to us. She would hand me a brown paper bag containing more than two dozen different types. It was awkward for me, and her, too, I'm sure, but I'm glad she did it. Because while I never used them, my friends did, and they knew they could come to me for protection.

It wasn't long before I became knows as 'the condom girl' at school. I lived in a small town, and kids would have to drive at least a half an hour to find a drug store or gas station where no one there knew them. No 16 year old wants to be buying rubbers from the lady who lives down the street from their grandmother's best friend. But when word got out that I had a seemingly limitless supply, well, I became pretty popular.

At first I was kind and gave away my supply without charge, but when people who didn't even know my name started coming 'round, I wised up. I never bilked anyone, but instead asked for a dollar or two, or if they didn't have cash they could give me some cafeteria tickets, good for cookies and the like. When my supply started to get low, I would take them from my brother's room. He usually just tossed his bag under the bed and forgot about them altogether.

My parents probably though I was a huge slut, given the rate I was going through those thing. At the time, I thought I was cool and so mature. Here I was dealing in sex, a subject usually reserved for adults. Meanwhile, every once and a while someone would ask a question about usage or application and I couldn't answer. Because I had no idea. I had never used one. I had never even taken one out of the package and inspected it. I was terrified of them!

Today, it's hard not to look back and wonder how many pregnancies and/or STDs I helped prevent during my high school tenure. Let's just call it my service to mankind for 1994-97.

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5 comments:

super des said...

Well kudos to you miss.
"I'm not a slut, I'm just popular!"

Arizaphale said...

And the Award for Services to Public Health goes to....you or your Mum???
hahaha. Great story :-D

Amy Jo said...

des - is that from a movie? I'm losing my mind!

fidget said...

condom girl hee hee. I was known as the Pantene girl for those same years

K said...

That is such a terrific story! Good for you! It's amazing how maturity can come in disguise - in your case, in the disguise of a bag of condoms.