I Bought Condoms by Allie Burke

Sarah once told me that in New York you could order condoms for delivery with your ice cream sandwiches. I’ve never really wanted to live on the east coast necessarily so I didn’t realize at the time how much of a benefit to the overall quality of life this could be.

I have never had to buy condoms in my life. I’m a woman, you know? I mean, I’m twenty-nine years old, so I guess it is a bit surprising that this has never come up before, but I guess I never really thought about it.

The opportunity however—if you can even call it that—came knocking (ha-ha) and will you look at that, suddenly I have to buy condoms. I shouldn’t go into specifics, but basically this is what happens when you date a Libra.

As fucked as this logic may sound, I decided to go to the local pharmacy instead of the gas station, because they have my favorite ice cream. So I went to the local pharmacy. On the way there, I’m like shit, what if they keep them behind the counter? I have no idea—like I said, this is my first time (ha-ha)—maybe kids will try to open the packages and steal them? I have honestly never paid attention to where condoms are kept. Not my fucking responsibility.

Until now.

Have you ever bought tampons? Of course you have. I hate buying tampons. I always wish for a woman to ring me up and it never happens. But I’m thinking—remembering the sweet girl that works at this pharmacy—okay, let it be a woman. I’m thinking I’ll throw the Libra joke, and she will most definitely laugh.

So I peek behind the counter when I get in and don’t see anything on first glance without being all obvious. FAMILY PLANNING, the thought bounces around my head like a noisy ass penny that no one wants to pick up. GENIUS. I am a genius.

No I’m not.

They are in a glass case. A locked, glass case. OHMYGODFUCKMYLIFE.

So I’m looking for the right ones (yeah, there are right ones, duh!) and they are of course in the glass case. I’m wishing for the ideal that I had to just ask for them behind the counter. Now I have to go up to the front, where this middle aged dude is buying ice, no doubt for his Labor Day barbeque tomorrow, ask for someone to open the glass case so they can yell over the loud speaker CONDOM REQUEST ON AISLE THREE or some fucking shit, and, and, there is a small pack of 3 in the open next to the glass case.


So I grab them, pick up my ice cream, and throw them on the counter to some other middle aged dude that doesn’t even have hair anymore. I feel like if I act completely normal the situation will mirror my attitude so I’m like Hiiii there and the dude grumbles and asks if I want double bags with this sly eyebrow trick that I’m not even sure is real.

“Um, no, I’m fine, thanks.” I bundle up the single bag in my arms and some woman from the church asks me for a donation outside.


On the drive home I wonder why we are made to feel like this. I mean, I know that the whole condom buying experience is similarly embarrassing for men, but why? If sexualization exists in every corner of consumerism in this country, why is it so bad? Why is it so shameful to be an almost-thirty person having sex, or worse, having a fucking period? It’s part of our country’s ancient nature to not discuss private affairs, and I wish it would go away. The Catch-22 that is our society disgusts me.


A Bestselling Author, NPO VP, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.

Read more from Allie at Organic Coffee, Haphazardly.