This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. A number of writers over on http://www.PoliticsDaily.com were asked to reflect on the pill and what it’s meant to them. Here’s my entry, perfectly timed for Mother’s Day:
My father once told me that I was a “mistake.” Not a mistake in the sense of: “We wish you’d never been born.” But a mistake as in: “We didn’t plan on having you.”
There were probably better ways to have conveyed this message to a child. But my father grew up in mid-century Newark, N.J., the son of an Irish barkeep. He hailed from deep in the heart of Philip Roth territory and they didn’t mince words back then.
Whenever I asked my mother if I was an “accident” — as I did from time to time — she’d fob the question off awkwardly. “You were a planned accident” she’d say with a chuckle, trying to reassure me. But her laughter belied the truth.
I remember once asking my mother when I was still fairly young what was the most important invention that had happened in her lifetime. I was expecting to hear something like penicillin or the atom bomb. Instead, the answer she gave surprised me. She said that it was the invention of the birth control pill.
Because of my move and the unprecedented nature of the British elections, I will not be posting my Friday Pix this week. But I’m over on Twitter all week long posting my faves. Come visit @realdelia. See you next week!
Image: Here’s To A Shrunken Cyst by Phoney Nickel via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.