Perhaps I should have predicted that asking my mom to pay for an HPV vaccine for my birthday would result in a strange conversation.
It started out bad:
Mom: Aren't you too old to get that now?
And then it got worse:
Mom: But you are using some kind of barrier when you have....you know...when you do...you know...she glances around, furtively.
Her word choice there -- barrier -- confirms an assumption I've always had about my mother. When faced with the words "madeleine" and "you know..." in the same sentence, she chooses to picture me and whoever the someone else is in bed, but handily encased in layers upon layers of bubble wrap. From within our plastic chastity belts, we vainly grope for the good stuff. Thank god for barriers.