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.”