So I had a couple people ask me about the blog post when I bought condoms for the first time in France. I posted it originally on the Blog portion of my old Hotmail/MSN account. I went looking for it, but apparently it was all deleted as MSN moved to Live and now Outlook.
Thankfully I am a pack rat when it comes to digital files, so here is that original post. For your enjoyment, an un-revised, unedited re-posting of “Why Would I be Nervous”.
Well friends there comes a time in every boy’s life where he has to go out into the world and do those things that he just feels awkward doing. Things like: asking that girl out on a date, the first kiss (should I do it now, no maybe not…yes now! Wait no…ok, yes), crying, doing laundry (ZAP!…oh, so that’s what dryer sheets are for) and admitting the fact that spiders make him scream like a girl. But my friends, there is one thing that surpasses all of this for awkwardness in a boy’s life and that is buying condoms for the first time.
I have just recently lived this experience (go on laugh now at the virgin, but I am proud to flaunt it…my virginity that is and not the other thing the rest of you were thinking about) and no matter how much you tell yourself that one, I’m more than old enough to be buying these and two, I am in France and nothing spells condom more than that, you still feel strangely awkward going to the store to pick them up.
Now before my folks get any worried thoughts, I assure them it’s just a precaution illustrated by the following conversation recently had between a concerned friend and I:
“So Kevin, quite the party last night, saw you talking to a few girls. You know, just out of curiosity, do you carry. Ha ha, might help you solve that virginity problem”
“Hey I’m kinda proud of the fact, how many twenty three year old virgins do you know?”
“Beyond you…ah…well, none.”
“That few eh?…well in either case I don’t carry. I sort of want to get to know the girl before jumping into bed with her. Talk about it a bit you know?”
“But what if you’re drunk?”
“I don’t think I’d ever get drunk to that point. I like to think I’m pretty responsible with my alcohol.”
“Ah, so you running around with a lampshade on your head the other night was you being responsible with your alcohol?”
“So you’ll pick some up just to be on the safe side then?”
“Yeah, not a bad idea, come to think of it.”
And that friends, is the fateful conversation that had me standing outside my local supper store taking one deep breath before crossing the threshold of the automatic doors.
Now of coarse I gave myself a pretext to come down and buy the condoms. I did, after all, need some bread and cheese to go with my soup for supper that evening. I wasn’t just going to buy the condoms on their own. I mean, you just don’t do that.
I picked up my basket and started down the aisle to get my bread, then off to get my cheese. Along the way I passed the fruit stand and saw that they had some bananas for a reasonable price, so I figured what the heck, it might help make things look less suspicious with another item in my basket. With bread and banana’s in my basket I continued onto the cheese, found my brie and started to head in the direction of the toiletries aisle, but what did I spy on the shelf but dates! And at a reasonable price too, but I have to admit that the purchase was influenced by the thought that condoms are useless without a date! That is when I drew some very unwanted attention when I laughed allowed at my own bad joke and thereby sending the shopping excursion in a downward spiral.
Now fully conscious of the eyes of the world watching me I dove into the next available aisle only to find if full of other shoppers. Hoping to stave off suspicion, I looked for the first reasonable thing I could throw into my basket: tea! Thank the lord for at leas some small graces. After having carefully chosen a random mint tea and thrown it in my basket, I made an attempt for the toiletries aisle but thought that a dash past the six or seven aisle would be too obvious. I opted to meander through the aisles, but at every turn there were more people all looking with that smug look of “I know what you’re really here for, you can’t hide it with that!” so I would look to the selves for an excuse to be where I was. Peanut butter and honey from one aisle, sweet meats from another, canned veggies on the next, chips on the one following that and so on and so on.
I eventually made it to the toiletries aisle, my basket now laden down with enough random food to start a small party, and found it no less than empty. Not a soul! I sighed a sigh of relief and walked up to where they kept the condoms. One brand and only one style! Well that simplifies things. No need to investigate the various styles and flavours of condoms. I reached out my hand to pick up the box and just at that moment I saw someone out of the corner of my eye. Panic! What to do now? I’m committed! Just then I saw the band-aid on my finger and went: Perfect, I can get band-aids! With the grace of a person making up their mind on a product, I manoeuvred my hand over two items and took a package of band-aids of the shelf and then took two steps over to investigate the toothpastes.
In hindsight, that was not really the best idea. I mean who really doesn’t already know what toothpaste they are going to buy? At the very least the ploy worked long enough for the other person to leave the aisle, without picking anything up I might add, once again leaving me alone. Not passing up of this second opportunity, I grabbed the box of condoms, shoved it to the bottom of my basket (again not a good idea because they ended up at the top of the pile at the checkout) and made my way to the cashier, got wrung though, paid and left.
The right question to ask now is: How much did I spend? The answer: thirty-six euro. The better question to ask would be: How much did the condoms set me back? And the answer to that my friends is three euro twenty-three cents!
Oh well, at least now my parents can rest assured that if I am not slipping a ring onto a finger, that I am at least slipping something else on.