Vaginal Discharge: A Timeline

            There’s this game people always play: “What’s the one thing you would do if you could go back in time?” Most people will tell you they would go back in time and kill Hitler. It is a solid, if uninspired, answer. I play this game a little differently. If I could go back in time, I would travel back to 2004, find my middle school self, and explain to her the ins and outs of vaginal discharge. I would take my all access ticket through time and I would use it to explain pussy juices to myself, just really give myself the lay of the land in the downstairs department. I would take my young self by the shoulders, look her straight in the eye, and say, “This isn’t going to make sense to you right now, but it is of the utmost importance: A vagina is not a dry piece of toast. It is a motherfucking Reuben.” While this answer was unappreciated by the TA running an icebreaker during the first discussion of Religious Studies 101, it is one that I stand by to this day. And with that, may I present Vaginal Discharge: A Timeline.


            Fall 2004: I am in 7th grade and perched precariously upon the precipice of puberty. No titties to speak of, my period won’t come for years, and I have grown a pube. A single pubic hair, full length and right in the middle, like a lone stalk of corn. Whenever people ask, “When did you know you were becoming a woman?” I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know, probably the moment my pussy looked like a cartoon baby.” Enter: vaginal discharge. “Well, this is new,” I thought as I waddled from gym class to the bathroom to mop up my soggy underwear for the third time, “I’m leaking.” Kickball kind of loses its charm when you’ve got a full-blown monsoon in your jeans.

            Winter 2008: I’m a junior in high school and up until this point I have been 100% certain that I am the only person on the planet whose underwear look like a Jackson Pollock painting at the end of the day. How I envied the other girls my age. They all had cooters so dry they could safely store loose saltine crackers in their pants. Meanwhile, my basement was flooding 24/7. The other girls were all on the Teacup Ride together and I was alone at the top of Splash Mountain. In my school’s defense, we did have Sex Ed. in middle school, and I’m fairly certain they covered discharge at some point, but I think I must have been too overwhelmed by learning the mechanics behind how boners work to absorb any more new information. Before that, I was under the impression you just had to cram a flaccid dick in like when you stuff a sleeping bag back into its carrying sack. So, I’m sixteen years old and I’m sleeping over at my friend’s house. We were about to begin another lengthy session of convincing lonely perverts in Yahoo chat rooms that we were 25-year-old Floridians, when I looked down at the floor of her messy room and lo and behold, there was a pair of dirty underwear. A pair of really dirty underwear. Dirty like my underwear got dirty. And just like that, I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a freak after all. (Spoiler alert: I still was, just not in the way I had originally thought.) The worst part was that my girlfriends and I had talked about everything else. We’d covered periods, and handjobs, and shaving, and yet none of us had been able to work up the courage to be like, “Yo, sometimes do your drawers get a little soupy?”


            Fall 2010: I’m a freshman in college. It is Sunday morning after Halloween weekend and the night before I had drunk a considerable amount of spiced rum for what would be the first and last time. I woke up like corpse being reanimated in my boyfriend’s bed, completely naked except for the mustache from my Snidely Whiplash costume stuck to my boob. After a quick trip to the bathroom to dry heave, I began to search for all pieces of my outfit, which I had thrown all over the room like the rose petals of a rookie flower girl. I managed to collect all my things except for one: my underwear. After twenty minutes of unfruitful searching I found myself trudging back to the dorms with my boyfriend’s boxer briefs sticking out past the hem of my short black dress. That’s right, I wasn’t just Snidely Whiplash. I was Sexy Snidely Whiplash. Any costume can be sexy if you believe in yourself. And if you have a slutty face. I spent the rest of the day horrified at the idea of my boyfriend finding my underwear. I had never had any intention of letting these two meet without my intense supervision and the thought filled me with embarrassment. Why hadn’t I burned them or stuffed them in my mouth and swallowed them whole? When I returned to his apartment that night he told me he had found them under his bed and presented them to me neatly folded on his desk. “Oh my god, he knows,” I thought as I snatched them up, “He knows I am a human woman with the bodily functions of a human woman!” How many times had I woken up to the sound of my own fart? I would lie there in the dark, my heart beating out of my chest, a cold sweat upon my brow, but he never woke up. How many bladder infections had I given myself because I hated peeing at his house? (Two, the answer is two.) And now, to be betrayed by my own crusty panties? It was unthinkable.

            Summer 2014: It is the summer after I graduated college and I see Obvious Child. The film follows a female comic named Donna, played by Jenny Slate, and the plot deals with abortion in a really positive and practical way. However, what stood out to me the most was that this was the first movie (or media of any kind) I had ever seen that so much as acknowledged the existence of discharge. The film opens on Donna telling a joke about being tired of hiding what her vagina does to her underpants: “They look like little bags that fell face first into a tub of cream cheese and then commando crawled their way out.” Later in the film, we even see her cream cheesy undies when she grabs them off the pillow the morning after a one-night stand. It rocked my world. I had heard every dick joke in the book. I’d seen movies where cum was used as hair gel, for Christ’s sake. And yet, this was the very first time I had heard a joke about discharge. In the world of comedy, and the world at large, dick is universal and pussy is niche.

            Spring 2017: It is now. I am 24 and at peace with my drippy cooch. A vagina is like a lemon. Cut it in half and wrap it in a paper towel. If that paper towel is completely dry when you come back, that’s not a very ripe lemon. And there’s always some guy on Craigslist who will buy that old paper towel if you’re looking for some walking around money.

What We Talk About When We Talk About My Giant Bush

I have a giant bush. It’s not giant in the grand scheme of things. If I was sitting in front of you at a concert, my bush would not infringe upon your view of the stage, the lasers ricocheting back and forth through a massive bramble of hair. It’s not like when I take a shower my feet don’t get wet. I can ride an escalator with relative safety. When I take my pants off I don’t have to give nearby windows a wide berth for fear of busting them out with the elastic release of a cluster bomb of pubes. (Although, it’s probably not the best idea to get undressed in front of windows in the first place on account of curious passersby and your neighbor’s dog Bigby, who is a known pervert.) I say that I have a giant bush because I feel that at this time, in this country, any pubic hair at all could be categorized as giant. A “giant bush” and “just a bush” are synonymous (and very scientific) terms. The choice alone to have body hair is giant.

Now, I know you’re wondering if I am a true American hero for sporting this big old bush. The answer is yes, I am. Thank you for asking. There are some truly amazing women in the running for the Best Gigantic Beaver/Bravest Women Who Speak Out/Feminist Role Model of the Year Award; it’s an honor just to be nominated. [Side note: For those of you who benefit from visual aids, I will be peppering several pictures of my bush and myself throughout this essay.]

I don’t want anyone to come away from this essay thinking that I’m telling women what to do with their body or their hair. Telling women not to shave would be just as bad as telling them to shave. Women should do whatever makes them feel good with their bodies, whether it be growing your armpit hair so thick you can’t lay your arms flat against your sides or buffing your vag until it’s as smooth as a polished rock. Stick some little googly eyes on it if that’s what makes you feel good! Call her Sheryl! [Side note: Do not call her Sheryl.] What I would like to talk about is why we shave. Why do we assume that sexy (normal, even) must equal hairless?

I know exactly when and why I started shaving. I was in 7th grade and I didn’t want the other girls on the basketball team to make fun of the hair on my legs. That was it. That was the whole reason. I felt ashamed that I wasn’t doing the same thing that other girls were doing. Ironically, the only reason I was on the basketball team in the first place was because it was what other girls were doing. I hated basketball and I was fucking terrible. I’m not exaggerating this for the story. Once during an away game, I was just running down the court by myself, purposefully avoiding any ball action, and I tripped on my own feet and smashed face-first into the hardwood. “Foul…” I mumbled into the polished floor. I sat out the rest of the game while my eyebrow swelled to Quasimodo-esque proportions and it was for sure not even my worst game of the season. As I sat on the bench the eye that wasn’t swollen shut surveyed the row of legs to either side of me, tallying those shaved and unshaven, covetously admiring the stubble on my neighbor’s knees. Looking down at the light sprinkling of hair on my own legs made me feel more embarrassed than when I was lying face down on the court five minutes prior, and a group of kids supporting the opposing team had literally pointed at me and laughed. Finally I worked up the courage to ask my mother if I could start shaving my legs. Hesitantly, she agreed. She gave me a quick Don’t Flay Your Leg Skin Off, Please crash course, and then handed me my very own disposable pink razor. (Pro tip: Always buy the pink ones. A lot of people will tell you, “The pink razors are exactly the same as the grey men’s razors.” And to that I say, “Yeah, except they cost more. I’m worth it!”)

And so that was it. After that I never really asked for advice or permission when it came to shaving. When hair started to grow under my arms, naturally I just started to shave them too. [Side note: I am almost 24 years old and I have never had hairy armpits in my whole life. Isn’t that kind of fucked up? Half a year ago I tried to grow them out but they did not bloom in to the lush lady gardens I had dreamt they would. They just looked like pubes and I figured I already had pubes so I didn’t really need more of the armpit variety so I shaved them off.] My first rite of womanhood, set into motion because I was embarrassed by the natural state of my body. If you think about it, becoming ashamed of our bodies is probably the ultimate rite of passage for young women. What better encapsulates the transition to womanhood than a young girl abruptly realizing that her body is actually a fugly garbage heap that has somehow been stuffed into an Aeropostale hoodie? I think Britney Spears said it best when she sang, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman. Also I feel like my arm fat is super loose, my breath smells like a dead onion, my nipples are crazy big (like not pepperoni big, personal pizza big), I’ve got bags under my eyes, a massive zit on my underbutt, my eyelashes are too short and my eyebrows are missing on the sides because I think my headgear rubbed them off when I was a kid, my belly button looks remarkably like a cat’s asshole, my feet are gigantic, teeth look like a pile of corn, nose hairs grow like weeds, and when I went skinny dipping last summer I think a leach swam into my vagina to lay its eggs.” At least I’m pretty sure those are the lyrics… You get the idea.

Fast-forward to my freshman year of high school when I am listening to two senior boys congratulate each other on how they would never sleep with a girl with a bush. “I just couldn’t do it,” one laughed. “I know. That’s why I’d be nervous to go to Europe. All the girls over there are so hairy,” the other said. “Oh, sick!” his friend replied. I sat there, suddenly very conscious of the apparently European style pubic hair I had hidden under my jeans. I hadn’t even kissed a boy at this point and now I was wondering if I could discreetly give myself a Brazilian using household items. If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would say, “Oh wow. Yes, those dudes are so swamped with pussy. Of course they turn away the girls with hair. Just as an organizational tool. There’s not enough hours in the day to bang all the ladies in line for that hot dick they’re serving up. After the girls with bushes, they tell the girls with weird moles to go home, then girls with wonky knees or elbows, and after that there’s still too much poon to sort through within the fiscal year. Oh wait, NO. Obviously not. They are 17. They saw two videos on PornHub before their mothers revoked their internet privileges and now they think they’re real hot shit. Also, Turd #1’s huge gauges will not stay cool for long and his earlobes will end up looking like a couple of worms relaxing in hammocks. Furthermore, Turd #2 will grow up to be a Republican so don’t even worry about it.” Anyways, I started shaving. A couple times, I tried shaving completely but I always thought it kind of looked like the chest burster from Alien, minus the teeth obviously. Eventually, I went with sort of a wide landing strip, which I maintained for several years, four or five times a week painstakingly shaving all the cracks and crevices of my vulva, enduring endless dry skin and razor burn before I had this realization: “Oh wait, I don’t have to do this.” I will still shave around the edges, just so it doesn’t look like Weird Al Yankovic wearing a ski mask when I’m in my swimsuit, but for the most part, that was the end. I’ve had a bush ever since. And may I say, I highly recommend it.

So, I would encourage you to consider why we shave. Why we do any of the cosmetic things that we do. Do we do it because that is what makes us look good and feel good? Or do we do it because we feel like we have to? Because we will be shamed or stigmatized if we do not. Because we will be making a political statement whether we want to or not, just by coloring slightly outside the lines of societal beauty standards. If it is the latter ladies, then may your bushes grow as tenaciously as your friendships and as boundlessly as your dreams. [Side note: As long as it makes you feel good.]

A Tale of Heartbreak & Life As A Double Flusher

Welcome friends. Put another log on the hearth and fire up the kettle, then sit back and let me tell you a story. It is a story about young love, about growing up, and perhaps most importantly, a story about poop. Which I love. I love talking about poop. And if you say you don’t, you are either lying or very boring, in which case I don’t even want to associate with you, much less let you read my hilarious, yet heartfelt poop story. This story takes place several days after I completed my sophomore year of college. I was 20 years old and I was breaking up with my boyfriend of almost two years.

Before we get into this tale though, a little bit of back-story is in order. I am very bad at pooping. Or very good, depending on how you denote value between quantity and quality. Let’s put it this way, I don’t poop very often but when I do, it is a noteworthy event for all parties involved. Perhaps a better analogy would be if you opened your front door one night and a delivery boy from a local Italian restaurant was there holding a robust meatball sub (sometimes two) and you’re like, “Excuse me, young man, I did not order this enormous hoagie.” And he’s like, “Well too bad, it’s Monday. See you Wednesday, Friday, and probably Sunday. Unless you’re going to be traveling. Then I’ll just see you in a week when you get back and I’ll need a large wagon. Oh and if you have an important show or event coming up then I’ll find you when it is most inconvenient for you.” And then he leaves you standing in the doorway holding a sandwich as big as a baby, wishing you could just order one small sandwich, something light (maybe flatbread?), every day like a normal girl.

As you can imagine, this makes pooping anywhere besides my home a real point of anxiety for me. For instance, a few springs ago I went to Louisiana with my family and the second I heard that we were going to be staying on a houseboat, I knew I was going to clog the toilet on a houseboat. Nothing quite puts a damper on your vacation like when you emerge sweating from a cramped boat bathroom, defective plunger in hand. Your whole family looks up at you from the game of Scrabble they were trying to play, doing their best to ignore the frantic splashing coming from behind the door of the primitive commode. I would also like to note that not only did none of them help me haul swamp water into the boat to pour down the toilet, but my dad also made fun of me the whole time for “clogging up the chitter.” You would think that if there was one place that it wasn’t taboo to plug up a hole it would be a boat but you would be wrong apparently.

So, it’s the beginning of the summer after my second year of school. My boyfriend and I are breaking up. He was going to Med School five hours away and I was 20 so we had mutually decided to split up at the end of the school year. After graduation I went back to his hometown to stay with him for a few days before my mom was going to come pick me up and bring me home for the summer.

I don’t know if any of you know what it’s like to have your own bowels try to sabotage you at every turn but for those of you who do, you know the fear I felt sitting in my boyfriend’s childhood bedroom knowing that there was a full force gale brewing in the downstairs. The stress of moving, the traveling, and now the dread of having to say goodbye had created a perfect storm. The little Dutch boy had his finger in the dike and he was like, “Oh fuck. This is going to end very badly for me and for all of my Dutch brethren. Someone help. Please someone help.” (In this analogy, the hole in the dike is my asshole.)

Obviously, I couldn’t unleash this monstrosity on my wonderful soon-to-be ex-boyfriend and his innocent family. I wanted the last thing that I left with him to be a light kiss on the lips and the promise that we would never forget one another, not a cement-like obstruction in his septic system. I wanted his first call after I left to be to me, to tell me he missed me already, not to a commercial plumber like, “Sir, please bring backup. Don’t try to be a hero. We’ve never seen anything like it.” When I said a piece of me would always be with him, I didn’t want him to think I meant the gargantuan turd I left lurking in his pipes like a basilisk, waiting to rear its ugly head. My mom was going to pick me up in just a few hours so my plan was to just weather the storm looming in my colon with a quiet grace, say my weepy goodbyes, then get in the car and tell my mother to haul ass to the nearest gas station, public library, or abandoned barn. Really anywhere that we didn’t mind never returning for the rest of our lives would be fine.

It was a fine plan but a plan that ultimately failed. I was sitting there thinking to myself, “Are you really going to say goodbye to your boyfriend with this darkness inside of you? Isn’t that going to taint the already sad moment? Jesus, you are bursting at the seams here. Use the restroom like an adult.” And then after that it all just happened so fast and the next thing I knew I was face to face with the physical embodiment of shame. A lot of times, with things like these the outcome that you build up in your mind is a thousand times worse than anything that will actually occur. This was not one of those times. It was exactly as terrible as I thought it would be, possibly worse.

Now, in this situation, you have a couple options.

• Option 1. You can say a short prayer, flush it, and then just hope for the god damn best. This option is relatively clean but high risk.

• Option 2. Find a utensil of some kind, a pencil or plastic fork, and use it to break the problem up into small, flushable pieces. This option requires some very discreet clean up as far as disposing of the weapon, but is almost fool proof in the flush department.

• Option 3. Find a zip lock or plastic bag. Collect the material. Go outside and throw it in the dumpster. As you leave, ask anyone in the vicinity if they saw that gigantic squirrel eating a bunch of White Castle sliders over by the dumpster to cover your tracks. This option is to be used only in very dire situations, as it requires you to literally walk around with your own shit in a bag like you’re taking yourself for a walk. It is the least glamorous of the three options.

I chose Option 1. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and said a prayer to Saint Aedan: “Dear Saint Aedan, this is Gena. Sorry to bother you again. I know you’re the Patron Saint of Ferns and this isn’t really your field but there is no Patron Saint of Clogging the Toilet All the Time so I picked you because I feel like you probably don’t have a lot else to do. I don’t really understand what the Patron Saint of Ferns even means. Like, do ferns pray to you? For more fertile soil? Or do people pray to you when their potted ferns rot or get eaten by the cat? All I’m saying is you’ve got to have a little extra time on your hands to help me out here. And if this doesn’t work I’m going to pray to either Saint Susanna, Patron Saint of Those Named Susanna, or Saint Blaise, Patron Saint of Throat Ailments. Business cannot be booming for them either. Anyways, please help guide this remarkably large BM all the way through the pipes and to the promise land. Amen.” Then, with clammy and shaking hands, I reached for the silver handle and flushed.

AND IT WENT DOWN. It was nothing short of a miracle. “Aedan, you phat bitch,” I yelled, “You’ve done it again!” And then I did one of those cool fist pump things that Tiger Woods and I like to do when we get a hole in one. From there, I packed up my things, went upstairs, said goodbye to my boyfriend, gross cried in front of everyone, and it was horrible and sad and just the worst. At the time, the toilet fiasco was just another terrible factor of an already terrible day. But now, looking back it stands out as a point of humor in a very sad day. I think of it almost fondly because it reminds me of the teachings of Saint Aedan who says that no matter how big, or how scary, or how inconvenient, all of the problems that life throws at us can be flushed eventually, if only we just believe. And if not, just use a plastic fork.

A Love Letter to Justin Bieber

This fall has been a season of rapid change for me. A new city, a new job, pretending to be an adult, pretending I like meeting new people, a second cat. But one of the most tremendous changes in my life has been something I’ve been hesitant to speak of, something I’ve kept close to my young heart: I like Justin Bieber now.

And I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not in a creepy way. It’s not like I’ve been watching him grow and progress for several years and I feel sincerely invested in the success of his career. It’s very new and completely sexual. To put it gently, I want to whip up a Bieber schmear and spread it on a sex cracker. I want to call a BÜber and forget my iPhone 6 in the backseat. I want to sit down in History 355 on the first day of the semester and when the professor says, “So, how was everyone’s summer?” I want jump up onto my rickety, wooden lecture hall seat and yell, “I really want to fuck Justin Bieber!” And then the professor jumps up on her podium and screams, “And that’s gonna be on the final, you bitches!” and she doesn’t even care that I’m not technically in the class or enrolled in the university at all when it comes down to it. Do you see? It’s nothing weird.

Okay, let’s break it down. What are the components of the jet fuel being thrown onto the white-hot, proverbial fire of my sexual renaissance? The thrill of watching a good boy go bad? Of course. The pleasing nasal quality to his voice? Absolutely. His hair, dyed Albino German Blond? Ja! The way most of his recent music videos are shot like videos from the For Women category on Porn Hub? Amazing. His fuzzy little mustache? No, I don’t like that. His diaper pants? Still no, actually. His god-awful tattoos? Kind of. The fact that he looks like a butch 20-something lesbian who’s super into rugby and going down on her girlfriend? Fuck yes.

And obviously, if we’re looking at Justin Bieber as a real person, there are some glaring issues. Yes, it would be fair to call him an idiot savant and just an asshole in the most general sense of the word. Yes, he abandoned a monkey in Germany, a country known for their love of monkey spätzle and monkey strudel and monkey-flavored hefeweizen. Yes, he peed in mop bucket and told Bill Clinton he could go sit on a big pile of dick-shaped lemons. (I think? Someone fact check that for me.) But this is a person who had millions of people telling him, “Yes. You are fucking awesome. Change nothing. You are a god,” the entire time he traversed the dangerous and rocky slopes of puberty. Of course he’s going to ditch a couple monkeys here and there. Let’s cut him some slack. All of us turned out like assholes and we only had our own parents to feed us that lie.

But none of us are perfect and when it comes down to it, I think that is the most magnetizing aspect of the Justin Bieber experience. Because yes, I am 23 and I don’t know how to do my own taxes, I get eczema all over my body all year round, I still haven’t perfected prolonged eye contact with people I haven’t know for more than two years, I like cats too much in a way that I originally thought I was doing ironically and I am now slowly realizing is very real and, as it turns out, verging on disturbing; but when I’m riding through the city and I hear Justin Bieber’s silky and sensual vocals cascading through my ear buds and into my head, I think, “Wow… I really am special after all.” And then I get too worked up and I hit all the potholes on purpose with my bike until I get to work.

10 Ways To Know If Your Cat Is Your Best Friend

1. Your cat approaches you and says “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and you are my best friend.”

2. You take a moment to think about how you really feel. Don’t feel pressured to reiterate what your cat has expressed just to avoid an awkward situation. Be true to yourself.

3. You tell your cat, “I have taken a moment to think about how I really feel and I want you to know that I do not feel pressured to reiterate what you have expressed just to avoid an awkward situation.” You take a deep breath and look your cat in the eye and say, “You are my best friend, too.”

4. Your cat sincerely thanks you for your honesty and for being true to yourself and then suggests a best friend trip to the cheese factory which you gladly accept because your shared love of cheese is what your friendship was founded on in the first place. Well that and when you adopted him and he really had no choice in the matter and actually struggled very viciously against it at first. And he peed on your pillows and a lot other things that you love during those first few weeks. And then he somehow grew his testicles back and all the vets at the Humane Society were like, “Our bad,” but they still said you had to be the one to break it to him that he would have to endure a second neutering. And then he said he thought you were doing this on purpose to hurt him and he called you the C-word and you could tell it had just slipped out and he didn’t mean it but it still hurt and then he screamed “This isn’t fair!” and slammed the back door as he stomped out to the back porch and as you sat, defeated at the kitchen table you could see the tip of his Marlboro ignite through the blinds, and you whispered to yourself, “Life isn’t fair.”

6. - 10. And then the next six ways just detail your amazing and hijinx-filled trip to the cheese factory.

Recently, Oregon became the first state to sell birth control over the counter.

This is very dope because a couple months ago I had to get a new prescription for my birth control so I went to this women’s clinic in my neighborhood to make an appointment and they had me fill out all this paperwork and pay the copay and then without telling me really anything else the nurse motioned for me to come behind the counter at which point I realized “Oh ok we’re doing this thing. Cool.” The nurse took my blood pressure and weighed me (“Wow I have lost weight since moving to Chicago ie. a city where I don’t have any friends/people to facilitate my binge drinking.”) and then told me in broken English that I look like Miss America except with shorter hair (“Oh tight, this is going very well. Being an adult woman is not so hard after all.”)

During this time she had been writing something on a little dixie cup with a sharpie, all the while lulling me into a false sense of security by comparing my visage to that of a woman who had just won an award for being hot. “What is that for?” I wondered. “Do I get a little drink now while I wait for the doctor? I guess I am feeling a bit parched.” She then thrust the 2 oz. cup, on which she had scrawled “Genevieve,” into my face and said, “You go make a pee now.” She pointed to the bathroom door. “Wait what,” I said. “You go make a pee now,” she repeated. “Oh, is that necessary? I just need birth control.” She assured me that it was. I stared at the tiny cup thinking that certainly this could not be the proper scientific vessel for depositing my specimens, “Um, do you have something with like a cap?” She reluctantly retrieved one of the more legit looking shrink wrapped containers (that I assume she had been saving for the VIP tinkles?) and I took it into the lockless bathroom where I sat with my arm between my legs for five minutes, unable to squeeze more than a drop of urine from my nervous bladder. Then I washed the tiny drop of piss out of the cup because I was embarrassed by my insufficient sample and also because I thought it was gross.

“I couldn’t pee,” I said as I exited the bathroom, holding the wasted VIP urine receptacle with shame. “That is okay, doesn’t matter,” she said. It doesn’t matter?! I’m going to have toilet and dixie cup induced PTSD and it doesn’t even matter? She led me down the short hallway to an examining room where it was my naive belief that I would sit fully clothed with the doctor, engage in some pleasant small talk, and then say, “Yes, I would like some birth control please,” and then be on my way. Instead, the nurse told me to take off my pants and sit on the exam table and then I got a surprise pap smear. As it turns out, I was right about the small talk although I did not anticipate that a stranger’s face would be in my vagina the whole time. You would think that a trained medical professional would choose to ask you where you attended college and which degree you attained at said college BEFORE you had your feet in the stirrups and your business blowing in the wind, but you would be very wrong.

After my doctor had retrieved all of her tools from the many cavities of my body I was ushered back out front where I filled out more paperwork and then before I knew it I was back in the nurse’s station where an intern was trying and failing to draw my blood to test for cystic fibrosis. After trashing the vein in my left arm the intern was gearing up for a stab at the right when I remembered I was there voluntarily and left to go stand in line for half an hour at Walgreens waiting to get my fresh prescription filled.

Four weeks later I received an astronomically high statement from my insurance provider which included $90 for urinalysis and a pregnancy test which the clinic had apparently performed on the droplets of water remaining in the urine container. (Congrats Chicago tap water, your'e not pregnant.)

In conclusion, is that it is my sincere hope that one day in the future, when I am again in need of birth control, instead of a repeat performance of the Fullerton-Albany Women’s Clinic Fiasco of 2015, I can just walk into the drug store of my choice and say, “Yeah hi, I’m looking to not get knocked up for a couple months.” And without looking up from his iPhone9, the guy behind the counter will simply say, “Aisle 4.”