Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mortification corner

Because I love you, I am back, and because this is your one stop shop for inappropriate oversharing, I bring you this.

Due to the chronic stupidity epidemic that is raging unchecked through the Waffle household, I ran out of contraceptives last week. Since then, due to my previous searing experience with the ninety eight year old gynecologist who liked to showcase his hacking cough whilst in full speculum mode, if you get my drift, I have not managed to do anything about this. This man was a true horror, and left me legs akimbo for a full twenty minutes while he pottered around his office doing a little light tidying and peering down his microscope. Also, he seemed terribly keen on cauterising things that in my opinion have no place being cauterised. Brrr.

But of course, spring is in the air and the sap is rising, and solemn discussions must be punctuated somehow and even giant pandas get frisky every thousand years or so, and the inevitable happened. And because of my chequered history with things fertility related, this is not the kind of thing I can just ignore. Emergency contraception beckoned, yippee, am I a feckless thirteen year old? Apparently I am. At the fifth pharmacy I trudged past, there were no male assistants in their teens or twenties and no coven of elderly ladies with shopping trolleys eavesdropping. Just one lady pharmacist. I screwed my courage to the sticking place and went in.

It was very anti-climactic. I had expected to be led into a back room, grilled on my sexual exploits, lectured sombrely and possibly given religious tracts. None of the above. I picked up some dental floss for cover, shuffled to the counter shiftily and asked for the "pilule du lendemain", she got it out of the drawer and gave it to me. I tried to look suitably contrite and responsible, and paid my €10.

She put the floss and the pill in a bag, then paused for a second and put something else in there.

"Je vous ai mis un echantillon gratuit"

(I've put a free sample in for you)

I was touched by her sweet attempt to put me at ease. Lovely pharmacist! I thanked her profusely, but still with a note of sombre contrition, and left, light heartedly.

Then I looked in the bag.

Yup. Intimate wash. Because people who have contraceptive emergencies are DIRTY.



Halfwaythere said...

That is unnecessarily cruel. At least in the UK when they lead you aside to give you a good talking to (ignoring protestations of 'but I did! it broke!)they leave you with an encouraging 'try to be a bit more prepared next time'.

But this is the country who provided the world with 'half a cock', so who knows what they are ever really thinking...

A Woman Of No Importance said...

JW, I am intrigued by the flan-pusher you mention in your side bar - Was that also in the bag?!

Sorry you had such a mortifying experience, but console yourself with the thought that worse things are probably happening somewhere at sea!

WV is viceshil - Somehow thought-provoking...

mothership said...

This happened to me recently in the good ol' US of A, where you have to ask for it by its bloody BRAND NAME "HI! My name is -- and I'd like to purchase 'Plan B', have a GREAT DAY!" Then you go home and feel sick for 48 hours.
They don't give you a lecture, though. They just ask for your ID so they can log you as a baby killer with the CIA and take your money.

wv pottygo

Frau said...

OMG so funny sorry but that cracks me up! Did she wink when she gave it to you.

Welsh Girl said...

It may have been cruel, but it did make me laugh. Who knew that pharmacy assistants had such a warped sense of humour...

Liberty London Girl said...

If any consolation at all, I had to buy a pregnancy test in my hodge podge French in some one horse town in the Vienne once. I felt as though I had putain Anglaise BRANDED across my forehead. And then the silly moo wldn't sell me any proper drugs in case I was pregnant. Sigh. Worst thing was I was there writing for he whole summer in a neighbouring village & I ended up driving an extra 20kn to go the hyper just so I wldn't have to go to the town again face The Looks. LLGxx

Cassandra said...

I am just DELIGHTED to hear that romance is far from dead chez Waffle! By some EXTRAORDINARY coincidence, I received the following e-mail today. I have never heard of this man in my life...

dear family and friends,

i know it seems like I bother you way too often - just in case any of you
are in nyc this coming weekend please pass by deitch projects gallery
(manhattan) on sunday, march 8 - either at 6 or 8pm

hygiene, my 40 min piece of instant theatre, will be performed twice within
one night - on the last day of armory show

can't wait to see you all



maria baibakova, curator:

fedor pavlov-andreevich, who draws his inspiration from russian absurdist
writer daniil kharms, constructs a 40 minute performance piece that is
formally and conceptually interdisciplinary.

visual artist, writer and director pavlov-andreevich explores visual
mechanisms as well as theatrical and literary devices in creating his
version of "hygiene".

formally, the performance space is austere and minimal. the participants sit
on red benches in a balanced triangular composition, all dressed in a simple
uniform. the lighting is harsh and direct. the performers' movement is
limited to their lips and forearms, which they erect as they pronounce their
lines. visually, the performance becomes a rhythmic and meditative moving
picture, where stillness and balance are interrupted by only one kind of
monotonous movement.

pavlov-andreevich's script pursues tropes of russian formalism once
discovered by vsevolod meyerhold in the 1930s. the premise of the
performance is that its participants, whether internationally renowned
artists/actors/musicians or people with no previous acting experience,
confront the text without rehearsal when the performance already begins. a
plasma screen feeds the performers lines and the narrator reads sparse
descriptions of setting and action. because the performers do not know the
text by heart, they pronounce their lines with little inflections and
innuendos, stripping the text to its bare bones. pavlov-andreevich defies
the principles of stanislavski's theatre where the actors are meant to
deliver the script as their own thoughts and words infused with emotion.
instead, characters of "hygiene" become disengaged reciters of a text that
lives on its own. this defamiliarization provokes a new understanding of
the script, which becomes the main protagonist of the performance. the
performers are not actors but rather marionettes, controlled by a monotonous
rhythm and put under trance by the recitation of a text they never
practiced pronouncing.

the performance at deitch projects takes place two times with the same cast,
twice during one evening. the performers' gradual familiarization with the
script essentially destroys the premises of the artwork. during the second
installment of "hygiene", the marionettes become actors and the script
becomes permeated with their interpretations and emotional responses; it is
at this time that the cycle needs to be restarted.


"i've worked out a way to evacuate corpses by dumping them out in the
street. we'll need large plastic bags, but I don't know where to get them"


"just as I told you: the military are pulling out. they'll get out of the
city, then will set up a quarantine. no one in, no one out. the worst part
is that everything has turned out to be true"

best ff regards,

fedor pavlov-andreevich

+79037432823 rus

+447946591807 uk

Iheartfashion said...

Jaywalker, your overshares are always welcome.

fabhat said...

Dear Jaywalker,
When I was a student i decided to make my life complicated by using a cap rather than the pill or codoms like everyone else in the world.Anyway, when i went to be fitted i was told I had to have some peculiar special springy one because of my strange physionomy. I was shown the difference - the one I needed went banana shaped when you pressed the sides together. Anyway I went to boots, they got my prescription together and away I went. When i got home i got it out - squeezed the sides together. No banana. What to do? Yes I had to go back, with the offending cap, find the pharmacist (male of course) and try and explain what was wrong with it in front of a large queue of old ladies and nubile gentlemen...and then, I didn't even get to use it as my boyfriend dumped me...So I feel your pharmacy pain!

bevchen said...

You can't even get the morning after pill just by going to the pharmacy here. I had to go to the doctor for mine.

They always give you free smaples of something here when you pick up a prescription. My boyfriend usually gets good stuff. All I ever get is packets of tissues. Every single time. Do I look like I'm prone to runny noses or something?!

bonnie-ann black said...

you can console yourself with the fact that at least you have had your fun before requesting your embarassing product. the girl behind the counter probably hasn't had any in a while. i've notice that the longer one goes without sex, the more one looks down their nose at those who have had it recently. sheer envy, i'm certain.

my word is "citclocu" which sounds like a portion of the female anatomy men always ignore.

katyboo1 said...

I just find these pharmacies where everything is locked away mortifying. I was once in Spain when my period arrived early and I was forced to enter a pharmacy full of hundreds of moustachioed dwarf women just to get tampax. Tampax which were so dangerous they had them locked in a glass cabinet at the back of the room.

And I didn't know the Spanish for tampax, which led to some exciting signing opportunities before I spied some and did some frantic pointing instead.

Mrs C said...

Jaywalker, please don't stop the overshares.

I don't understand why men even become lady parts doctors. It just seems more like a sick joke than anything else.

Home Office Mum said...

I'm just amazed that there are parents out there still having sex. Note to self: must try harder.

Jaywalker said...

Halfway - you know, I think I prefer the passive aggressive gift of intimate wash to the lecture. Close run thing though?

Woman - I am not sure that that is consoling actually. at least there are no belgian pharmacists at sea.

Mothership - I am so glad they didn't take my details. Thought of the league of catholic families coming to sing on doorstep truly terrifying.

Frau - i think she was supressing a smile. Definitely.

Welshgirl - oh god, I know. Terrible.

LLG - WHY are these things kept locked away like pure heroin? I am sure it is just so the pharmacists get some fun.

Cassandra - my god, that is truly bizarre. I quite want to go to it now, but he would probably try and sell me a timeshare, right?

Iheart - thank you. I am not stopping any time soon.

fabhat - oh no. No no no. I have vivid mental image. Why are they always teenage boys? WHY. I love your blog btw.

bevchen - tissues are ok. Intimate wash is not. But going to the doctor, urgh. poor you.

bonnie-ann - she is directing her ire at the wrong woman, believe me..

katyboo - I swear they do it for fun.

Mrs C - I don't know! What can the thought process be? I mean, delivering babies, ok, fun, but the rest? WHY. I don't get it at all.

HOM - don't worry, it's rarely more than 1 x yearly. And neither of us can ever be arsed to actually get undressed. It's cold in our house.

Mya said...

I love it! A pharmacist with a sense of humour. A Belgian pharmacist, no less. What flavour was it?

Mya x

redfox said...

Katyboo's pharmacy pantomime adventures sound much more mortifying but fortunately less protracted than my best example. I was in Italy with a friend whose ears had gone all stopped up with earwax. She wanted one of this sort of thing, if there were any to be had. My Italian is terrible, but marginally better than hers, so I was deputized to the task.

I honestly wouldn't know what to call this thing even in English ("um, a bulb thing for irrigating your ear when you have too much earwax"?), and am still far from certain that anything of the sort exists in Italy at all, so this was a real adventure. There were drawings involved, and lots of elaborate pantomime with going BOOF! to illustrate how the water would BOOF! out into your ear. In the end they offered us some ear candles.

justme said...

Over share as much as you like hun. Nothing is too much for us stalwart bloggers who prefer the internets to our 'real' lives.
When you get the MAP from boots, they make you sign a form!! Cant actually remember what it was..or what it said (never to have unprotected sex again perhaps? Ha! In that case I lied....) but they are quite nice about it....
Anyway. Good for you. Cant help feeling that a pregnancy situation at this stage would NOT help.....

pinklea said...

I have also had a "contraceptive emergency", but in Canada, you have to go to a walk-in clinic and deal with a doctor who gives you the requisite pills. They don't lecture you or anything like that. Except that I felt compelled to explain that honestly, I don't make a habit of this, that it just broke this time, etc, etc.

Lisa said...

I am mortified with you. That kind of reminds me of the cab driver who drove me home from the abortion clinic. As I was getting wearily out of his cab, he asked me for my phone number.

I gave him the one eyebrow raise. You're kidding, right?

He wasn't. He didn't get a tip or my phone number.

I love the word feckless.

Wife in Hong Kong said...

I'm transfixed by the overshares. Does the CFO read your blog?

Jaywalker said...

Mya - I don't know. shame flavour?

redfox - lord. I am imagining the drawings gleefully.

justme - form probably says "I am stupid".

pinklea - doctor would have been worse, definitely.

Lisa - oh god. you have to love a trier I suppose. Though not enough to tip.

Wife in HK - no, never. Can you tell?

Jools said...

Here's my euro contaceps story. Husband touring with band in England. Wild 80's partying ensued. I was certain that my "cap" was thrown away by hotel maid. (this had happened before) I was pleasantly surprised that diaphragms could be bought over the counter in a pharmacy. (A trip to the doctor and an Rx is required in the States) Unfortunately, I had no idea what size I was. Pleasant British pharmacist helped as I eyeballed the two caps I thought were the right size. Not wanting to take any more time holding and comparing, and being a "rich" American, I took both. That's my shopping motto anyway. When in doubt take both.
Two caps in hand we proceeded to remote Grecian Isle. Fecking cap would not go up. Must be the wrong size. Cranky husband. Friend borrowed scooter to drive to nearest village where condoms were sold. (Embarrassing!)
Weeks later, back at home I felt the familiar discomfort of cramps. But no blood? (TMI?? sorry.) The diaphragm had NOT been discarded. It was LOST. Up my. Suffice to say my cervix was never the same.

Juci said...

It seems the pharmacist jumped to conclusions. Maybe SHE had unprotected sex once, and felt dirty after it, and this way her way of silent support. She was only being a good sister.
WV: obbinkin. Cute.

emily said...

oh my god! oh you poor thing! not bad enough suffering the general mortification in general, without her implying you dont know how to wash?! They are evil pills too - i got the worst case of PMT in the universe after taking it once... (i did, it broke...)
You apend so long trying not to throw it it has qhat i aklways think must be the desired effect - it stops you wanting to have sex ever again!

Jaywalker said...

Jools - oh, the horror. The friend scootering off for condoms for you sort of finished it off for me. Awful!

Juci - Vanessa also had a charitable explanation based on, um, effects of M.A.P. Maybe. I would like to think so..

emily - did you type some of that with your toes? Not PMT here. Waaaay worse. Opposite effect. Like, unbelievably frisky. having inappropriate daydreams at cartel conference. wonder if she swapped MAP for viagra. Very bad.

twin palms road said...

Pleased to hear about l'entente cordiale chez vous.

Better the devil you know, etc..

sue said...

Erm, reminds me of when I was pregnant with child the first in Paris. I was rigid with fear at the first examination - the female doc, bless her heart was doing her best to put me at ease, but the bastard speculum wasn't going anywhere, so she asked me to er, push, gently. No joy. Then she asked me to push a leeetle bit more, I complied and promptly sprayed her with wee. The mortification continues to haunt me to this day, the child was 20 in January. Oh God. *scuttles off to fill wine glass*