First kiss. Matching tattoos. Now our first STD together.
My boyfriend and I shared a special moment yesterday. No, not an anniversary. That's coming up soon. But we just got the diagnosis - a shared STD. Sounds gross, I know, and he's mighty freaked out.
But I'm taking it rather in stride, like a new feather in my cap. Being a writer and all, I suddenly feel a little more official, a little more bohemian. But it's not that simple.
The thing is, we're 100 per cent monogamous. And even though I can already hear the moans and groans about only one of us being faithful, I know we both are. Not just faithful, but very in love - real-life, nitty-gritty, better-than-chocolate forever love.
Now, don't get me wrong, I questioned the mother fucker up and down and made him swear on certain people's lives. And he did the same to me. But deep down, I knew something else was going on. Something that had nothing to with cheating.
When the little dots first showed up about a month ago, my partner - we'll call him George - went to his GP and to a walk-in clinic. Both of them told him it was nothing and gave him some cortisone cream.
But last week these things showed up on me. So what did we do? We freaked out.
Both of us went to our respective computers and Googled ghastly images until we could stand it no more. We got the names of STD clinics. We questioned each other. We wriggled and writhed in psychological discomfort, finally tiring ourselves out - at which point we ordered in and continued, while eating, to freak ourselves further out.
I ended the night by taking a bath in lavender, sea salt, vinegar and whatever else I could fling in the tub to heal me. Next day, at the STD clinic, I found myself and several hundred could-be-pregnant teenagers waiting a very long time to see a counsellor and then, if necessary, the doctor.
When I finally got in, the counsellor and nurse took blood and were kind enough to tell me it might be herpes or even syphilis, and I would have to wait to see the doctor.
After spending another hour back in that godawful waiting room, I went in to meet my doom.
"It's molluscum," she said, looking up from between my stirruped legs. She explained that it's a treatable virus, not forever, and won't affect my uterus. I was relieved, relieved that I didn't have something permanent, that I hadn't inadvertently given my boyfriend herpes from a cold sore (which I get sporadically but am very, very careful not to go near him with), and that this virus is also common in children, but kids get it on random body parts.
Somehow, this reduced the gross factor significantly.
When I got home that night, I was the calmer of the two.
"Well, we have an STD," I told him, and explained that we'd somehow contracted a mild case of this fairly harmless virus. As we talked it out, searching for possible causes, we fell upon one likely candidate: the spa where George gets back massages.
Since this virus can spread from linens, it's possible that those massage blankets and sheets were the culprit. As every male and most females know, a guy doesn't go very long without touching his willy, so chances are good that if he's come into contact with something, a dirty hand will spread the wealth to the south.
For all its horror, it's kind of bonding to realize that you and your partner have some gross disease. It reminds me of the expression "warts and all."
Fact is, I don't think anything - topical or otherwise - could come between us.
When George asked if I still love him even though he may have brought this nasty thing into our home, I replied fervently, without a doubt, "I do."