Thanks, Anna Rae, for your steadying words. I really do need to take that step back, that focus-on-the-present-moment breath. Maybe that will help my mind stop ricocheting back and forth like a pinball; it starts at the Scylla of Rose's nonexistent (but possible!) future of STDs, AIDs, rape, and totally idiotic teenage boys and bounces over to the Charybdis of my own past of lots of really stupid choices and, well, idiotic teenage boys. Fear and projection-- a disfunctional combo plate to serve yourself, if ever there was one. And I'm being flooded by so many weird memories...
- I'm 14 and my best friend, Annemarie, has just come back from a make-out session (with and Italian boy named Giovanni) on the ball field. She's calling me excitedly and pointing to her jean leg saying, "Elizabeth! Elizabeth! Look, my first sperm! I'm going to cut it out and frame it!!"
-I'm 15 and at a dance. A boy I had previously had a crush on comes up and asks me if I know where the girl who currently has a crush on him is. I say no. He's clearly drunk. He wanders off, wobbly, disconsolate, and horney. Later he finds me again and asks me if I want to go out the the field. We all know what happens in the field, though it's never happened to me before. I say, "OK." We leave the dance and he waits to hold my hand until we're beyond the lights of the party, so no one can see. We make out and, never having done it before, I do it badly. It's boring and awkward for me. At one point he says insistently, "Bite me, bite me," and I have no idea what or where I should bite.
And there's no way we can protect them from these clumsy , is there? I'm guessing, also, that this is hardest the first time around. Probably by the time Eliza (now 8) tells me she's dating I'll be entirely blase about the whole thing; 'OK honey, here's some birth-control pills and some condoms. Have fun!'
As further middle-aged mom laugh therapy, anyone who wants to can leave a pitiful, humiliating, or funny (not dirty or gross, please) teenage memory for me to laugh at.
As always, lots of love, Elizabeth