It’s getting closer. With each step I take my apprehensive body nears its ultimate goal. Look left, look right, look straight ahead…Damn! I’ve locked eyes with a somewhat balding, waistline overflowing, middle aged man. For a split second he stares knowingly into my soul. If I stop here now, he’s going to think I’m a filthy randy slut. Just keep walking Coco, you can do another lap and try again when the coast is clear.
Who ever thought buying condoms could be such an arduous, seemingly sordid affair? Me, that’s who. My so easily humiliated little mind has managed to turn the simple task of, “chose condoms, place condoms in basket, continue shopping”, into a merry game of musical supermarket chairs….except there’s no music…and no chairs…and I’m the only one playing.
I have never been able to just walk into a shop, casually survey the various selections of sheaths available, and with my desired variation in hand, nonchalantly stroll to the counter and make my purchase. Ohhhh noooo matron, that would be far too simple.
So here I am in the condom aisle. This is my second lap. Like a sleek secret agent I survey my target and any obstacles that stand in my way…. There’s an old lady directly opposite the condoms section, her back is turned and she appears to be engrossed in selecting some cracked heel balm – she’s pretty low on my risk assessment survey, as long as she stays absorbed in the heel balm. At this point I’m loitering with intent. I suspiciously slow down as I begin to pass the condoms. My head is facing forward down the empty aisle, but my eyeballs are straining out of the right side of their sockets as far as they will go, with the hope that I can select my condom variety without having to actually stand there and stare at them…
Suddenly, out of nowhere, people begin to flood the aisle from all directions. Noooooo!!! They must’ve just been waiting!…waiting for me to pull up next to the condom selection so they could all spring out from round the corners of the isles chiming “surpriiiiise”….
The little voice in my head is dying to speak out loud, ”No darlings, I’m not looking for condoms”, (I keep walking, baby steps past the condoms) “I’m looking for that thing sat right next to the condoms, yes that’s right, that just there, what are they?…Diarrhoea tablets?? Dammit!!!” Diarrhoea tablets are just as embarrassing! No saving grace there then!
Now I have to keep walking and eye skimming until I reach something that acceptable to buy. Ah ha!! I’ve reached the plasters! Good, a safe place. I can breathe and relax again. But now the only problem is I’m half way down the aisle, 5 metres away from the condoms, and I’m still none the wiser as to whether I want super safe, ribbed, dotted, extra lube or chocolate cheesecake flavour. “Hmm anything food related sounds pretty good”. But this isn’t the pudding aisle is it, and unfortunately I’m shopping for condoms, not chocolate log.
Many times I have found myself in this ridiculous situation. However, last week, I became fed up with repeating my absurd charade week after week to no avail. I decided it was time to muster up the courage of a lioness (perhaps a desperate and randy lioness – who decided she was going to stop at nothing to capture her latex prey).
If I was going to succeed it had to be all or nothing. If I gave myself time to contemplate my actions it would be game over. So I walked brazenly into the store. I grabbed a broccoli and some mini cheesecakes for the intentional purposes of camouflaging the condoms in my basket. It was all part of my master plan.
The lurid glare of the supermarket lights was beaming down on me like spotlights on a prison escapee, leaving nowhere for me to lurk in the shadows. But I was a woman on a mission, and today I was taking no prisoners.
I approached the condom aisle with intent. My heartbeat was resonating on my ear drums and I could feel my face begin to flush a beautiful shade of crimson. Undeterred, I stood valiantly surveying what stood before me. I wanted to grab and run, I really did, but I swore to myself, with all my might, that I was not going to leave my spot until I had appropriated exactly what I wanted, and nothing less!!
Triumphantly, I extended a hand towards the condom boxes. I could hear the battle cry of victorious trumpets in my head. I clasped a bumper pack of the ‘fuego’ variety by a well-known brand, coquettishly tossed them in the basket, and strutted off down the aisle with extra confidence – albeit a slightly feigned ‘extra confidence’!
As I rounded the end-cap of the aisle I quickly concealed the box between the broccoli and the cheesecake (because while I may have just faced one demon, walking around the shop with them on full basket display was too much bravery for one day).
It was in that serendipitous, condom buying moment, that I realised the now completed task was really not so humiliating at all.
I am going to hold my new found condom courage closely to me and never let it go. Or next time, I’ll just send the other half and save us all the drama!