This is what I would be owing for my trip to Planned Parenthood in a bid to self-protect in the face of a somewhat erratic love-life:
OV New, Level 2 - $153.00
Ella - $68.00
Aubra (QTY 14) - $770.00
Condom, Latex (QTY 20) - $2.00
The proof is in the pudding it would seem - I am a safety girl. The question however remains - would I have been so eager to play the responsibility card if I had to dole out this amount of money straight off my own bat? And the answer to that is an all-resounding no. Based purely on the fact that any surplus $1000 I have kicking around at any one time would do well to be loaded on to my credit card.
For the longest time I have been praising the NHS and what it provides. Granted you most likely will not get an appointment within a week or two of making the call to book - that's where being a proper, organised grown-up comes in and if you're big enough to be having sex, you're big enough to look out for your own sexual health well-being, or at least you should have been taught to be and smart enough to follow such advice. Of course, I'm not here to preach. I am in no position to do so, nor should I be allowed. So, you know, that's my two cents' worth spent. But as a valid afterthought is this stuff even taught in schools, really, like properly? I sure as hell don't remember any. Diagrams detailing the human reproductive organs in Biology was the height of any sex ed in my school. I should add that it had changed from being a convent to a community school in the time I was there. But Enya attended so surely they understood the need for such information. Enya personifies sex, drugs and dirty rock 'n'roll, no?
Myself and my small, close-knit ring of friends devoured the likes of Bliss, Sugar and J-17 for all our boy/girl insights and on occasion the more risky mag Look to study up on the Position of the Fortnight. Heady days indeed.
Before leaving the UK to embark on my All-American 12-month adventure I scheduled an appointment at the Luton clinic while visiting my Mum. Much like Colin from Love Actually I had big plans for my love-life once I touched down on US soil. So I was coming prepared. The kicker was however that they only supplied me with six months' worth of the pill. Of course this is no major tragedy, it's not like I had anyone lined up ready to pick up at the six month mark. But, safety girl, remember?
So anyhow, the six month supply ran its course and I waited and waited on the phone line to book my appointment with Planned Parenthood in New York. They were nice as pie to me on the phone but delivered the monied blow that I would need to pay for my prescription. This made me think twice and all things considered I decided it was a luxury I just simply could not justifiably afford at that time. And so I left New York rather ill-prepared.
Skip to life in Portland. I call up Planned Parenthood and get through within four rings to a delicious-sounding guy who asks me a few quick questions to which I answer no, I am not working at the minute, between jobs; yes, I do have an American address; yes, I am legal to work and yes, I would like to book an appointment; next Tuesday at 10:40am would work a treat, thank you very much. He said I would most likely be covered. Tuesday rolls around, I turn up bright eyed to be informed that I was 100% covered. See above for the loot.
What strikes me most about this list is the addition of one little pill...the Ella. What, you may well ask, is that? I certainly did. That, let me tell you now, is none other than the goddamn Emergency Morning After pill. Because, as they say, Accidents Happen. Take that NHS and smoke it. How very radical. Or is it simply encouraging irresponsible behaviour. I don't know, the floor remains open. It's just a crying shame I don't have any need for all these supplies right now. Best laid plans and all that I suppose...or lack thereof.