causes of teen pregnancy.

i’m dismayed by the fact that many convenience stores are placing condoms behind the counter or otherwise cordoning them off from the consumer. obviously the extra security does little to dissaude me from purchasing, but it’s not hard to imagine a young girl, already worrying that she will be labeled dirty for having sex, choosing to remain unprotected rather than face the added stress of conversing with everyone in the store about her body.

there exists this idea, whether perpetuated by customer or clerk, that items one buys together have to be used in that manner. sure, a cart containing spaghetti, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and one pound of beef will always generate a comment about tonight’s dinner, but handing the cashier a carton of eggs and a bag of apples doesn’t mean we’re preparing fruit omelets later. certainly, then, there can exist some detachment in regards to association.

condoms are not afforded the same respite though. if you don’t believe me, bring a pornographic magazine, pregnancy test, and box of condoms to the register. bring any two things — condoms and razor blades, condoms and bananas, condoms and diapers, condoms and duct tape. on one level you want to buy something else to deflect attention to the condoms, on another, that practice only further emphasizes the condoms in your hand.

we are embarrassed because, for some reason, we think the person behind the counter is going to be judgmental, even though we are having sex in a comforting environment while they are restricting patrons from purchasing cough syrup under fluorescent lighting. why not make the transaction fun then? joke about the big night you’ve planned. flank the condoms with a couple bottles of wine.

on a recent trip to the pharmacy, i notified an associate to unlock the case. a younger man motioned to an older woman, directing her to help. which ones do you need, honey? in shock, i replied, magnums…ob-vi-ous-ly. from behind me, an elderly black man, sitting beside his wife and waiting for his prescription, began to laugh. i turned, pointing at him, he knows what i’m talking about.

i proceeded to the cashier, on whose face happiness reigned, as she spoke with a woman and her two small girls. she waved excitedly until the family had exited through the sliding doors. then it was my turn. her expression completely changed, as if a stopper had been pulled and her spirit instantly drained, as i handed her the black-and-gold box. she spoke in a robotic, rehearsed manner, asking if i had one of their discount cards, giving the total, bye.

next time i would tell her that she is the reason so many teenaged girls get pregnant, but i bought a twelve pack, so it’s unlikely she’ll still work there by the time i polish off the entire box.

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2 Responses to “causes of teen pregnancy.”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Frankly, I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of you buying condoms at all. But if you’re buying condoms and duct tape, at least you are being extra careful.

  2. scott lefaive Says:

    are you more comfortable with me having children?

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