Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dublin in the rare auld times, again

I'VE been living in Dublin for nearly 15 years now and the changes that have taken place during this time are phenomenal.

Gone are the prosecutions for selling condoms; gone are the court cases on providing information on pregnancy options and gone is Ireland's archaic views on sexuality, well nearly-ish, it's a step in the right direction.


You can buy condoms nearly everywhere which is such a turn-about considering it is not that long ago that you could only buy condoms for ‘bona fide family planning reasons’.

I never understood that at all, I mean if you are buying condoms because you are having sex and do not want to get pregnant (or indeed catching something undesirable), is that not a bona fide family planning reason?

The problem is of course that this was intended for married couples only, and this is really not that long ago, circa late 1980s.

(Read more here, and more here, it'll be an eye opener for some of you not aware of this.)

So it was surprising this week to see that some chemists/pharmacists/(drugstore for the Yanks) are refusing to sell condoms, and instead opt out under some kind of conscience clause.

I think this is despicable, irresponsible and a lame attempt to keep one foot firmly in the realms of our inglorious past.

It’s funny how far things have moved on and at times how it hits you, how we haven’t moved on as much as we should have.

Consider just over 10 years ago, if you were flat hunting with a lover, you had to pretend you were married before a landlord would consider you and generally they wouldn’t.

Typical advertisements in the classified sections of the Irish Press would read, one-bedroom apartment, suit two girls.

I always had a problem with this, as I never shared a bedroom as a child, why on earth would I pay for the privilege to do so as a grown up?

But how times have changed.

When you look at the classifieds now, you see ‘apartment, suit couple’. And this generally means it is a bed-sit and they want to cram as many people in as possible, money-grabbing bastards that they are. Their previous morals have been replaced with dollar signs.

Don't get me wrong I have no problem with those who rent out a property as an investment or the like, but I do have BIG problems with professional landlords, who in most cases are the bastards.

When the young wan was a baby, we had such a hard time finding suitable flats to rent, most would not touch us with a ten-foot barge pole. Whatever, in that case, I am happy not to be lining those type of pockets with my hard-earned money.

I remember one time, going to view a really awful flat with a pal. I had just started college and was on the dole and this was the first time I had to flat hunt since finishing up in my job to go to college.

We looked within my price range which involved one really grotty flat after another.

One was particularly bad, but it was within my price and near to the young wan’s school, but there was no natural light in the living room and it really was awful. Though we stood there thinking if you did this or did that, it might not be as bad. I was getting desperate having been searching high and low for three weeks.

The landlord said: “Is it for the two of you?

Me: “No it’s for me and my daughter”

Landlord: “I suppose you are on social welfare?”

Me: “Yes”

Landlord: “I don’t take THAT type here. No offence.”

Me: “Massive offence taken and by the way your flat is a disgrace and only I am desperate I would not consider it at all. Thanks for making my decision for me.”

We walked away with as much dignity as I could muster. Bastard.

Thankfully, on the whole, things have changed a lot in Ireland society which brings me back to my original point…

You can get condoms in supermarkets, pubs, chemists, sex shops and many more places.

In fact I noticed something in my local Tesco shop after it had undergone a massive revamp that tickled me pink.


The fact that it is nestled between Calpol and Hedex also gave me a giggle.


Can you see what it is yet? Click on the image to see a bigger version in case you cannot read what it is.

I am not going to say what it is for fear of the awful visitors it could generate to here, but you should be able to read its description on the larger version.

Are we to expect an expansion of this type of merchandise over the next few years?


Anonymous said...

Maybe we'll all get a thrill out of the mudane weekly shop now

Red Mum said...

It would certainly make the visit more ahem 'stimulating'.

doris said...

OMG - in Tescos?! That's fantastically liberated. What am I missing by doing our shopping online!

thordora said...

why on EARTH is it next to baby pain reliever? I'm trying to figure out what possible connection the merchandising team could make, and I'm coming up blank.

I cannot BELIEVE it was that bad there in MY lifetime....weird

Georgio said...

saw this in tesco yesterday - probably the same place u saw it...and i was like - jeez..ive seen this before...ha..brilliant