*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!")
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 --"
"I AM, IT'S OKAY, I TOTALLY DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS..."
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.