Awkward Days, or How To Pick A Pregnancy Test

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Have you ever had those really self conscious moments where you feel all eyes are on you? You know you’re not doing anything wrong, but still you feel as if people are gawking and staring.

Come on, you know you have.

I had one recently. Sheena and I were buying a pregnancy test. If you’ve never done this, it has potential to be a really awkward moment. We first (I’ll explain more about this word first latter) went to the grocery store with a pharmacy to pick one up. Fortunately, this place has a separate till for the pharmacy hidden in a dark corner of the store. Great for not being noticed. We didn’t want to be noticed, because if we were pregnant we didn’t want people to know yet. Just about every time I go to the store I see someone I know, and since there’s only one reason you buy a pregnancy test I didn’t want anyone I know to see me.

As great as the back corner till is, you still have to deal with the cashier. Which felt awkward so I made sure my adorned ring finger was getting noticed. I don’t exactly know why, but I felt a strong need to make sure she knew we were married.

Now, picking out a pregnancy test is a bit of an awkward thing also. How do you know which one is good? Is this really a time when you want to go with the cheapest? Don’t you want the most accurate, which one is that? What do you mean I have to spend $10 for what I’ll learn for free in nine months?!?

So many questions.

Fortunately they only had one option. Well two options, same brand, but did we want a two pack or a single?

Two pack, of course. What if we messed up on our first attempt? And if we got it right first try, then I’ve got a fun toy to play with latter.

That night, we debated about waiting until the morning but thought neither of us might sleep, we tried it out. I’ve never read directions more carefully in my life. We did everything right, but got no response. It was so tough to tell what the answer was.

We were using a clear blue test. Now let me tell you, the only way this product was living up to its name was that it was blue. There was nothing clear about it.

Maybe there was a very faint blue line there, but we couldn’t tell if it was real or not. Was it just wishful thinking to see a blue line? Were we willing there to be a blue line? Or was there actually a faint line and this cheap test didn’t have enough die in it to make a bolder line?

We decided to wait a few days and try again. Thankfully we got the two pack. In a few day’s we’d be at my parents house and we’d try again.

When that day came, and we were all alone we pulled out test two.

More confusion. We really think there was a line but it was really hard to tell if that was significant enough to mean anything. Why couldn’t clear blue be more clear?

We decided that we had to go for another test. One maybe less blue, and more clear. This was our second time in less than a week where we were heading off to the store to buy a pregnancy test.

We went to a fully certified pharmacy this time. By that I mean they’re a pharmacy first and a food store second. (Or maybe the food comes third behind the greeting cards.) When we found the right aisle we were bombarded with options. There must have been eight or so. How do we pick? Well, we ruled out clear blue right away. I kinda wanted to try the Life brand. Sure, it was a store brand, but there seemed something right about choosing life in that situation. Some tests sounded ridiculous. We decided to go with a First Response test. With a name like “First Response” I expected a paramedic to follow us home. First Response sounds like there is a tragedy somewhere. Still, we went with it. It was pink. I don’t know if that is relevant or not.

Unfortunately this store does not have a discreet check out at the back, so we made our purchase right up front where everyone could see us. The clerk gave us a wink as she said; “Have a good day.” I guess what else do you say to a couple buying such a product? Your day really only has two options: it’s either going to be good, as in you get the result you hope for, or bad, as in you always do horrible at tests.

Later I’ll tell you how our day ended.