3.13.2007

Which of these things is not like the others?

It's hard to believe, but it has been six months since my last escapade at the Paris Planned Parenthood and having not had enough of the antics, I made an appointment for this afternoon to get more FREE birth control. After last time's somewhat lengthy round table discussion with a small group of French teenagers, I figured that PP would assume that I'd had my fair share of contraceptive coverage information and promptly show me into the examination room for the traditional 10-minute check-up one requires.

Well, not so. Tonight when I walked into the office, I was shown to a different waiting room in which my new round table discussion group was waiting. "Hm... there must be some mistake," I thought to myself. "Surely they have mistaken me for someone who must once again hear about the needle-like contraption they want to stick in your arm for three years."

And yet, NO! Once again, the same woman launched into her speech while we were taken at a deathly slow pace to see the doctor. All in all, I sat there for over TWO HOURS listening to this woman talk about how comfortable female condoms are and how exactly to put in a diaphragm. At least this time my round table discussion group was a bit closer to my age (which I attributed to the fact that it was after work and the other sex-driven middle-schoolers had to be home for dinner by this time), so I did not feel as much like a grandmother.

THIS, however is not today's story.

On the way home from this shindig, I stopped by Franprix to pick up some groceries. Franprix has a problem with the way they run their check-out counters; the areas in which the already scanned food goes are so small that there is always a frantic rush to shove things in bags while the checker is waiting for the card to go through. Because let me tell you- once she moves on to the next customer, she starts shoving his groceries on top of yours and soon enough you end up going home with someone else's questionable choice of sausages.

So last night I try to sneakily shove my chicken and Top Choco cereal in plastic bags before she even gets at my card, which just makes her more agitated and she insists on my payment MAINTENANT. So in the rush and mess of groceries, I reach into my bag for my wallet.

And then.

A hurricane of condoms comes flying out of my bag and falls onto the beltway and are quickly transported down the counter towards my innocent broccoli. NOT ONLY are five male condoms now between the checker and me, but the GODDAMN female condom that the PP woman made me take (which is the size of a small circus tent) lands on top.

It's 7pm and everyone and their French mom is behind me on the line buying smelly cheese. So I say the only thing that could possibly slip me under the wire from HEY I WORK FOR MOULIN ROUGE, WHO NEEDS AN APPOINTMENT? to PLEASE LAUGH WITH ME BECAUSE I'M A FOREIGNER.

"Oh. My. God." In English. And people hear the accent and sort of smile or smirk but this gives me enough room to roll my eyes, pay, and RUN out of Franprix before I melt into a puddle of American embarrassment.

And I can't help thinking that, the older I get, the more my life resembles a Parisian version of Fred Savage's Wonder Years.

1 comment:

evaloo said...

loooooooooooooove it. i love it. henceforth, any time i hear either "hurricane" or "condom", i will think about this story!