Friday, February 27, 2009

Accomplishment #29: Learn About Safe Sex (#40)

*giggle* Ohmigaaawd! *giggle*

Okay, let's face it. I am way past the age of learning about safe sex. That was something that actually did happen by the time I graduated from high school, which really was an Accomplishment. It would be, like, awesome for you guys and the blog if I had some sort of Afterschool Special Worthy Life Lesson to share, like, if I was like Dana Plato and got knocked up with Rob Lowe's baby at summer camp, but nope. Didn't happen.

Best Afterschool Special EVER.

I also came of age when AIDS was coming into collective consciousness. I remember reading about this new, scary disease in Time Magazine in our high school library. As I read the list of symptoms, I was sure I had it, despite the fact that I was a virgin and had never had a blood transfusion, shot up drugs, or had gone to a bathhouse where, apparently, that's where the disease was rampant. (I was sort of a drama-prone hypochondriac as a teen. I was also sure I had malaria at one point, and any disease that was written about in People Magazine where only less than 1% of the population was affected.) While vaguely horrifying Sex Ed classes had always preached about condoms, they had something else to add to their litany of warnings: unwanted pregnancy, STDs, and death. We were all made very aware of the consequences, even if not every teenager was paying attention.

I didn't have to worry too much -- it's not like I was exactly a teen vixen, and I had a tendency to have crushes on gay boys who wore more eyeliner than I did with ratted-out bangs. (It was the 80's. Sigh.) And even more scary than getting pregnant or driving drunk or failing a class was getting in trouble with my dad (though, huh, that happened a lot, but for much minor offenses), so I didn't step over the line. Too much, anyway.

Having to talk candidly with my parents about anything in those days was, like, thee most mortifying thing ever. Even if one of them asked me, "Oh, who is this band?" trying to make conversation with me, I'd cringe. I figured that they'd only had sex three times to have me and my two sisters, and didn't want to think about it any more than that. (And yeah, I still don't.) Of course, later on I realized just how amazing and cool my parents were, but as a teenager I just thought they were the biggest dorks in the universe who just didn't get it. GAAAAWD.

So we didn't really have any "Our Bodies Ourselves" moments in our house. No sitting around the kitchen table with my mom while drinking tea, chatting about sex and douches or anything else like that. Everything I knew about sex came from Judy Blume (remember, page 81 in Forever) or Flowers in the Attic (real healthy), those mortifying Sex Ed classes where nearly everyone looked down at their binders or at the diagrams on the board but not one another, and listening to my friends who were, like "doing it" talk about it. ("You WHAT??? Nuh uh!!! Gross!")

Ohhh, Ralph.

But my poor mom, bless her heart, she tried. Right before I was going away to college, I was sprawled on the couch watching Dialing for Dollars (that's pretty much all I ever watched back then) when she came in and sat down. "Honey, I want to to talk to you about something..." she said.

I knew. I thought I had avoided the Bird and the Bees Talk, but I knew. This was IT.

""Yeah?" I said. Oh God, oh no, don't do it, Mom...

"There will be some, um, things that will happen now that you're leaving home... Things involving boys --"

"IT'S OKAY MOM," I said, a little too loud. "YOU TOTALLY DON'T HAVE TO TELL ME, I KNOW, I GET IT..."

"But Karen," she said. "I just want you to be sure you know how to handle things and be prepared --"


And I don't think she did, either, because we both kind of said, "well then, okay," and she went off and I went back to Dialing for Dollars.

So since I'm not exactly well-versed in how to deliver a truly good Birds and Bees and Safe Sex lecture, I will leave that PSA for Rascal Rapper, the Blueberry Condom:

I may be making light of it because I'm not a statistic, but I know plenty of people who are. Unfortunately, some of those gay boys I loved way back when have or have died of AIDS. My best friend in ninth grade got pregnant and dropped out our junior year. I've spent enough time in Planned Parenthood waiting rooms, conscious of the consequences of unsafe sex around me. So no, it's not funny.

But then again, I know I could never demonstrate putting a condom on a banana because I would totally die of laughter. But that's because I'm totally immature.


*giggle* Ohmigaaawd! *giggle*

Twenty-nine down, 68 to go.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I got the sex talk when I was 8 because my oldest brother was 13. When my mom started off by ssying that women had eggs inside them I nearly lost it. I demanded to know why she and my sisters were holding back food when we were going hungry at the end of the month.

Bea said...

there was a Dr Phil episode where these parents wanted to give their kids the safe sex talk and they didn't know how to. Dr Phil said to just tell them so the parents sat their young boys down with an incredibly graphic book and proceeded to tell them all about it, including various unwelcome snippets from their own sex life! the youngest kid, luckily didn't understand much but the older one first was horrified that his dad did THAT to his mum, then he looked incredibly uncomfortable.

All Dr Phil said was, you could have eased them into it a bit more
don't worry, i sat there mostly with my hands over my ears lalala ing it. mature person that i am.

Anonymous said...

once again, you CRACK ME UP. there are certain things you don't think about when you have kids and having to deliver a sex talk is one of them. my god. truman is going to go through puberty. my mom's a social worker, i am going to make her have the talk with the kids.

The Sardonicist said...

my dad tried to tell my brother and i when i was about 7. i have no idea why so early, and i'm sure he asked himself the same question moments later; he only got as far as the "well boys, in order to have a baby, you have to get naked..." comment when i immediately squealed in laughter and ran off to tell my sisters.

i just know karma is out there somewhere, just patiently biding it's time...

Sparkleneely said...

Dr. Monkey -- Quite an understandable confusion. And what did your mom say to THAT?

Wilwarin -- That kid is DEFINITELY messed up for life. A., the graphic sex talk and B. HIS PARENTS WERE ON DR. PHIL TALKING ABOUT IT. He will never, ever live that down. EVER. poor kid...

Lishy -- have Ev do it. that might make you a teensy more even by you having to give birth and him having to EXPLAIN it. And yep, that beautiful little boy is going to turn into a sullen teen. Congratulations!!!!! ;)

Skorpeo -- Nice. You'll get yours, you just WAIT. We started learning in 4th grade, but my neighbor, Shannon Russo (who went to CATHOLIC school), told me aaall about it when I was 7. I was very bewildered as to what MAN JUICE was. Oh GOD!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Karen, my adult content filter completely censored this post. What's it all about? All I saw was the plastic bag banana picture.

Sparkleneely said...

Oh, STOP IT, PATRICK. Otherwise I'll post Scotty Raehlander's pictures of you from your old SKA BAND. Pbbbbt.

Miss Alex said...

I love your blog!!! :D

Sparkleneely said...

Thanks, Miss Alex! The feeling is mutual!

Anonymous said...

At least your mom tried. I got the book "Where did I come from" as a birthday present. I'll have to remind mom about that.

And where was that banana picture when I needed it. I didn't learn how those damn things worked until I was in my 30s.

Dana Plato was hot, but not as hot as you. Love you, D

Sparkleneely said...

retrohasen -- I forgot all about that book, which is dumb because my friend had it and we laughed and laughed and laughed about it. But not as much as we laughed about "The Joy of Sex" while babysitting -- that one killed us. (And why was it that everyone Monica and I babysat for had that book? Seriously, the late 70's/ early 80's were so gross.)

I hope you still have your old "Where..." because you're gonna have to give the talk sooner than you think, Daddy-O!


Megan said...


I had to capitalize it because yay and double yay!

Delinquent said...

The perfect ending to the story would have been 69 to go, not 68 to go...I know, I'm gross.

Dane said...

Re: the teen hypochondria;

when I was 19, I went to the doctor because I thought I had a brain tumor. Turned out to be allergy headaches.

Elizabeth said...

I have teens now and have had that talk. Oh yuck. My mother never did with me - just hoped I'd figure it all out!

Arthur's Circus said... more need I say

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