A Condom, A Quarter and 20 Dollars

A Condom, A Quarter and 20 Dollars

Aug 13, 2021

My dad and I have often had a tense relationship. I am all emotion and my world is always on tilt. He thrives on order and ration. When controlled chaos collides with reason anything can happen. 

As a teenager, I was a big ball of emotion and infatuation. It got me in trouble SEVERAL times. My parents decided it was in my best interest to have “the talk” early. Lord help me. First came the books; one was about teenage sex, changing bodies, and STDs. The second was shaped like a toddler cardboard book and simply named The Penis. (Dun dun dun)

It was horrible! Cauliflower Penis’, oozy penis’ every terrible penis cootie imaginable. I was 14. Two years later, at 16, I was allowed to date. The night before my father, 22 yrs retired army, felt it important to discuss post P.T. locker room chat. This was the first time I heard terms like “barracks rat” (a dependent daughter hanging out in the barracks) and “blow her back out”. 

Once I was thoroughly horrified he sat next to me and handed me a condom, a quarter and twenty dollars. The condom was in case the scare tactics hadn’t worked, the quarter was to call him or a taxi and the twenty bucks to pay my own way home.

That level of preparedness and love is a part of my motley life philosophy. It has served me well in most dealings. It’s given me the freedom to make mistakes, ask for help and provide my own way of depending on my judgment at the moment. I’m sure he’d think “All that from a condom, a quarter and twenty dollas?”

I love you, T.C.P.

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