A funny thing happened on the way to the feminine hygiene aisle the other day. I had my toddler in the shopping cart, and we squeezed by a young woman anxiously perusing her choices in the family planning section. “Who’s that lady?” my daughter chirped cheerfully, unselfconscious as always about who may or may not appreciate her loud inquiries. “I don’t know that lady,” I whispered back.
She looked up at us and smiled. I began scanning the aisles for the correct brand that wasn’t scented, for the love of God, and she sighed loudly. I figured she was overwhelmed by her choices, and I remembered my days of standing immobilized in front of dozens of home pregnancy test choices.
“I have no idea which one to buy!” she confessed. “How are you supposed to decide?”
“I know, it’s brutal! I used to spend forever trying to decide which test to take. For awhile I insisted on buying the digital readout kind, but they’re so expensive! I switched to the generic ones- I’m pretty sure they’re the same,” I offered.
As we left her standing with an EPT in one hand and a Kroger’s “Early Response” in the other, I remembered what actually caused me to stop buying the digital readout tests. With my first pregnancy, I thought it would be so much more exciting to see the word “Pregnant” on the screen than two boring pink lines. What I hadn’t anticipated was how much it sucked to see the words “Not Pregnant” instead. Seeing those words taunting me felt like the inanimate, opinion-less piece of plastic was mocking me for my failure to become pregnant that month.
As I walked away from the possibly-newly-pregnant woman, I decided the digital readout test companies may as well change their “Not Pregnant” option to read something like:
- Shows what you know, sucker!
- Could’ve had that margarita last night!
- Guess your boobs weren’t really sore after all, dumbass!
- ((((Digital image of a middle finger))))
- Thanks for playing, better luck next time!
- Wow, you suck at this.
- Your eggs are probably old and shitty.
- No baby for you! (with accent and inflection of the soup guy on Seinfeld.)
For anyone who has ever taken a pregnancy test and gotten a negative result, that’s pretty much what it feels like. I mean, at least with the two-lines version there’s a shred of hope that you misread it! You can always stand on the counter, hold it up to the fluorescent light in your bathroom, and crane your neck looking for a faint trace of that second pink line!
Maybe instead they should revamp their market to include positive messages of hope on their digital readout tests, sort of like a fertility fortune cookie:
- Don’t give up- it’ll happen!
- Next month, may the odds be ever in your favor!
- Have you tried drinking coconut water?
- Keep your chin up- stress isn’t good for conception!
- Go have a glass of wine and a good cry!
- Tell your husband to switch to boxers.
- Try acupuncture!
- Next time use our Ovulation Predictor kit first for increased accuracy and success!
- Buy our basal thermometer for fertility charting- only $12.99 in Aisle 5!
I hope the lady in the “Aisle that Should Not Be Named” got a positive result on her first try- whichever test she took. Because as the imaginary pregnancy test/fortune cookie so wisely asserts,
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