I have always enjoyed gossip. I enjoy celebrity gossip. Church gossip. Work gossip. Sorority gossip. Fraternity gossip. Youth group gossip. And when I was in high school I loved teen gossip.
One particular bit of gossip that I thoroughly enjoyed was during my junior year of high school. The Red Cross would come to our school for blood drives. Only seniors could participate because they were the only ones over 18. So all of us minors would wish we could be 18 so that we could give blood and get that awesome sticker (“Kiss me! I gave blood!”) and a juice box.
Well, during my junior year a rumor began to circulate. 80% of the senior class had received letters from the Red Cross.
They had HIV and their blood could not be used.
I was stunned. Kind of. I mean, the seniors weren’t exactly known for their purity. And if the “who is sleeping with who” rumors were true, if one of them had something pretty much all of them had something.
I later found out that this rumor was not true, but it didn’t stop me from being grossed out at the idea of swimming in the obviously communal pool of love.
One of the reasons the swimming pool gets so dirty is because people are afraid to talk to each other. Telling someone how many people you’ve slept with, had one night stands, or even know that you have an STD may be one of the hardest conversations to have. So we don’t. We don’t tell them anything because we’re afraid of what she’ll think, or what he’ll say. And our silence is rewarded with STDs. Shameful, don’t talk about it STDs.
Someone must have realized the connection between not talking and STDs and came up with www.inspot.org. This website allows you to send an anonymous e-card to former partners if you find out that you have contracted something and lets them know they should probably get checked for something. Ah, the joys of technology.
Swim safely this Hump Day, and talk to your partner.