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2003-06-26 | 11:50 p.m.

corduroy licorice bought a box of condoms with his debit card. he didn't want to write a rubber check.


my mother found out that i'd lost my virginity from airport security.

lost baggage, you'd expect.

this red-faced memory came back to me recently because i'm about to take a trip with just my mom. something i haven't done since the aforementioned revelation.

my mom and i are traveling together since my dad would rather stay home with the dog. the last time i took a trip with my mom was during the earliest days of my personal vietnam. she and i flew to santa fe since i was thinking i might want to live there.

we were at the airport, putting our purses through the xray machine and the security guard noticed something funny-looking in my purse. he pulled the bag aside and reached in to purloin the mystery object.

a pack of birth control pills.

he did this as my concerned mom stood over my shoulder wondering why her daughter was suspected of packing a bomb. instead, she had one dropped on her.

you see, my mom raised me up to stay a virgin until i got married. i totally bought into it and managed to avoid "the full monty" despite having dated my first boyfriend after college for three years. when he broke up with me i realized, "hmmm. this holding out thing obviously doesn't guarantee a ring, so i might as well have a fling."

then along came vietnam and he managed to deflower me in about two months.

so, the baggage-check guard is holding this little pink plastic oval thing up in the air and realizes what he's just done.

"oh, mama doesn't need to see that," he mumbled, alarmed, stuffing the trollop tablets back in my bag. i snatched the purse from him, considerably more mortified than he.

i didn't say anything to my maternal unit until we were seated in the plane with our seatbelts fastened and our trays in the upright and locked positions.

"well," i began, "i guess you had to find out sometime."

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