A wise friend once shared this pearl of wisdom about the early stages of a romantic relationship:
“Never buy a large box of condoms. This is hubris and you will pay.”
He told me this on a Friday. On Saturday, I bought the largest box of condoms I could find. The only way it could have been larger is if I bought it in bulk at Costco. On Sunday, with no actual knowledge of the hideously large box of condoms, the woman I was dating broke up with me.
I developed a paranoid habit of purchasing condoms one at a time. Unfortunately, I thought it was too odd to just buy one condom by itself, so I often bought one other thing. You know, to make it less weird.
Please, allow me to assure you:
There is no single item that when purchased with a single condom does not make the single condom even more bizarre.
As a Public Service Announcement for the socially awkward dating community, here’s a list of seven items one could purchase along with a single condom. Some of these are purchases that I have actually made. Some are not. Feel free to contact me with your guesses. If you are correct, I will buy you one condom and nothing else.
A condom and a Star Wars action figure.
This seems like it should be the ultimate statement of confidence: yes, I purchase Star Wars toys as an adult and plan on copulating. And yet, it’s not. There’s really no individual Star Wars character that doesn’t imply some disturbing fetish–Darth Vader equals auto-erotic asphyxiation; Force Spin-Action Yoda equals tantric masturbation; Princess Leia in Hoth Gear equals a deep and abiding love of cold repressed women. If you attempt to buy a condom and a Star Wars action figure, the checkout person will ask the same question about both products: “So, you’re not going to be taking this out of the package, are you?”
A condom and a Snickers bar.
This may seem like a safe, casual purchase. After all, everyone needs a mid-day snack and wants to avoid pregnancy and STDs. I would, however, advise against such a phallic shaped treat as a Snickers bar. You don’t want people to think you’re using the condom ON the Snickers bar. You will increase the odds of this interpretation if you purchase a magnum condom and a king-sized Snickers. Actually, any food product is a bad idea. An apple and a condom suggests you’re planning some sort of dubious Garden of Eden cosplay. And that’s not going to help anyone.
A condom and a day planner.
This tells a simple and sad story. You will be having sex exactly once this year. You just need to pick the date and write it in your sad little calendar, you sad anal-retentive sex planner.
A condom and a thumb drive.
This is almost acceptable. Perhaps you are a spy. All spies should have a condom and a thumb drive. Unless you’re also purchasing a wristwatch that shoots ninja throwing stars, you will just come off as someone who needs more digital room to store all the episodes of “My Little Pony” you’re pirating online.
A condom and a hoodie.
When you buy something that goes on the upper half of your body and something that goes on the lower half of your body, it implies you’re putting together an ensemble. A condom and a hoodie! It’s a new fashion statement! EXTREME casual! Look for photos in Vogue! Upsetting!
A condom and a Mother’s Day card.
I feel no need to elaborate on this one.
A condom and…another condom.
Yes, you’re tempting fate by purchasing two condoms together. However, this might be the most elegant solution to this thorny condom problem that plagues tens of neurotic shoppers every other day.
If you buy two single condoms together, there’s no other product to inform the awkwardness of the single condom. Perhaps you’re just too broke to buy a WHOLE box. And while two condoms doesn’t suggest you will be having sex often, it does create a sense of hope.
Even if you never use those condoms, they will have one another. Two condoms, together in their loneliness. Like so many things in life, it’s kind of beautiful if you just stop and take the time to obsessively over think it.
Happy condom buying, everyone, happy condom buying.