My brothers come into this story a bit, so, in the interest of identification, my first brother will be called Bro 1, the second Bro 2, and the third Bro 3. Then of course, my baby sister will be referred to as Sis. Now that’s taken care of, let’s get on with the story.
So, in the fall of 1982, I started high school with my Dad at East Valley. I was fourteen years old and, unlike most girls my age, I had no interest in boys. What’s more, had you asked me, I couldn’t have told you why that was so. However, I had the same problems in high school that I had in junior high (or middle school as they call it today). At one point, some artistic geniuses left a 12-inch clay representation of male genitalia in my art drawer. You can guess what both my reaction and theirs was. The art teacher wasn’t happy, either. What a waste of a perfectly good piece of clay.
In high school, however, many of the horndogs (sexually active young men) were usually to be found in the hallways between classes sucking face with their girlfriends. I don’t need to say how uncomfortable that made me feel. However, I didn’t need to keep my feelings to myself. I could share them with my dad on the trip home and he always did his best, not just to understand, but to help me figure out what to do with them.
The following year, Bro 1 brought home a friend of his that we’ll call Mr. P. He seemed pleased to meet me, but I would have no idea exactly how pleased until later. Apparently, he had developed a crush on me from first sight. Now, had you told me that some guy had an actual crush on me, I’d have laughed in your face because, in my opinion, I figured I must be uglier than sin I’ll admit that the thought still haunts me sometimes. I find myself checking my reflection in the mirror or my husband’s eyes just to reassure myself that I’m not as ugly as I sometimes think I am.
When I turned sixteen, I got teased by a number of young men in my typing class because I was “sixteen and never been kissed.” I immediately made arrangements to go on my first date ever with the class nerd. When I say “nerd” what I mean is that he was skinny, loved to hang out in the library, was already good on the new computers and had so much dandruff it looked like he lived in a perpetual snow storm.
Aw, I can feel you cringing over there. Honestly, he was a nice guy even considering all the other stuff.
He took me to the fair, where we had a blast together, until he lost his wallet and we had to use my mad money to call his mother to come and get us. We spent a little time at his parents’ house after that and I got a look at his room. You know I didn’t make out with him, but, had I wanted to I couldn’t have. His room quite literally looked like it had been struck by a tornado. Even his bed was cluttered with toys and papers and stuff. Eventually, he and his parents brought me back home, but just to settle the rumors that I hadn’t been kissed, I favored him with the oh-so-rare peck on the lips. That made me so nervous that just seeing the boy at school made my face go pink.
In 1984, Mr. P, who had been homeschooled by his divorced mother (Ms. C) up to that point, appeared at East Valley High School. Looking back, I can just bet that he probably begged his mom to let him go to public school just so that he could be around me. He even managed to convince my dad to give him a ride home after school.
The reason he even needed a ride was because his grandmother, meaning Ms. C’s mother, was an old battle-axe who had to be in control of EVERYTHING. She had bought Ms. C’s home, which was a tiny, one bedroom shack whose pipes froze so regularly that, when temperatures dropped, they had to let the bathroom faucets drip hot water all day every day just to keep it from happening. They also had about four dogs and two cats, one of which was so fat that he had to sleep in the catlitter box just to keep him from peeing in his bed. Needless to say they had no front yard and the backyard was nothing but dirt and one big tree. They also didn’t own a car. Ms. C had to borrow her mother’s van just to get her son to school. Interestingly, Mr. P and I shared about three classes with each other, one of which was the aforementioned art class.
At sixteen, I was required to take a sex education class. During that class, the teacher quoted the following statistic. “9 out of 10 girls are molested before they reach the age of eighteen.” I remember thinking with a certain amount of pride, “I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the one that were never molested.” However, the teacher required that class members go to the library and read a magazine article that she said would help us understand. As I read it, a single fact stood out to me. Most molestation is usually committed by people the victims trust. It was that fact that brought all the scattered pieces of my memory back together and I realized with a certain amount of shame that I wasn’t part of the one. I was part of the unfortunate nine and I had no idea how or even if I was going to tell my parents.
Were you part of the fortunate one or the unfortunate nine? Did anyone ever develop a crush on you in school? How old were you when you received your first official kiss on the lips? Tell me! I really want to know!