Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bristol Palin, Abstinence & Pot Pie

Much ado has been made about the Obamas’ trip to NYC last month for a Broadway show, and, as I have said before, as if the Obama's getting their swerve on in the White House isn’t enough, the New York Times ran an interesting article titled, “If they can find time for date night…”

The general gist of the piece claimed to be “a presidential elbow to the ribs of husbands” and quoted many long married couples about the pitfalls of keeping romance alive. While I read the wistful musing of spouses (mostly wives) wishing for more alone time together, I realized that I didn’t share the sentiment.

It’s not that I wouldn’t like a grand romantic gesture, what girl wouldn’t? But, I’d like to think that there is something more to it than just the occasional night on the town together. Isn’t it really what you make of your time together – whether you are having a discussion at a restaurant or over the kitchen table; or watching a movie in a theater or on your own couch - that fills that romantic void? You don’t need Air Force One to make an impression, or in my husband’s case just flowers…and food.

With thoughts of romance running through his head, my husband came home, last Friday, bearing gifts - a bouquet of flowers, a box of condoms and a chicken pot pie. I gave him a long hard look and tried to piece together the riddle, because nothing quite says “romance” like an assortment of Trojans, puff pastry and freshly cut sunflowers. Yet, it worked….and later, in the throes of passion, both of us knowing that we were rolling the family planning dice (hence the condoms), my husband whispered seductively into my ear, “Let’s make a baby.” (Usually, it would have seemed kinda sexy… okay maybe just sexy in a cheesy ‘70’s, Larry Dallas “Three’s Company,” big gold medallion way, but I’ll roll with it, just don’t tell my husband…) This time, however, he must have seen the look of utter fear fall across my face and he immediately recanted. “Okay, well, not really….um, just kidding….psyche!” And with the cagey reflexes of a mountain lion, he flung himself off of me, into the air and in the general direction of the hiding place of the latex cache.

As I watched his silhouette hopping back and forth in the moonlight….hoping he won’t totally kill the mood by breaking a toe on the dresser (yeah, we were kickin’ it old school, lights off and all….I suppose that the only thing missing was a Barry White 8 track, black satin sheets and glasses filled with Crown Royal on ice)….I could not help but think of the Dr. Seuss book, “Hop On Pop,” except my current situation, was more like “Hop Off Pop….don’t get off…hop off NOW!” Not a typical scenario by any means, just a factor in the birth control crossroads that I have found myself at yet again - I don’t want to get the tubes tied (definitely not after my neighbor's recent experience!), he's not ready to wear the "cone of shame" and the clock is ticking on our current solution (whole other post!)…which needs to be addressed asap!

You see, my husband and I have never quite gotten the birth control thing right. In my early 20’s, my doctors informed me that that when we did decide to have children, it would take longer than normal to conceive. We took the news as more of birth control pass than anything, and found out quickly that both we and the doctors were wrong. Boy, were we all wrong! It just so happened that my uber-fertile Irish peasant genes kicked in at age 25 and we had one hell of a mind blowing holy shit moment in the car after the first OB appointment. We were just shy of our 1st wedding anniversary and I’ll never forget how scared and overwhelmed I felt, looking down at all the forms for my blood work, the hospital registration information and the “Next Nine Months” book we were given. But as history is doomed to repeat itself, so were we and 22 months after the birth of baby #1, along came baby #2.

Now you would think that a young family with two children, a girl and a boy, would have been enough. We had two healthy children and were moving into a new house. So why throw a third into the mix? But I did and in a perfect storm of sorts I switched birth control options from the pill to the patch, left the kids with my parents, and packed up for a child -free vacation in Hawaii for a friends wedding. FYI – don’t use any form of patch – bug repellent, smoking, weight loss, etc – when going to the lushest, wettest state in the union. Regardless of what the box says or whatever is written on the fine print packaging insert, the patch will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT stay-on while golfing, river kayaking, hiking to a waterfall, snorkeling, wine tasting, sightseeing, horseback riding, kite boarding, indulging in a full-body seaweed wrap at the hotel spa, sleeping, changing your clothes, listening to your iPod, flying in an airplane, eating lunch on a veranda or any other daily vacation activity. While we left two behind, we came back with one more….and lets just say baby #3 (now known as Crazy Man, he of the drawn on eyebrows) could have easily been named Aloha Kona. Or as my friend, who is a native Hawaiian and whose wedding we went to, likes to remind me, “Wow, they always said Hawaii was the land of romance….now you have proof!”

But I digress, and getting back to the end of my bedroom “date night” hijinx, I suppose Bristol Palin is right - the only sure fire birth control is abstinence. The concept is really quite simple - no intercourse, no conception. The problem, however, is that abstinence is unrealistic. In our modern world abstinence is somewhat of a punch line. It is a quaint silly by-gone notion like churning butter or listening to a song on vinyl. Why go through all the steps – We are an “Instant Gratification Nation” and nobody wants to wait for anything anymore. Is there an iPhone app abstinence and if so would you really want to download it? In the meantime, I will try to put it into practice, but it will ultimately be in vain... for Friday is just around the corner and I’m sure it will bring another bouquet and quite possibly another pot pie.

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