comedy

Vibes

I recently turned 21 years old. My parents got me a watch, the old-fashioned kind that ticks and tocks. As I admired the leather band on my wrist I came to the realization that my biological clock was also ticking. I love babies. I want one, but I’ve also been single for the past 21 years. So, on my birthday I decided that I was going to change my life. I was going to date, because dating leads to relationships, which leads to marriage, which leads to BABIES.

Long story short, I downloaded Tinder…again. I went on date with a guy; we’ll call him Dan. He was nice. We went on a second date, he was still nice. And then we had a third “date”…

I was nervous about this third date because he asked me to come hang out at his apartment. I was super clear about my expectations:

“Sure, but just to make sure that we’re on the same page, I want to take things slow and I’m not going to sleep with you,” I told him over text.

“Haha don’t worry, I already picked up on that vibe,” he replied.

So, I gave my dad his address, and headed over. It wasn’t long before Dan dimmed the lights and dove in for the kill. Not a classy move on his part, but I’d never been kissed before and I kind of just wanted to get it over with.

He lightly lapped his tongue in and out (around?) my mouth. I tried to participate but I increasingly felt like I was just getting in the way. Kissing was not at all how I had imagined it. Did my trashy romance novels lie to me?

The minutes ticked by, reminders of my withering biological clock. His hands started to roam. I opened my eyes. Panting, he broke off the kiss to move to my neck. Even in the dim lighting I could see that he was extremely flushed.

I took stock; I was less turned on than I am in my neutral state.

Finally, he broke away.

“You have a nice butt.” He announced.

“Thank you?”

“You never show it off though. Like you don’t dress like most of the girls that I go out with. They all wear leggings, and push-up bras and mesh tops.”

“Yeah, I don’t dress like that.” I agreed.

“Yeah, I got that vibe.” he replied, leaning in to kiss me again. He clambered on top of me, shoving his tongue in my mouth. I tried to lap back, seriously puzzled by this kissing thing. He once more ran his hands over me, but this time he added dry humping my leg for good measure. It was definitely too intense for my first kiss but I also didn’t stop him. I was waiting to feel something, anything. Mostly, I was starting to feel like a doll.

After a while, he rolled off of me, looking slightly frustrated. We sat in silence.

“Can I ask you a question?” he said, “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

“Sure”

“Are you a virgin?”

“Yeah”

“Yeah, you give off that vibe” He paused, “It’s cool though, so am I.”

“That’s cool too” I answered. He didn’t give off that vibe, but I’m not one to judge.

“I’m not actually a virgin” he amended.

“Okay”

There was another silence. “It’s the first time that I’ve kissed someone” I said, feeling the need to explain my shitty kissing skills.

“Really?” he was surprised.

Maybe the problem wasn’t with me after all… I should have kept my mouth shut.

“Yup”

“Huh…you had your first kiss at 21?” He seemed to ponder this.

“Apparently,” I said. My biological clock gave a sad tick.

“Huh…well I’m honored…I guess? I’ve never been anyone’s first anything. Why’d you wait?”

“Because all the other guys who tried to kiss me were repulsive assholes.” I said, honestly. It really wasn’t an honor. If anything, it boiled down to convenience. 15 minutes ago, he really did seem like the best kissing option. Unfortunately, things never work out how you expect them to.

“So, what are your views on sex then?” he asked.

“I want to be in a solid relationship with someone before having sex with them.”

“Are you afraid of sex? Because, well, I don’t know if it’s like this for you, but for me I was scared for my first time because I was afraid that I would, like do sex wrong.” He paused in his monologue before continuing, “This is probably bad timing, but I think that we might be looking for different things…Like I’m not really looking for a relationship…and you give off the vibe that you’re looking to settle down” he announced.

I felt…immense relief. Any attraction that I had felt towards him had fizzled out during our make-out session. I positively beamed. “That is totally fair!” I said.

“But like, if I waited to tell you, we could have had fun for a few weeks during the in between phase.”

“I actually prefer people being upfront with me, so I appreciate you telling me now.”

He changed tactics, not at all pleased with my cheery demeanor.

“You give off kind of an unsexual vibe”

“Wow, you’re so good at picking up vibes!” I said, laughing.

He was silent, staring off into space. I scooped up my phone to look up bus schedules, deciding that it was time to start planning my escape.

“You know,” he finally said, “You’re never gonna have children at this rate with the amount of sexual action you’re getting.” He seemed genuinely upset.

I decided that I should probably say something comforting: “Oh don’t worry! There’s always turkey basters and sperm banks.”

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R is For Romance Part II

Happy Valentines Day! Part II of R is for Romance is up.

F is for Friend

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  Photo by Hannah Valentine on Unsplash

Love is fickle. Breakups happen. It’s perfectly natural. However, honesty is always the best policy. Don’t play games. I recently had a conversation with two of my guy friends. One of them wanted advice on how to break up with the girl that he was dating. The other told him to call her “friend and buddy” a lot until she got the hint. Please note that this is an awful idea.

G is for Guarantee.

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Photo by Tommy Lee Walker on Unsplash

Dates are not a purchase transaction.  Playing nice for a few hours, or forking the bill at dinner does not give you the keys to the chastity belt in question. You are not guaranteed sex, a kiss, a hug, or even a handshake by going on a date, nor are any of those things owed to you.

H is for Hair

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Photo by Kiana Brett Photography

I’ve been told that hair is a sex symbol, a turn on. That’s all well and good, but keep it out of your dumb pickup lines.

I have long curly hair. Way too often guys come up to me and ask, “So uh where’s your hair from?”

Ummm…my head???

I is for Injuries

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Injuries and disabilities never make for good pickup lines. After a failed surgery at the age of 15, I spent four years limping and wearing a knee brace. I got used to it. It wasn’t my defining characteristic. Yet guys often tried to use it to try to get into my pants.

One time a random guy came up to me in the metro station, apologizing profusely. Slowly inching away, I asked him why. The charmer pointed to my knee.

“It’s fine,” I said.

“Well I’m so sorry. So uh can I give you a hug?” He held out his arms.

“No” I answered.

Don’t offer to hug strangers and leave injuries out of it. No one wants your pity, even if it’s sincere. For more stories on crappy injury pick up lines read my article The Bees Knees.

J is for Jerk

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Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

No one likes a jerk. It’s pretty self explanatory. For example, don’t call a girl a “cripple” and then expect her to pop open that chastity belt mentioned above. If you act like an ass, the object of your affection is very unlikely to fall into your arms.

K is for Kinky Subjects

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Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

Kinky subjects and porn are not appropriate topics for a first date. Especially when the girl (or guy) in question tells you that she has no interest in either. Keep it PG people…please?

L is for Lost

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Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

A very popular pick up line among guys involves them pretending to be lost. I was in the metro the other day when a rather attractive fellow approached me asking for directions. I happened to be heading in that direction too and offered to show him the way because I’m a freaking angel.

“So where are you from?” I asked, trying to make conversation.

“Oh downtown Montreal” He answered. I frowned. We were smack dab in the middle of downtown Montreal. He then attempted and failed to get my number.

The takeaway? If you’re not lost don’t pretend to be. She’ll find out and when she does, you won’t look like the sharpest tool in the shed. Consider offering to help her find her way instead…you know to your heart.

R is for Romance Part I

Romance is dead and Valentine’s day is coming up. Yikes! Do you think that we can save love in time? Well maybe if you follow my ABCs of dating advice….

 

A is For Age

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Stay within your age range people. For example, if you’re a 13 year old boy, don’t hit on an 18 year old girl. When I was 18, I worked in an after school program. Outside the facility there was a park. On a sunny September day, I happened to be extremely early for my shift. I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and sit outside. A group of boys, about 13 or 14 years old, were playing on the swings. Eventually, one approached me.

“Ummm so, my friend thinks you’re cute,” he announced.

“Sorry, I’m not interested” I said, torn between a cross of amusement and annoyance.

“What do you mean?” He asked, shocked.

“I mean that I’m not interested.”

“D-d-d-do y-you have a boyfriend?” He was sending panicked glances back at his friend.

I stared him, tempted to tell him that no, I didn’t have a boyfriend but in ten minutes I’d be going inside to babysit him.

B is for Boobs

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Okay so several things about boobs. First of all, if you want them, grow your own.

Second, don’t stare at my boobs under the guise of examining my boring but conveniently located necklace–we both know it’s conveniently located.

C is for Chivalry

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I’m quite convinced that chivalry is dead. Consider reviving it. Holding the door open goes a long way. However, don’t take it to the other extreme either. Your fair lady does not want to be treated like a delicate flower…or so delicate that even a flower would harm her. I was at an Explore Montreal event for international students over the summer. It involved walking on sidewalks, a relatively safe passtime. However, the boy that I was walking with panicked, sticking his arm out protectively in front of me every time we passed a flower pot.

“Careful! Careful!” he said, “It’s dangerous. Those flower pots are really dangerous!”

“I’m pretty sure I’ve faced worse” I answered dryly. He seemed pretty amazed by my bravery.

Strike a balance. Be polite but not overbearing.

D is for Distance

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When I was 17, I liked this boy. He was sweet and understood sarcasm. When I moved 2643.4 miles away and he finally declared his feelings for me, I was thrilled. We’d talk on skype for hours and send each other emails the length of novels. And in my spare time I’d lie in bed bawling out my eyes because we were 2643.4 miles apart. It was super romantic…and also super useless. Don’t wait to declare your undying love and devotion until the object of said affection has moved x-thousand miles away.

 

E is for Eyes

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PC: Kiana Brett

At this point, pretty much everything nice that you can say about a random girl’s eyes is cliche, and everything original that you might come up with will make you sound like an idiot. One time, a guy followed my friend and I out of a restaurant.

“Excuse me ma’am. I just–well it’s just that everyone tells me I have such nice eyes,” he said, staring at me expectantly.

I remained silent. Unperturbed, he continued, “And it’s just, I finally found someone that I want to repay the compliment too. You have the most beautiful eyes that I’ve ever seen.”

I thanked him.

“They’re so beautiful!” he repeated.

I thanked him again.

He turned to walk away. After five yards he turned back around. “You’re eyes are so gorgeous. They look like the Bahamas,” he shouted spreading his arms wide.

I did not run into them.

Thoughts and Feelings: University, Take 2

This semester I transferred to a new university. Career-wise I don’t really need a degree, but immigration-wise I need to attend school full time to remain in Canada. So, on a whim, I decided that it’d be fun to study theatre. I enrolled in a course of study that my University calls “Performance Creation.” The program combines different elements of theatre into a nice little bundle that they have the audacity to call education.

Never in my life have I spent so much time running around a room screaming as I have in the past 3 months. Just to clarify, this was not a stress relief method that I employed to cope with the rigors of the program. It was the program, the go-to method for acting, research, and analysis. I paid a semester’s worth of tuition to run around a room and scream.

To be fair, my professors did try to impart their knowledge. This semester, I learned about human body parts, their meanings and how to use them.

From the twelve lectures that I attended in my “Arts Across the Disciplines” course, I learned one thing and one thing only. In the middle of a lecture, my professor showed us a painting of a bare foot. He said, “Students, look at the toes. Toes are a phallic symbol.” It was true enlightenment, a conclusion that I would have never reached on my own, because nothing about a toe makes me think “dick”.

The next day I had my acting class at 8:30 in the morning. We were running around screaming, an activity that we perform barefoot, and let me tell you, I was seeing everyone’s toes in a very different light. At least until the professor gave me something entirely different to think about. “Raise one limb,” he instructed, “Now a second, third, fourth.” We all did as he commanded, because we’re basically cattle. “And now a fifth,”he said. The room went still. I, for one, was thoroughly confused.  95% of the students in that class are girls, therefore 95% of us don’t exactly have a fifth appendage. And why are all my professors obsessed with everything phallic? I settled for raising a finger. “Now a sixth limb” he demanded to everyone’s shock. I raised another finger, deciding that he had to be testing us. Humans only have four limbs.  “You are all wrong” our professor informed us, “Biologically speaking, humans have six limbs, but we often forget about our heads and our tailbones.” I don’t know why anyone would ever study anatomy when they can study theatre instead.

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Two of our “six” limbs are arguably more useful than the rest – these are our arms, which more often than not, end in hands. Hands are powerful communicative tools. However, it’s important to realize how traditional hand gestures come across to others. In one of my courses we were taught that clapping is not always appropriate at the end of a performance. Apparently, clapping is not even a true form of appreciation. In fact, appreciation is its own action…who knew? It consists of rubbing one’s hands together, vigorously. When discussing or covering material on sensitive topics we weren’t allowed to clap, only appreciate, lest we offend.

All this knowledge about the human body taught me to be self aware. Do my movements reflect my emotions? Are they appropriate in the context? Do my character’s objectives come across clearly in my physical portrayal? And more importantly, in real life how does my personality come across to others? In theatre courses, the professors can and will hold your personality against you. In my design class, both my friend and I were making wire trees. Our professor, an elderly man, indicated my friend’s tree and declared, “That looks like a uterus.” He then zeroed in on my tree: “Very nice,” he said, “your tree does not look like a uterus.”

“Gee” I said, laughing, “That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s said to me all day.”

He blinked at me in surprise. “You know,” he told me, “I thought that you were a really nice and quiet girl, but you’re actually a total smart-ass.”

“Yeah I’m not really all that quiet,” I said, wondering what exactly had made me appear so.

Here’s the thing though, we presented projects to this professor all throughout the semester and he never once wrote anything down, not our names, not our presentation topics, nothing. He didn’t even keep any of our presentation materials. So how does he remember everyone’s grades? When we were presenting our final projects, someone finally asked him.

“I remember your grades because they correlate with your personalities,”he told us.

I thought about how he had completely misdiagnosed my personality earlier in the semester. “But what if you don’t like our personality?” I wondered…

…out loud. It wasn’t one of my finer moments, and it did not go over well. In fact, he was quite offended, which may or may not have impacted my final grade for the course. So I guess I also learned to keep my mouth shut?

It all boils down to connectivity really–with oneself and with others. Basically, theatre is a very spiritual artform. Not only do courses encourage you to summon deep and dark feelings, but you’ll have to perform rituals, like a cult. In my performance creation course each class opened and closed with a ritual. The closing ritual was the worst. It consisted of the following steps:

  1. Stand in a circle with your hands on each others’ backs.
  2. Breath in the people around you. Supposedly, it’s very possible to breath someone up your nose, although I have not yet mastered this particular skill.
  3. Lift your hands above your head, twinkling your fingers. Rain them down to the ground following with your body until you are in a squatting position, perfect for tinkling if you’re a girl.
  4. Tap your fingers on the floor to create the sound of rain as members of the group shout out what they took away from the nonexistent lesson. Good examples include “cult,” and “cult.”
  5. Scoop it – “it” being the words – up as a cohesive unit. As one, rise to a standing position and release “it” into the air.

There’s no denying that I learned a lot from University, Take 2. But the principal lesson was this: run. Running and screaming is all well and good, but I’d also like to learn something. I dropped all of my theatre courses for next semester, trading them out for somewhat more promising options. Let’s gear up for University, Take 3.

Photo Credits: Peter Lewicki at Unsplash.com

The Bee’s Knees

I’ll never be the Bee’s Knees. My shot at that particular title was taken away at the age of 15 by a scissor happy surgeon, who tried to cut my chronic knee pain away. I hope that the half hour that it took him to perform the operation bought him a really nice vacation. I on the other hand, did not get to go to Hawaii; instead I got years of rehab, bullying and shitty pick up lines.

During the four years following my surgery, I was in and out of various braces. Some guys seemed to think that this would make it easier to get into my pants. I never quite followed the logic–it’s just one more layer to remove.

A while back, I was feeling rather proud of myself. Using the method that my physios had taught me, I made it down the Metro steps to my train relatively smoothly. I mentally chanted, “Down with the bad (leg) and up with the good!” No one had bumped, pushed or yelled at me for being too slow. The train was delayed and a guy approached me asking for the time. I gave it to him but he didn’t leave. We stood in silence, the noise of the station whirling around us.

“I just want to say that I’m really sorry,” he finally announced.

“About?” I prompted, seriously confused.

He pointed to my knee brace, his features arranged in an expression of sorrow.

“It’s fine, just an old injury,” I said.

“Well, I’m really sorry. Can I give you a hug?”

“Nope,” I replied, searching his face for some indication that he was joking. He was dead serious.

“Are you sure? I’m just so sorry,” he repeated, pointing once again at my leg.

“I’m sure,” I answered. The train finally came, He opened his mouth to speak and I braced  myself (haha get it?) ready to reject more offers of hugs.

To my relief all he said was, “Stay Beautiful” before departing.

And then there was work. As I hobbled up the steps, my attention would be divided between various people telling me to take the “damn elevator every once in awhile,” and the security guard pointing at my brace and asking me what had happened. I ignored both categories, telling the security guard, “Sorry but I’m kind of in a rush.”

He was persistent though, a broken record chanting “What happened to your leg?” day after day. I finally answered the damn question just so that I wouldn’t have to hear it again.

“It’s just an old injury,” I informed him.

“But what happened?” he insisted.

“I had a failed knee surgery a couple of years ago,” I explained before turning to leave.

“I’m gonna tell you what you have to do. You just have to keep moving it and don’t worry, you’ll be walking like a normal person in no time!” he beamed as if he had just bestowed upon me some golden nugget of wisdom.

I managed to choke out an “ummm thanks” without laughing, my thoughts still swirling around “normal person”.

“And I’m gonna tell you something else,” he continued, “I know what you’re going through. I understand! I hurt my shoulder a while back and couldn’t go to the gym for 4 months. I’m gonna be honest with you, I cried! So just hang in there.”

I smiled politely thinking how nice it was that I didn’t have to feel sorry for myself when I had a whole line of boys willing to do it for me.

Around the time of my encounter with the security guard, I had been working with a really amazing physio, apparently the 5th round is the charm, and a few months later I got my brace off.  

Once again at work, I was heading down the stairs, this time in a “normal” fashion, albeit garnished with limping and leaning heavily on the rail. At the bottom the security guard held the door open for me.

“Soon,” he began.

“Have a good weekend!” I cut in, not quite ready for another heart to heart.

“Soon” he continued, “Someday soon, I’ll see you using both those legs.”

I smirked, pretty sure that the two of us had very different visions for my legs.

About a year ago my vision for my legs was actually realized. I haven’t had to wear a brace and I’ve been able to do stairs pretty much normally, something that I thought I would never accomplish. And yet some things never really change. When these improvements first fell into place an acquaintance of mine told me, “That’s great, now it’s like an invisible disability.” But the invisible is still there and has a way of making itself known. Like when you’re on a date with a boy and for some reason he’s taking you on a walk through the Gay Village. Why are you on a date in the Gay Village? Is he trying to tell you something? And then he says something stupid, like “Race you to that pole!”

“I can’t run,” you reply.

“What?” he exclaims.

“I have a bad knee so I can’t run,” you clarify.

“Ever?” he gasps.

“Ever!” You confirm cheerfully. The two of you are still walking but he turns his head to stare at you bug eyed and jaw slightly agape. Why did you think he was cute again? The seconds tick by. His feet are moving but his head hasn’t changed position. The pole gets closer and closer. Half of you is afraid that he’ll run into it, but the other half really wishes that he would.

What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting

A little over two years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease. At the time I didn’t know what a thyroid was, but unlike my doctors I was able to use deductive reasoning to gather that my sudden ill health had nothing to do with babies. The math was simple: no sex + no artificial insemination = not pregnant. Yet, if I were pregnant my doctors would be thrilled. It would offer them an explanation and a solution all wrapped up into one bundle of joy.

I was feeling ill before school one day. My head was pounding and I felt dizzy. Despite my protests, my mother dragged me to the walk-in clinic. The doctor was nice and the the appointment didn’t last long. After hearing my symptoms, taking my blood pressure, and listening to my breathing, he very politely told my mother to leave the room.  He asked me three questions; “Are you sexually active?, Do you smoke or take any drugs? And do you drink alcohol?” My answers were honest but unexciting: no, no and no. He frowned and prescribed blood work to be completed immediately.

The following morning I received a phone call. Reluctantly, I answered, “Hello?”

“Hello, this is Doctor Wilson calling, your blood work indicates that you have a problem with your thyroid. Would you be able to come to my office today?”

I groaned, “ Do I have to? I really don’t feel good so I’d rather not.”

“What I meant,” he said, “ was that I NEED you to come in right now. I’m giving you an appointment for 9:30.”

I glanced at the clock. It read 8:45. My mother called a cab and then she called my father. She told him to meet us at the doctor’s office for the unveiling of the malfunction in  daughter #1.

The doctor met with us, explaining that my thyroid numbers were on the floor, a concerning phenomenon. He ordered more tests to be completed after the appointment, and then politely kicked my parents out of the room.

Gravely, he stared at me, “I just want to let you know that I ran a pregnancy test and you’re not pregnant.”

“No shit,” I thought but I smiled anyways and nodded politely. Who knows? Maybe he thought I bore a resemblance to the Virgin Mary.

Over the months that followed, I was sent to various doctors. None of which I particularly liked. Finally, one of my mom’s coworkers recommended an endocrinologist. Her office was a learning establishment, so I was seen by a student doctor first. He was young, no more than five or six years older than me, and on the soft spoken side. He asked my mother to leave the room.

At this point, I knew the drill and I calmly braced myself for the coming conversation. I thought  about my high school history teacher telling the class, “Don’t have a SAD weekend kids! For those of you who were gone last week that stands for sex, alcohol and drugs.” Distracted, it took me a moment to realize that the young doctor wasn’t even talking about SAD. He was making small talk instead.

How’s my head today, he wanted to know. How are things at home? Isn’t the weather nice? What have I been up to this summer?

I politely answered his questions, growing increasingly confused. Why did he send my mother out of the room? Did he forget about sex, alcohol, and drugs?

In this mist of our conversation, his voice suddenly turned harsh, “Do you smoke?” he demanded.

“Nope,” I answered.

“Drink?” he questioned.

“Nope,” I repeated.

“Do any other drugs?” he persisted, his voice full of some sort of steely determination that gave the impression that he didn’t really believe any of my answers thus far.

I gave him the truth. “Nope,” I said, surprised at how badly I wanted to say yes, just for kicks–it probably would have made his day.

Determined to make me trust him, he continued to make small talk, asking me about my hobbies. “So you like art and improv? That’s really nice” he said in a warm, friendly tone, before once again changing his voice to something like accusation. “Are you sexually active?” he almost shouted.

I gave him one last honest, “Nope”.

He glared, obviously not believing me. I smiled sweetly, thinking about norms in today’s society. It dawned on me that it is no longer cool to be a virgin.

Especially, when you’re nauseous. As a female, when you’re nauseous everybody wants you to be pregnant, as though your suffering has to be for a greater cause. Since moving to Montreal in December, I’ve been getting long bouts of nausea. My mother once more took me to the walk-in clinic.

“I’m nauseous and I have thyroid problems,” I told the doc.

“Do you think that perhaps you could be pregnant?” He asked me, not looking up from his desk.

“Nope,” I said. He sighed, prescribed blood work and gave me a referral to see an endocrinologist.

A little over a week later, I was given an appointment with her.

“Your thyroid’s a little slow right now,” she told me, “but it’s not something that I would treat.”

“Okay” I said.

“Unless you’re having a baby; then I would treat it,” she amended.

“No baby,” I told her.

“Planning on having a baby soon?” she questioned.

“No,” I said.

“Well then I’m not treating it,” she announced. I smiled.

“Are you sexually active?” she asked me.

“Nope,” I replied, bored with my answers.

“Are you on contraceptives?” she said staring hard at my face.

“Nope,” I repeated.

“Well, are you planning on being sexually active soon?” she demanded. I perked up; a question that I hadn’t heard before! I decided that I too should vary my word choice.

“Not at the moment!” I answered cheerfully.

She rolled her eyes. “Obviously not right now!” she scoffed, gesturing between us.

“I meant not anytime soon,” I clarified.

She shook her head and mumbled to herself, “no treatment.”

The lesson was learned. A simple math equation: thyroid+baby=treatment.

I know what I have to do…

 

 

Photo Credits: Bich Ngoc Le Photography @ Unsplash