Another C Word: Condoms

I was talking to a friend of mine over in Adelaide. In the course of our conversation, J started teasing me about the age difference between myself and P. I said that in 5 years, it wouldn’t be as bad. J was surprised that I was thinking that far ahead. Apparently last time we spoke, I gave the impression that I was unhappy and thus, going to break up with P. And glancing over my posts, yes, there’s doubt, and in healthy amounts too. Why do I stay? There’s a few different reasons.

Foremost, I know P loves me. P can be very considerate. One example of that is the insistence on safe sex. We’ve never had sex without a condom. I’ve asked and tried to cajole P into no condoms to no avail. I’ve teased, I’ve begged, I’ve coaxed and I’ve wheedled. Despite my attempts, P has steadfastly refused. I’m not that desperate for it to be bare. I can be a bit …obsessive though. Last night, when things were starting to get heated, P told me very unexpectedly that some test results had come back; P is completely clear of all STIs including HIV. I teased back, “…Ok. Considering some of the things we’ve done, I should hope so.” With a slight grin, P said that if I wanted, we could do things without a condom. And we did.

I hadn’t really thought about it till then, but I am glad and thankful that P resisted and waited till we knew for sure. It’s a reality that people have STIs unknowingly or otherwise. There are people who don’t know how to have safe sex, or worse still, know and choose to disregard that knowledge.

I have a confession and I don’t really care if it reflects badly on my parents. My parents chose to keep my siblings and I out of the sexual education classes when it came time. I can respect that they wanted to protect us from sexual things before it had to happen, that they had their morals and stuck to them. And it’s true, I think children are exposed to things of a sexual nature far earlier than reasonable. My parents did try to have the talk with me, but I knew what was coming and pretended I was au fait with it all, you know, Mum being a nurse and all.

So you can imagine why just once, the very first time without a condom and suddenly, the realisation struck me,

“Oh. That’s why no one wants to wear a condom.”

It also helped me understand how, without any sexual education, someone might come to hypothesise that extra-attentive cleansing and washing might prevent pregnancy. Gosh I’m glad I went and read up on my own.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, be safe. Condoms aren’t the end of the world, even though they taste funny. In fact, they make things a little easier in terms of clean up. But when you’re with someone and have absolute confidence and evidence that they’re clean, having that reassurance makes what follows that much better. I guess that could be one possible point of differentiation between fucking and doing something that goes beyond sex.

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Well I’d say something’s screwed.

A bauble on a Christmas tree.

Image via Wikipedia

I was hanging out on Sunday arvo and one of my work mates rang up to ask if I could cover his shift from 3pm-9pm. I got paid to tie ribbons, construct a Christmas tree of drink bottles (gifts with purchase), and put a crapload of lotto tickets through for some addicts. I’m serious. ..about those RIBBONS!

One Italian lady spent over 100$ on lotto tickets, just to get the free Saturday ticket that costs $4.70 on its own. And she comes in multiple times every week. She’s not the biggest spender either; her self-proclaimed bestie is a South African man who spent $300 on lotto and scratchies. Now, I’ve heard the ads on the radio, “If someone you know has a gambling problem, they should get help. Please call us at blah blah blah…” Somehow, I don’t think anyone’s said anything to them. My coworker even correctly predicted that the Italian lady would be back within a few hours to check her scratchie tickets after she’d played them. She can’t tell her husband because he gets angry, understandably. So I wonder, what does she tell him? “Oh, I forgot the milk. Again! It happens every week. I’ll have to go out and get it. Be right back, honey.”

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Another lovely lady came in as well that afternoon. She informed my boss that she will be a grandmother in 9 months time. It was strange, she pursed her lips over her rotting, greyed, gap teeth, but in something that was more a smile than a grimace. Even though there was only one other customer in the shop, I felt wholly uncomfortable standing there at the till, with her not 1 meter away airing her dirty laundry. I’m supposed to stand there.

My boss said,

“I don’t care if his head is screwed on straight, I’d still want to kill him for getting his 16 year old girlfriend pregnant.”

My coworker and I agreed. I mean, she wants to keep it – how is she ever going to have a normal life? All her friends and school mates will know (she will be heretofore known as That-Girl-Who-Got-Pregnant-and-Kept-It) and she’s not going to work until much later, if at all.I think he will change rapidly from being really keen on fatherhood to not keen at all, when he sees his other mates (who don’t have children) going out and working and traveling and living their lives. And where does that leave her? Another single mother who didn’t finish school and is on the dole. Perfect.

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In more upbeat news, I feel really productive. I vacuumed. I mopped and used eucalyptus oil to disinfect the floor. It smells good and clean, and it’s natural. I cleaned the stove. I picked up and paid for ACER practice tests. I registered and paid for the actual GAMSAT. I sent off a form to redeem points for flights to Sydney for the GAMSAT course. I’m on my way to pick up the second practice book from the GAMSAT course. It’s all becoming real very quickly.  Today, GEMSAS offers were meant to come out, but it’s looking highly unlikely that they’ll be able to meet that deadline. Oh well, in a year, I can worry about that. There’s enough to do today.