A day or so ago, the lovely lobster girl was asking me when my test date would be. This got me thinking about my unsatisfactory relationship with pregnancy tests, also known as "peesticks of doom".
Firstly I should explain that I only know of their character by reputation. I have heard tales aplenty, told in hushed, bruised tones, of those who dally with tests of that ilk. There are some women who endure rejection after rejection, but still find themselves unable to resist the charms of the box, sitting so benignly on the drugstore shelf. Others hold on until they think that this time, it might be a two way street and they will get some good loving in return. But no. The test stick is unwilling to commit fully, it is holds back, only giving half of what it should. One line, instead of two.
In the entire year of trying to get pregnant, I have never tested. Not once. My peestick adventures have been limited to the equally fickle OPK, but since ovultation for me is quite regular and easy to predict, I have never really felt the need for additional tools there. I have one box of OPKs which my mother gave me last Christmas, and I have only used two.
The reasons are I don't do pregnancy tests are a mix of the mundane and the complex. Firstly, I am more than a little tighfisted about some things. I detest throwing money away for no apparent reason, and certainly not to satisfy the impertinent little itch of my control freakery that wants to know now.
Secondly, I never get past my usual number of luteal phase days, or days past ovulation. Usually around day 13, when I am beginning to entertain the notion of wandering over to the Boots the chemist for a test or three, I get my period. I've never ever gone past 14 days, not once, so there has never really been a real need.
I admit that despite my cool little Scrooge like attitude toward spending money (an attitude which mysteriously disappears when I enter Harvey Nichols), there is a constant clamouring, of wanting and needing to know . At times it roars in the face of my dispassionate analysis of how many days I should wait until it's "worth testing".
But it's precisely and primarily for that reason I hold back.
It's like that feeling when you really really like someone, and are not sure you should call after the date that went so well. You want to phone, so very badly, just to hear that voice on the other end. You know full well that by doing so, you give the game away.
So I play hard to get. I figure, why should I drop my guard and give in to the test, why should I put myself through the anticipation and courtship, only to have my advances thrown back in my face (or arguably, lower down). Why should I demonstrate what I already know- that I am weak, that I have no power in all this, that I am putty in the hands of those who would take my hard earned cash and deliver up a gigantic NO in response.
I keep hoping that one day, when I know the moment is right, the test and I will finally meet. And it will mean all the things it whispers in my ear, the things I want so badly to hear:
"Positive. Pregnant. Mother. Baby. Family. "