"PLEASE HELP YOURSELF!"...
...With little smiles and exclamation points and STICKERS. Like the adults wouldn't know what the bowl held without stickers attracting them to it. You know who's attracted to stickers? NOT adults. Adults are attracted to condoms. Just to be clear. Any condoms. Decorated or not. "Say.. is that a condom over there? Let me at it. I want to look at it", we'll say. "Hmm.. looks pretty plain, I'll take it anyway." To reiterate: no need for stickers.
Now I could go into the different nuances and deep societal relevance of that statement being pasted to a free condom dispenser, heaven knows I agree. We should help ourselves and the clinic is all about helping people help themselves and that is important... but Guuuuuuuys! Put the freebee condoms higher up on the shelf PLEASE?? Not out beside the kid prizes for good behavior. The adult prizes should be separate from the kid prizes. ALWAYS SEPARATE. Giant Bowl-o-Prophylactics: Top shelf. Every time. Here is why:
The thing is, I already have to drag 3 kids into the clinic and try to keep them occupied while we wait because they have no toys, no books & no TV; just a giant, enchanting, photogenic, attractive, sticker laden bowl full of candyesque condoms. It's like a cruel game of keep-away from the cauldron full of rainbow mystery. Of course the kids gravitated around it. Once I saw it, III was even tempted to fill my pockets because they went all out and bought a sparkle-rainbow assortment. But I don't actually need them *ahem* or anything so.... It was best to leave them for others. I'm a good person that way.
Anyhow, just so you know, I would have happily avoided the whole condom discussion for another couple of years- However, my rotten little kids can read and they KNOW about free samples (what was I thinking, teaching them to READ?? It's just asking for trouble if you really think about it). We go to Costco specifically to see what kinds of samples are available as a fun family outing. Everyone looks forward to Sample Day. LOVE samples. Howeverrrr, we were one of only two families waiting in the waiting room... the other family also had 3 curious little children following my kids every move. My kid grabbed 3 of the condom packages and walked over to me. Not to be outdone, my other kid grabbed about 8 of them. Then the conversation ensued:
"No, I'M having the blue one. "
"I saw it first!"
"No, you have this one, it has a picture of a rooster."
"NO WAY, I get the blue one... MOOOOOOoooOom!"
"What are you guys even doing??" I say.
"FREE SAMPLES, MOM! CAN WE HAVE ONE? "
"Free samples of what? GAH! UH.... NO."
"BUT THEY'RE FREE, SEE? Saaaaaaamples!!"
"Yes, they are free, but you don't need one."
"Because you don't."
"What are they?"
All tiny heads in the room snap toward me for the moment of truth, even the other peoples' kids. Now, Readers, I am not in the habit of lessoning the children of strangers about the ins and outs of condom use. (Get it? Ins and OUTS?? Fine. Don't laugh, I knew this was going to be awkward).
"They're just grown up stuff, we'll talk about it at home"
"WHY? WHAT ARE THEY FOR?"
"They're condoms, honey. They're not for kids."
"CONDOMS? COOOOonnnnNNNdOmmmms.... What's that? Candy? "
"Is it like a wet napkin?"
"*whispering audibly* Is it for your lady problems?"
"Apparently. My lady problems currently involve a whole bunch of kids... so.."
"I DON'T GET IT. Why can't we have a sample??"
"You don't need a sample of that."
"It's circle shaped. Feel."
"I know it is. Stop feeling that. Put. Them. Back. In. The. Bowl."
"AWW.. I was going to make a tower."
"You can't make a condom tower."
"Whyyyy? I'm BORED."
*Whisper-yelling* Because they are for butts, okay? They're for people's butts. Are you happy? They are balloons and they're for people's butts.
*Intrigue heightens x 298,348%*
*Other mother bores holes through the side of my head with her steely glare*
*stranger kid whispers in her sister's ear*
*sister's eyes become huge*
*My ears bleed from the sonic anger boom coming from the other mother's soul*
*She has ninja mind powers and my head is shriveling up, good thing we're at a health clinic, the doctors will help me get my head back to it's proper, average size*
*maybe I can ask them to just sort of, leave the frontal lobe area a little larger so that I have more thinking space*
"OH MY GAWD. WHY DO YOU NEED BALLOONS FOR YOUR BUTT???"
"SO.... Who wants...... *checking purse*...... $13 and 43 cents? Was that a store with candy I saw just downstairs? Eh, kids? Mmm... we love candy... and me with this money and nothing to spend it on...."
Now, at this point I am sure you are judging me through your computer monitors for not being an upfront and articulate parent... but you have to admit that they ARE balloons and that they ARE for your butt. So that's one mom-point for Michelle. *high five*
Then I arrived at home & went to hang up my child's jacket and what falls out of his pocket? Yeah. The blue one. My mom-point is gone now. I'm just glad I didn't get a call from the school on Monday about it. At home is the best place for unwanted condom samples to fall out of your child's clothing. We can ALL agree with that. Or worse, he could have made it to the birthday party he's been invited to on Sunday with a pocket full of previously undetected condom samples. How would THAT have played out?
So I like to see life's bowl of condoms as half empty instead of half full..and empty is better because it means that people are taking steps to protect themselves.. or it means that I have to check my kids' backpacks before school. So maybe the bowl IS half full. All I know is that half the condoms are missing and someone is responsible. Ideally a very lucky grown person with a consenting partner has emptied it.... So you see? There is always a silver liner. GET IT? Liners are like condoms... kind of. So it's a joke. Anyway, I'm not very funny right now because of all the condoms & stress. Basically, I can't tell what is going on.
Bonus: Love in any language:
Turkish- kaput (<--haha). Czech - Kondom
Dutch- condoom or kapotje