“Home Remedies,” by Jessica Lynn

Apr 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

You know what’s truly scary?  The fact that the birth control pill is only 99.9% effective.  Wait, that means that one in a thousand times I should get pregnant anyway, right?  That’s not really very heartening.  If I entered a contest to win a car and the odds were one in a thousand, I would think, hey, I’ve got a pretty decent chance of winning this car.  Except that car is an unwanted fetus!

I live in fear of unplanned pregnancy.  I’ve been in a relationship for five years, so I don’t waste my time worrying about STDs.  It’s mostly the thought of getting knocked up that keeps me awake at night.

A few months ago my mom called me all upset because she had read that Yasmine, my brand of The Pill, was causing blood clots.  She insisted that I switch birth control pills, so I made a doctor’s appointment to get a new prescription, but I couldn’t get in to see my doctor for a month and my mom wanted me off Yasmine NOW so I just stopped taking it.  I was using alternative birth control methods of course; I live in fear of pregnancy.  But when the week came where I would normally take the sugar pills instead of the hormones and then get my period…I didn’t get my period.

I freaked the fuck out.  On the inside, I didn’t want to scare my boyfriend.  No need for him to worry about his unwanted progeny.  But after a week, I started thinking, you are so pregnant, whore!  You are fucking pregnant!  No…no Jessica, you used a condom every time, and you checked and made sure all those little swimmers got caught, you cannot be pregnant.  No, you’re clearly pregnant!  You have no period.  You’re knocked up.  And it was my stupid idiot Mom’s fault.  I’ve been taking the pill for years and I never got a blood clot.  Now I go off it for two seconds and I’m going to have to have an ABORTION because my Mom is an IDIOT!

After nine days of no period, I called my sister, Lizzy.  She’s 20, 4 years younger than me, we’ve been best friends since childhood and I trust her with anything.  She goes to college in the middle of nowhere in Ohio where there’s nothing to do but get drunk and bone and her friends are a bunch of ditzy little sluts so she knows about this kind of thing.  Lizzy’s a virgin, but she’s also an expert on alternative abortion methods, because she has an irrational fear of immaculate conception.  She’s always convinced she is pregnant.  Yes, she is the first girl ever to get pregnant from giving a hand job.  It will happen.

“Lizzy,” I said.  “I’m like, 9 days late on my period.  I’m so pregnant.”

“Slutmuffin!”  She said.  “Ok, well, one time my roommate, Logan had unprotected sex like twice in a row, and then that weekend she just got crazy wasted and then she got her period.”

“Ok, alcohol abortion, I’ll try that,” I said.

Luckily I had a food gala to attend that weekend, where I drank about 12 glasses of wine, and I get drunk off of about 1.5 light beers so I was pretty fucked up when I got home.  But just for good measure, I topped it off with a nice tall vodka tonic.  I wasn’t about to go half-assed on this thing.  After fulfilling what I remember being an urgent desire to rip off my dress and change into a onesie, I went to bed and let the alcohol abortion work its magic.

I called Lizzy two days later.  “It didn’t work!”  I said.  “I’m still pregnant!  What else have you got?”

“Ok, you know my friend Celeste,” Lizzy said, “she was a hostess with me at Servino’s?  Well she told me she had unprotected sex once and she skipped her period and then she went out to a party and snorted a shit ton of coke and then the next day she got her period.”

“Ok, coke abortion.  I’ve never done coke but I’m willing to try it.  Thanks Liz,” I said.

But then I thought, where the hell am I going to get coke?  I hear it’s easy to get but I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  I’ve been to some pretty hot LA clubs and nobody offered me coke.  The only person I know with any drugs is my friend Valerie, and she just gets us high because she got a medical marijuana card from one of those “doctors” on the Venice beach boardwalk.  I don’t think she’s ever even done coke.  Frick.  I have no connection to coke.  I cannot give myself a coke abortion.

Let me clear something up right here.  It’s not that my sister and I are dumb.  We’re not.  We’re actually both very intelligent.  I’ll go ahead and take this opportunity to let you know that I am a Stanford graduate.  And we don’t come from some evangelical Christian family where our father would disown us and our bastard children if we ever found ourselves pregnant out of wedlock.  We’re Jews from San Francisco.  We’re about as liberal as they come.  My first boyfriend is gay now.  My mom even called me once just to tell me, unsolicited, that if I ever needed to get an abortion, she would come with me.  She went with her friend once when her friend had to get one in college.

See, I think that’s the problem right there.  It’s like she expects me to get pregnant.  It’s some foregone conclusion.  She freaked out when I got a puppy last year because she said it was going to be like having an infant and I can’t have an infant and a career, but she has never said a word about abstinence.  Maybe if she spent more time putting the fear of God in me instead of telling me to get off my birth control, I would be less pregnant!

Except, I wasn’t pregnant at all.  It was just the sudden lapse in the steady stream of estrogen I had been feeding myself since I was seventeen that caused the scare.  Whew, good thing I didn’t do a bunch of coke!

It may comfort you to know that I am now back on birth control.  And perpetually convinced that I am experiencing a blood clot.


Defenestration-Jessica LynnJessica Lynn is a fairly recent Stanford graduate living in LA and trying to be an actress.  She enjoys performing with her improv group, Frenemies.  She is also a Jewish educator teaching Hebrew to the youth of the Pacific Palisades.  She writes a cheap eats food blog called LA on 20 a Day.  She looks a whole lot like Gail Simmons, editor of Food and Wine magazine and host of Top Chef: Just Desserts.  She has a 5-year plan to steal her identity and assume those roles, which seem like great fun.

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