The Big Scare

There are a lot of wonderful things about having sex. The occasional pregnancy scare isn't one of them. I had been "dating" Richard on and off for awhile, dating in quotations because Richard’s idea of going out was staying in, watching a movie, falling asleep on his couch, and waking me to ask if I wanted to go upstairs.

Such was the case a few months back.

"Do you have a condom?" I asked, our clothes coming off. I am a responsible adult. These are the things we ask.

Richard pulled away from me, looking as if he just swallowed his own vomit. "YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE A CONDOM?!" he screamed.

Now, I'm going to take a moment and make a public service announcement to any man who might be reading this. If you are inviting a girl over to your apartment, a girl that you might have intimate relations with, it is not her responsibility to have a condom. That's like inviting someone over for dinner and then asking them to cook for you (full disclosure, I have done this before, but I stand by its wrongness).

"No," I told him. "I do not have a condom."

"Well neither do I," he said.

We then, to my discredit, engaged in what I like to call "the five second rule." As in, its in for five seconds, and then I imagine my 8th grade health teacher saying "It only takes one," and then I extricate myself from the situation.

Thus my pregnancy scare one month and 10 days later.

Now, common sense says there was nothing to worry about here, but I have taken pregnancy tests when nothing short of the immaculate conception could have resulted in a baby.

So on one sunny Sunday morning I woke early and headed around the corner to my favorite discount pharmacy. We’re in a recession, and if I won't pay full price for q-tips, why would I pay full price for a pregnancy test?

I looked around the store, but couldn't find them. How odd, it seemed, and then I realized that pregnancy tests, as with other hot ticket items like insulin kits and sinus medication, were kept behind the counter.

I took a deep breath and went up to the two guys manning the cash register.

"One EPT please," I said.

Without pause the guy reached around and grabbed the box and handed it to me.

"Twenty one dollars?" I asked. "This is discount?"

"You get two in there," the guy said.

"There must be something you can do for me here." Everything is negotiable, my father always told me.

The guy reached around again and picked up another box and handed it to me.

"In this you only get one stick though."

“I only need one,” I said. I looked at the price. $16.99.

"Seventeen dollars?!" I said. "I can't spend that much money on a pregnancy test. I might have to pay for an abortion!"

The guy reached around one more time and pulled down the last box.

"This is a generic brand. 6.99"

"I'll take it!" I said. "But if something goes wrong, I'm going to blame you."

He looked down at me. "If I were you, I would blame the guy you were with."

Now, irony being the way it is, I of course didn't even need to take the test, for later that day I was brought my monthly illness, as my grandmother may she rest in peace, liked to call it. Which brings me another rule: if you think you're pregnant, buy that test! As soon as you pee on that stick, you'll get your period, without fail.* Best seven dollars I ever spent.

* This assessment has not been approved by the FDA