I woke up early one Saturday morning, sat in the morning light, and wondered if I was pregnant.
To clarify, I have convinced myself I am pregnant multiple times in our first nine months of marriage. Not that we are trying, but simply because I enjoy maintaining the thought that at any given time I might find out that I am having a baby (plus as formerly revealed here, I have baby fever).
On this particular morning I decided to stop wondering, get myself to Dollar General, and buy a test.
Dollar General is only two blocks away from our apartment. I had read that they had one dollar pregnancy tests which were surprisingly accurate. I grabbed my purse, drove the two blocks, and hurried into the store. Once inside, I meandered around the beauty department until I found where the pregnancy tests should have been, but in their place there was row after row of signs that read: “see cashier for pregnancy test”.
In our small-town Dollar General, the checkout is right next to the door. This Saturday morning happened to be particularly busy, and by the time I got to the front of the line I had three people standing behind me. I smiled wryly at the cashier, a thin woman who looked exhausted, and asked for the dollar pregnancy test. She wrinkled her brow, rummaged for a few minutes in a crate behind the counter, held up a pregnancy test and asked: “Is this it?”
“I really don’t know” I replied. Trying to keep my cool, but also trying to stick to my budget “could you scan it?” I offered, helpfully. She sighed gustily, scanned it, and told me that it was six dollars for two tests. Did I want it?
“No” I replied, my cheeks beginning to flush a little at my stubbornness in light of the situation “I would really like the dollar test please”. She sighed again, cast about for another test, scanned it, and said “This one’s five dollars for two, will that work?”
By this point I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable, two people I knew had already walked through the door shouting cheerily “Hey Bethany!”, and I was beginning to regret this entire experience. Gone was the adrenal rush of buying a pregnancy test. Instead, I was left with a dull throbbing tiredness. And yet, I did not want to spend five dollars on a pregnancy test when I knew a one dollar test was there as well. “No, I really would like the dollar pregnancy test, please” I replied firmly. By this point four people were waiting behind me in line. I began to feel strangely liberated. Word was doubtlessly spreading that Bethany was buying a pregnancy test no way to cull the rumors now. Let the whole world know! Scrawl it with jet trails in the sky! Type it down as a headline for the next People magazine!
“Well, I don’t know how to take these off your bill now. I have to find my manager” she said, with a sigh. She shuffled off, and about five minutes later came back with a kindhearted, outgoing boss. The boss smiled at me cheerfully, asked which test I wanted, and sold it to me without so much as an awkward glance. Phew. I took the test, was not pregnant, and that was that.
A few months later, I bought a second pregnancy test from Dollar General. This time, there was no one behind me in line, but a friend from college was leaving the store as I was coming in. I said hello, chatted cheerily, then headed to the gum section and lamely picked out some gum while I waited for her to leave. Then, I slid over to the cashier, and whispered furtively that I would like one of the dollar pregnancy tests. She knew exactly where it was found. She studied me curiously, “Think you got a bun in the oven?” she drawled. “Uhm…aha…well. hmmm…” I answered eloquently. She smiled, “that’s the test I took” she said, rubbing her plump belly happily. “It’s VERY accurate”. “Aha” I said, giving her a weak smile. “Well, ahem, good!”.
Next time I think I am pregnant I am ordering the tests online. No commentary allowed.