Thursday, December 2, 2010

Subjects Which Were Once Taboo

Let’s just say, I was born in the early 60s.   I mention this fact as a point of reference for the next few postings that you’re about to read. Don’t worry, I’m not going to begin a nostalgic walk down memory lane recounting tales of how I walked to school five miles each way in the snow and rain and hail and thunder and lightening. Although….lol……I did in fact walk to school everyday and by the time I got to High School, my walk was 1.5 miles each way (but who’s counting?) It was a living hell I tell ya. Do you have any idea what falling snow and rain and hail and thunder and lightning do to a perfectly coiffed head of hair? (Here's the Route!)

Actually, I prefaced this with my age because in contrast to what young people know today; we (or at least I) were quite inept when it came to matters of puberty and sex. For me, being raised in a strict and stern Italian-Catholic home meant never, ever discussing anything of a personal nature. And I mean nothing personal…….no feelings were discussed…..nothing regarding bodily functions and the changing female body….none of it was brought up. The idea was sort of an unspoken one…….you would figure it out at the right time and as you went along. (Yeah, good luck with that!!!) There was no need to engage in any discussion…..

Thankfully, that way of thinking is mostly in the distant past, but gone with it also is the innocence which was the trademark of young boys and girls when I was growing up. A lot of it had to do with the fact that Dads went to work all day and mom was home. There was a very short leash when it came to being allowed to go places and do things….especially where members of the opposite sex were concerned.

I sure did learn things at “the right time.” My best friend and I were driving in the back seat of our ‘72 Country Squire station wagon while our moms were in the front seat. They were talking and thought we weren’t paying attention to what they were saying. They were laughing and mentioning the number 69. I guess it was the “right time” for us to learn. And boy, did we pay attention. We caught ear of their conversation…even with the radio on and the windows rolled down and our brothers in the back of the station wagon raising a ruckus……we heard the words……”69”……sex…….and screw. It was like our sonar devices were turned on. Our antennae (antennas, if you're not a wordsmith) were raised…and we looked wide-eyed at one another…smiling big…….we couldn’t’ believe this conversation our moms were having with one another…..more or less in front of us. We were curious. What was this “69”?  (we were 13 at the time)

We giggled with one another and vowed, in hushed tones, that we would find out what this strange reference to the number 69 meant in this conversation about sex and screwing. I was sort of pissed at my mother for talking about this stuff so openly and I’ll tell you why…..

Earlier that year, I had received my package from Mother Nature. My very first menstruation cycle. Do you think my mom pulled me aside to tell me about this before it was going to happen? Nope. She didn’t and I had to find out from the school nurse when my “gift” arrived….specially delivery, while I was in Home Economics class in Middle School. It wasn’t like today where girls as young as 9 and 10 are getting “blessed”. I was one of the first of my friends to become so endowed.

I went to the nurse. I knew what it was, but that was it. She sat me down. Gave me a “starter kit” with pads that I can only describe as being the distant cousin to the popular Depends garments worn by the elderly among us today. (Hyperbole alert!). There was some sort of belt contraption in the box whereby I was supposed to clip on my Depends and wear this thing… literally felt like a diaper, and if you’ve ever paid attention to that swishing sound a baby makes when crawling around with a diaper on….that was me… 13!!! The nurse sat down with me and in her most compassionate tone, explained to me what was going on and what would continue to go on…..FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!!! (Hyperbole alert!).

It was a jolly time walking home with my huge box of starter pads. The boys in our walking-home- together-group had a field day with that one. I was just glad they didn’t grab it from me and start playing monkey in the

I got home and told my mom what happened. There was no further explanation or follow up….or tender empathy……just a matter of fact….”so the nurse told you what’s going on?”.   I answered: “Yup”.  She said: “Don't say yup.   O.K. then”.

Remembering this exchange had me peeved at my mom for speaking so openly about sex and screwing in the car that day and yet she couldn’t pass along a little knowledge to me as to what the hell was going on in my body in a private mother/daughter conversation.

Oh well…..that was then.  That was the culture and the customs.  

Side note….never found out till years later what “69” was. My friend and I forgot all about it by the time we got to our destination that afternoon.
So, what have we learned so far? The lines of communication were definitely under heavy fortification where sex and puberty were concerned when I was growing up. Here’s how closed they were:

When I was younger, I swam every summer….competitively. Swimming was my life…..whether it was in a pool or at the beach…..I was a fish. The Summer after getting my “gift”, I was on my way to the Community pool…it was where everyone hung out during the Summer if they weren’t at the Shore. Not to be gross, but my mom knew it was that time of month for me because it was evident on my clothing when she did the laundry. I was in the bathroom changing into my bathing suit and my mom opened the door and informed me that I wasn’t going anywhere unless I put in a tampon because I wasn’t going to swim in a pool with my “gift”. I was at the end of my cycle and I told her that, but it didn’t matter She handed me one of those older version tampons….cardboard type….very wide.

I unwrapped it. I looked at it. I read the directions. I had no idea whatsoever where to put that thing. I started feeling around….but it seemed like there were so many flaps down there to deal with…..where was the hole? Where did this thing go? and it was so big… in the world did something so big get in something, I presumed, was so small?

I fumbled around and my mother yelled through the door…”What’re you doing in there? What’s taking so long? You’d better be putting it in….and I’ll know if you did or not because I’ll see the string hanging out”.

Holy Mother of God….the woman was going to inspect whether or not I put it in? Now I was really panicking. There was no way I was going to waste a perfectly good Summer day at home. If I did, she’d find some chore for me to take on and all I wanted to do was swim.
Then: the proverbial light bulb over the head!!!

Since I was having such a difficult time shoving this thing into any part of me down there which even remotely resembled a hole…and I used a mirror and everything…..and it looked awfully gross down there….and I was tired of fumbling around……..and so…..I pulled the tampon out of it’s cardboard housing and stuck it in the crack of my posterior region…and clenched…..tight….lol……..and sure enough…the string was hanging down…, there……there was her “proof”. And of course, she never checked me before I left the house.

I was so afraid of being caught though…that I rode the whole way to the pool, which was about 2 ½ miles…with that thing clenched inside my crack. It hurt like Hell…but I kept thinking……she just might pull up in the car alongside the road and do a spot inspection….and so I kept it in till I got to the pool…..ran into the bathroom…..yanked it out….flushed….and went on my merry way. And she was none the wiser.

By telling you this story, I’ve definitely digressed a bit…..but the point is made…right? The young teenager girls of my day were clueless. We didn’t even know our own bodies. We didn’t even know where things were located. And yes, I’d been masturbating since I was about 5, but I never used fingers to penetrate…everything was done on the outside. No interior regions were ever explored. I was 13 and I didn’t even know where my hole was!!!

more cluelessnes to come.  stay tuned.....