Remember when you were a teenager or even young adult and you dreaded going to the store and purchasing tampons, pads or condoms? Or even just accompanying someone else who was?
Well, back then there was like an unspoken rule- you don’t talk about it. You smile and nod and get in and out as quickly as possible while praying that the items scan properly without needing a price check for the world to see and know that YOU were purchasing CONDOMS on July 26th, 2012. <Insert small town chitter chatter here>
But, more than once, as an adult, the unspoken rule has been broken. Once, in a Walgreens with my 2 year old daughter in tow, “Is she going to be a big sister???!” the cashier loudly exclaimed. My daughters eyes lit up.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
There should be some sort of law against saying such “exciting” things in front of small children who will interpret those statements as facts and tell the entire world.
But, look- I’m not stuck up and I have no problem making small talk with cashiers. Want to talk about how perfect those strawberries look? Go for it. Want to know how I like this new Halo Top flavor. Spoiler alert- I love it! After all, when they don’t talk it’s kinda awkward. But, there are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed and it was crossed for me, again, today.
I had my 3 baby 18 months ago, and my husband and I decided that we were done adding to our family. I had my tubes tied at the end of my c-section, when it was revealed to me that my ovaries were “full of cysts.”
My new OB (who I had only visited for the last 6 months since we had moved to another state), asked me why I didn’t tell her that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. “Do what?!” I said.
I had no idea. I had never had any noteworthy symptoms of PCOS so this was a shock to me, but, good to know, nonetheless.
Because of the number and size of the cysts, my OB was unable to tie my tubes as she usually does, and informed me that I had a greater chance of becoming pregnant even with my tubes tied.
As you can imagine, I have been paranoid ever since she said those words to me, while meticulously tracking my cycle. I may have taken at least 5 pregnancy tests over the last year, “just to be safe” and ease my mind. This circus is already wild enough and the last thing we need is a pregnant, exhausted mama running the show.
There are a lot of things I’d rather do than small talk in the check-out line at the store when a nosy, probably well-intentioned, cashier asks me “are you hoping??”
I would rather: Let my kids bake in the kitchen unsupervised.
I would rather: Have my 3 year old take a nap at 7PM.
I would rather: Drive cross country with all 3 kids for 8 hours.
Okay. Maybe I’m not that serious, but c’mon!
The first time she had asked, I had my head down looking into my purse as I dug out my wallet, so I pretended to not hear her. There were several people in line behind me whom I would rather not get into my health issues with. Maybe she would let it go.
Even after ignoring her the first time, she asked me again- “Are you hoping??!”
Ugh. She is not going to let this go.
I know she means well, but, no. I’m not “hoping” to be pregnant. Besides the fact that I have 3 kids at home, a pregnancy for me would be very unfortunate, since it would likely be an ectopic pregnancy- something I don’t really want to talk about while standing in the check-out line. And I’m not taking a pregnancy test because I actually think I might be pregnant but because there are some other health issues going on where a pregnancy test is step 1 to determining the cause- also information I’d rather not disclose to a stranger while, also, in front of strangers.
But, it’s not just about me- what about every other woman who slides a pregnancy test across the counter, hoping for discretion?
What about the women who have suffered miscarriage after miscarriage and are hopeful for a positive test that actually results in a baby?
What about the women who know every single person in town and don’t want Chatty Cathy 2 people down to tell everyone in Podunk that she bought a pregnancy test?
What about the women who are “too young” or “too old” or “too broken” to be bringing a child into this world?
What about the woman who just wants some damn discretion?
Spread the word: don’t talk about someone’s purchases.
Just. Don’t. Do. It.