How do I, at age 26, still feel uncomfortable buying condoms? I am having protected, premarital sex – what a dirty, dirty whore. I never felt weird picking up birth control prescriptions –was freaking chipper about it –so I must associate condoms differently (and yes, I realize that The Pill is a safer choice, but with my medical history, its best for nature to run its own hormonal course). In college, I always made The Kid buy them. Which he did, until he thought it would be good for me to extend outside my comfort zone. I think his eloquent words were something to the extent of, “Dude, get over it.” I still didn’t buy at the store though; the Internet is an amazing marketplace: 100 for $20? Yes, please, and extra points for the bargain shopper. Alas, these days, buying in bulk would be laughable.

Any summer reading suggestions? Appears I have a slight case of reader’s block, where nothing looks particularly appealing. On my trip, the reading will be minimal, as The Firefighter isn’t a reader (nor a speller, apparently, as he advised against bringing travel Scrabble; I predict a lot of card games), but I will need something for the plane, at the least.

I leave for Costa Rica TOMORROW. Packing has proven difficult, as I am trying to pretend that I am pro-nature and low maintenance (as my mother likes to quote from Billy Crystal, I am the worst kind of maintenance: I am high maintenance but I think I am low maintenance. No, Mother, I REALLY AM LOW MAINTENANCE.) Ho Hum, and now I shall prove her point and talk about shoes. Do you think I need rainboots? What if I have really cute rainboots, how ‘bout then? I mean, we’ll be tramping around a rainforest where there is MUD, shouldn’t I bring waterproof footwear instead of ruining my white Sauconys? I’ll bring those, too, but not for the muddy trails. And even one pair of heels is unnecessary, right? Flip flops are all-encompassing.

Also, my wardrobe should be more browns-based and less blacks-based. I do not have enough color for Central America. I do, however, have exactly the perfect amount of color for Paris (read that: none). Will probably experience the same unbefitting feeling as last year in Greece, where only the widows wear black. On the positive, I read that the jungle animals tend to shy away from dramatic color (indicates poisonous), so maybe the black thing will work for me. Either way, I rarely plan on leaving my comfy pants. How awesome is a vacation of comfy pants (answer: very).

Final question: The Firefighter will have a birthday while we’re in Costa Rica. I should buy him something … something fun and slightly relevant … I have no idea what that should be. Thought his favorite booze sold in MN but then I’d have to check my bag and that’s a hassle, blah blah. Ideas?

TOMORROW. Maybe we should have booked even one hotel room? NO. We are adventurous! We will not be tied down! I have no anxiety about being a free spirit because THAT’S WHO I AM.