It seems fitting that I would be filling in for Amy because I have been called "Amy" for most of my life, even though my name is Abby. I guess "Abby" is just one of those seriously hard to pronounce, exotic names like Lisa or Jenny. I don't mind. Thank you, Amy, for asking me over. I think you and your blog are beautiful and I hope I don't sully it up around here with my severe lacking in everything.
In honor of Amy and her supreme enjoyment of love letters, I'm going to tell you perfect strangers about my favorite love letter. It's from 1992 and it's from the man who would become my husband, written on the occasion of my going to Planned Parenthood to get my pap and pills.
Back then, I could get a three-month supply of pills and all of the condoms I could carry for a $7 donation. I always felt self-conscious grabbing handfuls of condoms with the nurse standing right there while I greedily stuffed them into my little brown paper sack. As if the nurse was all, "Is that how much sex you're gonna have? And I'm supposed to believe you're gonna use a condom every time? I know damn well you'll be in here with The Clap next month." It would have been better if it was like one of those game shows where you go into the booth and grab as much flying money as you can in a certain amount of time.
"Welcome back to Condom Grab! The game show that helps keep your pudenda stupendous! Our contestant, Amy is getting ready to grab as many condoms as she can in 60 seconds. You ready, Amy?"
"Uh, it's Abby."
"OK Amy, when you hear the buzzer, lasso those love gloves and remember, always cover the stump before you hump!"
Totally would've taken the pressure off.
Anyway, it was late fall of my senior year and I had let my pills run out because I wasn't seriously dating anybody and that's what happens when you're 17 and the nearest Planned Parenthood is 25 miles away. So inconvenient! In order to get more, I had to get a pap smear and the whole shebang and I whined about it a bit. All that scooting down to the end of the table, the stirrups, that speculum, the judgment. I whined a bit and when I left school on the appointed day, I found this note under the windshield wiper of my car, hastily stuck there before Bryan ran off to basketball practice. I can't just re-type it, I have to show it to you:
I hope you can see the smiling sun, the birds in the sky, and giant flowers all drawn to cheer me in my hour of need. Isn't it soothing? I can tell by the "Get well soon!" that I may have oversold the trauma of the pap smear just a bit, but that's OK. And, yes, he spelled my name wrong. Later he said he was confused because "Abby" has two Bs so he figured "Abigail" must have two also but I think one of my friends set him straight. I was just super glad he didn't write "To: Amy." That would've been super awkward.