Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The Birds And The Bees
I was a 5th grader in 1978. I can assure you, nothing makes you sound more like Grandma faster than explaining to youth just how far technology has progressed since then. The electronica of my day was all about film strips (bing!), reel to reel movies, and overhead projectors. Nowadays, budding adolescents can google any awkward, hard-to-get, birds n' bees information they need. Way back when, we had to rely on the our folks' word for it, some hidden Penthouses or Joy of Sex, and a book on puberty that your Mom gave you for Christmas that you opened in front of everyone and your heart sank. Granted, we had sex education classes (ie: Health), but please. That's the class where you learned how to contain your laughter so you didn't get detention.
I remember the day in 5th grade that Mrs. Palardy asked for all of our permission slips. Permission slips that she had handed out days or even weeks before, that we were reminded to bring in. The permission slip I left at home. I was probably late for school like usual and in a rush. Goddamn it. The slip read "My daughter has my permission to watch ......The Period Movie." It was an old reel-to-reel on the subject of menstruation, replete with full-on maxi pads and that belt that they hooked on until they invented GLUE and created stick-em panty liners, probably. I'm guessing on the details--I never got to see the Period Movie--because I was the only girl with the exception of Maria who forgot their permission slip. So while the girls were watching the period movie in the auditorium, Maria and I had to join the boys in the gymnasium for......The Golf Movie.
What, boys don't need to learn about periods?
They should have been forced to watch The Period Movie too. They're gonna have to run to Rite Aid and buy a feminine product for their lady at some point. I can't say I remember a damn thing about The Golf Movie because I was horrified that I was in the wrong gender flick. Plus it was extra embarrassing, because Maria came from a weird home, so nobody was surprised that she didn't bring her permission slip in. Most kids thought she was a witch anyway. I didn't think so, but I did think she had a thick mustache, and if her mother wasn't available to sign the permission slip, she might have done something about Maria's 'stache.