No, I’m not saying the lead singer of Nickelback saved my life. I’m talking a literal douche here, people.
My mind is continuously blown by the existence of life.
Think about it. It’s estimated that the chances of you being you – is 1 in 400 quadrillion. QUADRILLION. My brain doesn’t even comprehend that type of number.
Put more simply – the odds that you even exist at all are basically zero.
We beat those kinds of odds, people. Don’t tell me you’re not freaking special.
Which is why I feel like it’s some type of poetic justice that a humor writer like myself exists thanks to one awkward and arguably not really necessary feminine hygiene product – Massengill spring fresh douche.
Allow me to elaborate.
I’m the baby in my family. My sister is 10 years older and my brother is 5. My mom was mentally done having children after my brother. My dad is a home builder and at the time of his growing business, they were moving constantly, often among construction and living a lifestyle that just confirmed to my mom she didn’t want any more children.
So, like many women in the 80s, she used spermicide as birth control.
As an aside, could spermicide have a more terrible name? Do we really have to get that literal with it?
Anyway, I guess most spermicide brands came with an applicator that was reusable for every application. Most women found this a little weird and gross. I mean, yeah – I don’t think I’d want to use the same tampon applicator, either. Where do you put it – the bathroom drawer next to the toothpaste?
Anyway, I’m getting off topic.
Step one to my existence: My aunt calls and gives my mom a hot spermicide tip.
After what apparently was a great trip to the grocery store, my aunt called my mom and told her there’s a new brand of spermicide that has disposable applicators. About freakin’ time!
Probably with much glee, like she just hit the modern technology jackpot, the next time my mom went to the store, she decides to pick up a box of this new fancy spermicide with the disposable applicators. I mean, what next – portable telephones?!?!
Step two to my existence: Local grocer decides to put the spermicide products and douche products right next to each other in the feminine hygiene aisle.
While in the aisle that carried feminine products, my mom searched for the golden ticket of spermicides. As she scanned the different options of preventing me, her eyes lit up when a box read “disposable applicator!” She grabbed that puppy off the shelf and threw it in her cart next to a bag of peas.
Step three to my existence: My parents, um. Decide to, um …
Now this is the part of the story that even at 32 I have a hard time recounting, but since we’re all adults here, I guess I’ll just come out with it. My parents “did it.” According to my mom, her period had just ended so she knew she wasn’t ovulating anyway, but they used protection no matter what because she really didn’t want to get pregnant.
She emphasizes the “really didn’t want to get pregnant” part in the story a lot. We get it, alright? ::eye roll::
Step four to my existence: My mom ovulates twice in one month.
Step five to my existence: Mom loses all common sense and reading capabilities FOR THE SECOND TIME.
Apparently she had horse blinders on that wrapped around her face 5 times, because she refused to read the box of “spermicide” for a second time, ignoring important keywords such as douche and spring fresh and the fact spermicide isn’t even on the box at all.
I’d like to think that all of this has far less to do with my mom having a ditsy brain lapse of epic proportions and more to do with God really needing me to be born.
At this point we all know where this is going. In fact, I’m pretty sure you all figured it out a long time ago, but whatever, I wanted this post to be longer than a paragraph.
So, to recap: Instead of properly protecting herself from pregnancy, my mom freshened herself right up with a spring fresh scented douche while she was unknowingly ovulating for a second time in one month.
And then …
You’re looking at the 1 in 400 quadrillion. Why am I not buying lottery tickets?!
As a side note, who owes their very existence to a douche? Of course this had to be me.
My mom loves to talk about her dramatic reaction to the news she was pregnant, which I discovered were really just the 5 stages of grief.
Denial: I’m not pregnant. The test is wrong and my boobs are only tripling in size because I’m hitting a growth spurt in my 30s.
Anger: Why God?! I’ve never looked better in my 80s wash jeans!
Bargaining: If only my sister had never called me! If only I had read the box! Why didn’t I read the freaking box?!
Depression: Wow. This is bullcrap. Real bullcrap.
Acceptance: Ok, well this is happening whether I like it or not. Better go buy those damn prenatals.
And then (thank God, because it would be awkward), we can add another stage – joy. My mom likes to tell me that after a few weeks, she was lying in bed, felt her tummy and an overwhelming feeling of love and joy for me washed over her as she became elated that I was about to come into this world.
Cue the Full House “Awwww” audience track …
No matter how you were conceived – a freak accident or meticulously planned – the fact you’re even here is an unfathomable miracle. We take it for granted because babies are born every day, but it doesn’t make the stats less real.
We all beat ZERO odds.
There has to be meaning in those odds. There simply has to be purpose. It’s too freaky, too uncanny – too unlikely – not to.
But we all blow our miracles all the time. Just like most winners of the lottery, we will be bankrupt within 5 years. Maybe financially, maybe emotionally, maybe spiritually or physically. Maybe sometimes all of the above.
Humans have a bizarre way of squandering our miracles and crushing them into unrecognizable dust.
That may be because it takes a miracle in itself to recognize miracles past despair, current economic climates, wars, and battles even in our own homes.
If only we can shift our thinking. If only we can see the miracle in our existence and feel the urgency to make the miracle mean something through our purpose.
Maybe choose kindness instead of snark. Maybe listen instead of just waiting for our turn to be heard. Maybe give more than we think we have. Maybe take that improv class we’ve been putting off because our knees buckle just thinking about it.
We have the choice to believe that all of life on earth has happened by freak chance with no meaning at all, or we can make the choice to believe everything aligned perfectly, for us, for this moment.
We beat zero chances to exist already. I conquered spermicide like a ninja. I like our odds. There is meaning to all of this and we have everything within us to bring that meaning to life.
We’re pretty damn special. Time to start acting like it.