I can feel the woman in the line next to me staring.
Shut up, lady, I tell her via telepathy. Apparently my telepathy doesn't work in CVS though, because she continues scoping out the contents of my basket.
To show that I know she's looking at me AND MY STUFF, I stare not at her, but at HER stuff.
Batteries, light bulbs, box of hair dye.
And we have a winner.
She hugs her stuff to her chest and looks away, which begs the question, why, Lube Lady, are you judging me and my items when you've got a big ole tube of Astroglide in your hand? Not that there's anything wrong with that, you know, rock out with your...self...out. But really. I take my things out of the basket and put them on the counter.
Box of 3 pregnancy tests.
Box of tampons.
(This is called hedging your bets, people.)
And finally, a 1-lb bag of M&Ms.
Because either way, I'm going to need some chocolate in order to deal.
"Um, can you not put that in the bag?" I ask the cashier after he scans the pregnancy tests.
He slides them across to me. I slip them into my purse and feel Lube Lady's eyes on me again as I resist the urge to explain to her and the cashier dude and the rest of the people in line at CVS that my husband thinks it's absurd to buy pregnancy tests unless you're, like, really REALLY not sure and not just a little unsure. He's more of the 'If a baby arrives 9 months later, then you're pregnant; otherwise, it's too soon to tell' school of thought.
And any woman who has ever ovulated EVER can tell you that THAT is just ridiculous.
Because, and I know I'm not alone in this, there is something slightly addictive involved in taking a home pregnancy test. Now somewhere in the world I'm sure there are women who give themselves a nice two-week window of lateness before saying, "Gee, hmmmmmm. That's weird. Maybe I'll go and buy ONE pregnancy test, use it, read the results within the clearly defined time limits, and then, when there is not an obvious second line, discard the test, satisfied in my knowledge that I am not, in fact, pregnant."
I'm not one of those women.
Nope, I'm the one who, at a minute and half past the expected time, is standing in line at CVS stuffing a 3-pack of First Response Early Detection into my purse under the watchful eye of Lube Lady, while trying to mentally calculate the possible damage my hypothetical third child may have incurred over the past 14 days: beer, wine, coffee, Advil, tuna, x-rays. Poor kid.
The crazy train, however, doesn't TRULY pull into the station until I get home, at which point I immediately lock myself in the bathroom, rip open the package, take the test, and then shove it under the sink so as to not be tempted to look at it before the three minute mark.
This is really super helpful.
For about 30 seconds.
So I pull the test out to make sure it's working. And then...well...guess what?
I think I see something.
Now this is probably when a normal person might put the test down and WAIT FOR THE REMAINING TWO AND A HALF MINUTES.
But I like to take this opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with my test. I take it to the window to look at it in natural light. I tip it forward. I tip it back towards me. I find a south-facing window for the very best, most accurate light. I squint and peer and make my eyes all fuzzy and then re-focused.
Ohmygod I really think that maybe I might see a very light hint of something.
Around this time my head starts to hurt from all of this squinting and natural light, so I will decide that it's probably nothing and throw it in the trash.
Where I will leave it.
For approximately five minutes.
And then I will not only dig that puppy out, but I will actually TAKE IT APART.
That right there is probably the step that separates me from the casual home-pregnancy-test-taker and puts me in with the SERIOUSLY HARDCORE TESTERS.
In my defense, if it IS a really, really, really super faint, brand-new, only-a-nanosecond-pregnant shadow of pink tinge, then sometimes you have to strip away all that extra plastic and REALLY GET A GOOD LOOK. And this is the hook, the addictive aspect; the maybe, the I-just-don't-know, the I think I see something. I just need to look better, harder, closer...
...at what, after a good 6-12 hours of checking and rechecking, I finally admit is simply a plain white strip with a single pink line.
Which is good.
See, I KNEW I'd need those damn M&Ms.