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Bud and I compared notes on our sex education back in the fifties. “Oh yeah, I got one sentence. ‘Quit playing with your goober.’ ”
I think I got sex uneducation instead. Mother kept us under her eagle eye. “You kids play here where I can see you.” Should we get quiet while playing, she’d be on us in a heartbeat to breakup any attempts to investigate or “play doctor.” Believe me, we did not get play doctor kits. Despite my best efforts, I rarely even got a chance to peak at a baby boy having his diaper changed. When I finally did get my eyes on the prize, I came away thinking girls were plain and boys were fancy. Mother was so modest that when my brother and I were toddlers we bathed together in our underwear. I was probably in school before I bathed in the nude.
Pregnancy didn’t exist. Women “were expecting” instead, but that was mentioned in whispers only to ladies. I don’t know how men ever got the news. The television snapped off instantly if a woman went into labor. Had to get my sex education the way God intended, from my equally ignorant friends. I learned some amazing things from my friend Margaret Green. She matured early, getting breasts and starting her menses at ten. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that the same calamity might befall me.
Margaret eagerly shared her amalgam of misinformation with me. Women got pregnant (not expecting) when a man climbed on top of her in bed and peed on her. The baby breathed through the mother’s belly button. If she was submersed, the baby would suffocate. A girl could get pregnant sleeping with another girl. The baby had to be cut out of the mother. I’m sure there was much more. I just remember the important parts.
I must have been crazy. I went straight to more with Margaret’s wild tales, sure she was lying. Mother was so mad Margaret opened Pandora’s box. She had no choice but to give me the very most basic explanation. I was so disgusted upon learning the mysteries of life. “That’s awful. I am never getting married!” That was fine with Mother. However, I was relieved to find out that there would be no peeing.
I can’t imagine how my mother had five children as much as she disapproved of sex.