Things no one told me about sex and credit cards

I spend 40 percent of my adult life saying, “What? Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that?” The topics vary from the importance of having a credit card with a rewards program (I just now got clued into this. I weep for the all the rewardless money I spent over the years) to the ease of popping the vacuum seal on a jar that won’t open as opposed to trying to open it with brute force (I recommend a nifty device called a Jar Pop) but lately the one I feel most deceived about is just how difficult it is to get pregnant.

Despite what I believed for over half my life, it is not easy to get pregnant. There’s a very small monthly window and a lot of conditions have to be met. Granted I watched the Charlotte storyline on “Sex and the City” so I was aware it doesn’t happen for everyone, but still I just assumed getting pregnant would be as easy as no longer trying to avoid it. As if pregnancy is a monster who’s gaining on you and you spend your youth trying to outrun it but one day you slow down and let it catch you. In reality, you’re the runner who’s trying to catch it and it’s wily and fast and often you give up and pay a lot of money to a man in a lab coat.

But back to feeling deceived. Like so many people who grew up in the safe sex era, I spent most of my life laboring under the delusion that if there’s sperm in the same room as I am, regardless of whether I truly come in contact with it, I will likely get pregnant. I didn’t give an iota of thought to things like where I was in my cycle – a key component of fertility – but instead I just assumed that every day of the month I was a giant pulsing egg and boys were sperm and I had to be careful because everyone wanted to fertilize me.

Given that I was overweight and dorky it wasn’t as if there was actually any proof that anyone wanted to fertilize me, but I still figured I’d be lucky to make it into my thirties without a series of accidental pregnancies.

If I were being fully honest, there was something maybe even a tiny bit glamorous and dramatic about teenage pregnancy – you often had your own Lifetime movie. But as much as I fantasized about being the mournful youngster who threw it all away, I was far too anxious and cautious.

A question: Has anyone actually gotten pregnant without having intercourse? I mean, aside from Mary? Like anyone you know? Whom you believe? Because when I was young, I was afraid of the kind of pregnancy that results from sperm being in the ether near you. Vaporized room sperm.

So kudos to the safe sex industry that convinced all nerdy overachieving kids to be afraid of sex – and, granted, it’s definitely not something to be taken lightly – but if your experience is anything similar to mine you’re in for a rude awakening when you finally relent and try to get pregnant and then discover so much time and energy was spent actively avoiding something that for so many of us is really quite difficult to achieve.

Also, get a card with rewards.