Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Facts of Life

No, not those facts. It’s a custom in our family to not really speak about those facts. Mom took Hipee and me to a beautiful, sensitive movie - just for mothers and daughters. It was bad enough that we had to learn about such personal things in a public forum, but to attend a beautiful, sensitive movie with your mother and sister was in and of itself enough to guarantee that you weren’t going to really be paying attention to the movie as much as horrified that your own mother was tearing up and thought attending this beautiful, sensitive movie was a great idea, as well as a great way to spend a Saturday. We might have received a beautiful and sensitive pamphlet to go along with the movie. In reality, I learned about those facts years before from an older friend. She learned from her parents and immediately ran over to tell me. I was 7. She was 8. We hid by the side of the garage and she told me everything. I wasn’t sure I believed her, but I carefully took it all under advisement.

I have no idea what Hipee thought about the movie, but Hipee was a strange one. She probably thought it was beautiful and sensitive. She was ready for those mysteries of womanhood. She wanted to wear a bra. She wanted to wear a bra long before there was even a slight hint that she may need to wear one sometime in the future. I was forced to go out and get one. I think Hipee came along on that bra buying trip for fun and begged for one too, the little freak.

But, no, that’s not what I was going to tell you. This facts of life story happened years before the beautiful and sensitive movie. This is in the bad behavior file – and it was ED’s idea. We were probably around 9 and 7. This was during the same time as the black widow story.

ED happened to have a friend over at the same time I had a friend over to play. What brought us together, I would imagine, is that both groups probably wanted to play in the clubhouse, or shed. It wasn’t really a sharing kind of thing. Then ED had this idea. He and my friend would go into the clubhouse and show each other theirs after his friend and I would go in and show each other ours, if you get my drift. It wasn’t really what I had in mind for the afternoon. I knew it was wrong, and I knew it could mean big trouble.

As I’ve mentioned before, ED was a big boy, even when young, and he could be a bully. But ED didn’t scare me because I could manipulate the stuffing out of him and the situation, a skill that has stood me well for years. He might have me beaten in any contest of physical strength, but mentally we were at least an even match, although I would argue that I had a slight advantage; I was quiet and ED never knew what I was thinking. One way to manipulate ED was to allow him to think you were following his directives, but then to do what you wanted to do. When his friend and I went into the clubhouse, I set the rules right after the door closed. There would be no showing anybody anything, thank you very much. That was wrong. We would, instead, pound the walls of the shed and stomp on the floor for a little bit. Then we would exit.

The facts of life session went exactly as I had planned with one little glitch. Either Mom looked out the window, saw ED’s friend and me entering the shed, and realized that something wasn’t quite right, or Hipee went in to tattle. In any event, it resulted in Mom running out of the house yelling at all of us, but mostly ED.

Here ED thought he was going to get a little grade school anatomy lesson that day, but as the oldest with three younger sisters he would have been better off watching Mom change Whiy’s diaper. Instead he learned some different facts of life concerning women: Moms see and know much more than you realize and sisters, no matter what their age, are unpredictable and uncontrollable.

Note: If I shared this story with my mother, she would be very concerned that it put our family in a bad light and might make people think poorly of us. All in all, I think kids have been playing that kind of show and tell for years and our adventure was pretty tame compared to others as nothing was shown.

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