I’m feeling grateful almost to tears this morning, and the feeling is accompanied by sadness that this is remarkable.
See, I’m hoping to head away camping soon, and the place my partner and I are thinking of is pretty remote. When I go to remote places, I like to know that I’m not going to be freaking the hell out in the bush because a condom broke. Probably on Easter Sunday, for maximum panic. So, I make sure to have a morning after pill on hand just in case. So far I’ve never had to use the emergency measure, but I feel so much better knowing it’s there.
This morning, I took myself off to a chemist that’s a bit out of my way. I’ll probably still be driving there when it’s really, really out of the way, because of the man who runs it. The first time I went there, horribly embarrassed because I needed thrush treatment after a course of antibiotics, I almost walked back out the door when I saw I would have to speak to a man in his sixties about my vagina. But. It turns out that this man is kind, respectful and considerate. He comes down from his dispensing area to speak quietly to me, explains everything I need to know, and makes sure I’ve chosen the right option for me.
I went back to him the first time I wanted the morning after pill, and he once again came down to me, asked me how long ago the intercourse had happened – completely without judgement or salaciousness, accepted my statement that I wanted the pill ‘just in case’ without question, told me what to expect, and sent me on my way with no fuss. I got the same kind, personal service today.
In contrast, when I had to go to another pharmacist last week for more antibiotic-related thrush (thanks, body, I’m really thrilled that this has become a standard reaction), she yelled across the store about it from her dispensing area, pointedly asked me if I was sure it was thrush, with the implied “It’s totally an STD, you slut”, and didn’t ask any questions to make sure I’d asked for the right kind of treatment. Angry and embarrassed, I took my purchase and left without asking her for the morning after pill I’d been intending to get at the same time.
My other pharmacist, though, him I think I’ll write a letter to, thanking him for being a decent, kind man who supports my right to manage my own reproductive choices.