Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The right person will still think the sun shines out your ass: The condom broke part 3

I'm sitting on a stack of three milk crates behind the register of the most coveted check out stand at Jim Beam's. (It's my name for the grocery store I worked at for four years.) It's coveted because the customers have to put their groceries on a belt to be scanned instead of just parking their cart by the checker's crotch and letting them strain their backs unloading it. I got dibs on that coveted checkstand because my 9 months pregnant belly keeps me from fishing cans of soup out of the back of the cart and I'm sitting on milk crates because standing makes me need to pee. The crates are surprisingly comfortable.

In the next checkstand over a customer is doing her best to ignore me and gawk at my belly at the same time. She is the mother of a girl I went to school with. Six months ago she had congratulated me on my wedding, being one of my daily customers and ever so chatty, but when I started to show and she did a little counting on her fingers, the chattiness ended. My checkstand was tainted. I was a bad influence on her children by my mere presence. It wasn't just the look on her face that told me so. It was that she outright told me so. The scowl was only gravy on her convictions.

Before telling my mom I was pregnant, and in turn she told my dad, Justin and I went through the usual round of decisions. Abortion was considered for about a half second, out of fear rather than something that was a viable option for many reasons, and besides, you couldn't get one legally in Utah. Adoption was also considered, but in the end, because of our ages and the fact that we did have some means, we believed that it would only serve to break the hearts of our families. We decided on a wedding in August, on a Wednesday. It didn't feel like shot gun to either of us since we had already been discussing marriage seriously before I had sprouted. It's just foreshortening the engagement by two years, right? In the next few days, before our families were let in on the surprise, we did two years worth of work and went over all the practicalites of marriage. We resolved any marital aspect that we could think of which might effect our futures, from finances, to schooling, to chores and how to fight. Amazingly, there was very little we didn't discuss that still isn't relevant now, fifteen years in. Those days were moments of grace.

That talk is why my husband and I have never called each other a name in anger, ever. I'm proud of that.

The first adult I told about my pregnancy was my boss. It was the last thing he expected to hear coming out of my mouth because he believed I was an all American teen success. He had good reason to think it. Most adults in the town did. He read the town paper, which sat in a stack at his workstation, and my photo had appeared in it at least once a month for the last two years with a story about some honor I had achieved. Becky grinning about Future Farmers of America awards. Becky grinning about marching band and flag successes, despite her inability to march. Becky grinning about arts honors. Becky grinning about being art Sterling Scholar for the entire school.

August came and there was no photo next to the announcement of my marriage in the paper. I wasn't ashamed, I considered it another honor, but I had gotten a very bad haircut the morning Justin and I were to sit for the photographer. Becky grinning with bangs that were to my eyebrows on the right side of my forehead angling up to being less than an inch long to the left side. I hated the photos. I looked like I had sniffed glue and there wasn't time to process another. My Mom still hangs one of the photos in her entryway. I need to steal it.

Details of my honeymoon HERE. (Link contains automatic play song file.)

Mrs. Scowl wasn't the only person to openly disapprove. There was a whole range of reaction since I was so visible. Some classmates and townspeople told me I'd ruined my life. Another classmate, who I in no way got along with before, gave me a hug. One person asked me who the father was with my husband standing right next to me. Another classmate asked to touch my belly, which I allowed until she attempted to pull down my pants so she could feel the head. She was an odd duck.

You can read an account of the birth HERE.

Next: "Pregnancy... It can often lead to an infant: The condom broke part 4."


  1. I'm totally enthralled and enjoying this story!!

    Thanks for doing it - if you're like me, it's not the easiest thing in the world.

  2. You got me when u were talking about women and gravy ;)


  3. great story, I'm completely enthralled as well. Just so you know, I wrote an article on adoption and one of the families I profiled knows the woman who gave birth to their son and just five years ago, people were staring down the young mother-to-be scowling at her, etc. We're a very bizarre society.

  4. Dang, you completely reeled me in with this story....

    Sounds like you and the husband had some great heads on your shoulders even at such a young age.

  5. I knew before reading the story so far, that you and Justin are the best example of a happy marriage that I know.


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