We part ways for a time. I station myself among the fishnets, not only because I can imagine wearing something like that, but because they are displayed in the area that adjoins the lubricants shelf. That is where Lena has busied herself reading labels.
Lena is an educated consumer. She knows brands and she knows, of course, which kinds you can use with condoms and which you can’t. Everyone in her peer group knows these things: they talk about it at the lunch table. They have all read customer reviews of the various products and know a heck of a lot more about them than I do, I’ve gathered.
It occurs to me that Lena probably doesn’t have enough money for what is likely a rather expensive purchase at this pricy store, and I remember my promise of a reward for her admirable report card. Lena has never been motivated by grades, per se, or by peer pressure. She does not live to please others. School, private or public, has simply not provided a motivating learning environment for this child; and I am always looking for ways to send the message that applying one’s self (in this case, in high school) carries rewards.
Should I be thanking the Creator of Us All to have found a reward that Lena actually cares about, a lot? As that Loving Presence is the Creator of Sex, perhaps more than He/She is the creator of formal education, with all of its strictly delineated disciplines, its carefully negotiated emphases–I do.