Friday, December 28, 2007
The Secret Lives Of Girls
One of the girls in my high school had an abortion which became public knowledge much the same way my sleeping with a male friend (and by sleeping, I mean sharing a bed, nothing more) at my babysitter's house became known to all the other elementary school kids -- I told a trusted companion who blabbed my news everywhere. What I didn't mention was that a) the boy I slept with was as gay as gay could be and b) we took shifts staying awake to guard against Leland, the evil teenage son of said babysitter who tried many a time to "play little games" with us, ala a garden variety pedophile of whom was said that if he was smart, he could have been really dangerous. But alas, this story has a strange ending -- Leland raped his sister and from this very shallow gene pool, a child was born. Which in my conservative Texas town was to most people's way of thinking preferable to abortion. And so we return to the girl, a real snot with a mean streak the size of the Rio Grande, and people were thrilled to have this to use against her. While I couldn't stand Leslie (yes, that's her real name), I didn't have the heart to taunt her like the other girls. She became a Carrie-like figure, reviled in the locker room, until one of our teachers sat us all down and had a talk with us, so coded I couldn't figure out what the hell she was saying except that we'd all better stop being such little bitches and cool it with Leslie.
It was the late eighties, and we had a nursery in our high school for the children of students. I thought this fairly progressive given that our sex education consisted of being shown large slides of genitals infected with everything from herpes to warts. And so the secret lives of the girls became public sometimes. Thought back to what I considered my secrets and how I mostly never told anything because I didn't want the schoolyard taunting of my friends that I had received for the larger part of a year in elementary school. I knew about sex and knew about the consequences (say what you will about positive sex education, but the pictures of the slides are in my mind to this day). But the most horrific part of the whole equation was this -- how people judged you for what you did under the cover of darkness and the memory of that burning long after, like embers from a fire you couldn't entirely douse.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I paint what I like, when I like, and where I like." David Hockney
Drinking sociological study suggestion: Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives Rose Weitz
Benedictions and Maledictions