In the last blog, I revealed that my Mom was my English teacher in the 5th grade. A friend of mine reminded me (trust me, I blocked this out), that I had my mother for several subjects that year, including one painful unit.
My mother was my sex-ed teacher.
You wold think this is a situation that could be avoided. But in my Catholic school (sex is for married people only!!!! If you disobey this rule....you remember the story about the locusts, right??) there were only two homerooms in 5th grade. Of course I was in the other homeroom, with Miss Fadus. But for Chapters 5 and 6 in the "Family Life" course (the sex chapters), you really had to separate the boys and the girls for "the filmstrip." (".....and that is called an orgasm....BEEP!")
Now Miss Fadus was um, about 14 years old. A rookie teacher, and a bit naive. When the discussion of the sex-ed chapters began, Miss Fadus pronounced the word "scrotum" as if it were a broiled entree on a menu: Scrod-um. Okay, she can't teach the boys, but she's a fine locust-free Catholic girl.
So the job of teaching the boys fell to my mom. I wasn't really freaked out at first, although my mom loved to use the chalkboard. She would write everything, illustrate everything, and she would use every available inch of the blackboard. First she diagrammed the female reproductive system. I was unaffected. In fact, I thought it would make a great logo for a rock band.
Then she drew....the penis.
That's when the room got warm. Did I mention she used every inch of the board? My dad was never so proud.
Then she cranked up the film strip. It was mostly clinical and I can't remember how they described "the deed." But I remember thinking.....Oh. My. God. That means my mom. And my dad. They did that? Do they still do that? Is their bedroom directly above mine? Ew.
So I'm now sweating. After the film strip my mom opens the floor for questions.
Now picture this....25 fifth-grade boys getting to ask about penises, gonads, semen and orgasms...It was like a White House press conference, minus Helen Thomas (thank god). With each question I'm gettng more and more squirmy and sweaty. I needed to do something. I had to ask a stupid question.
"What if you're 'doing it' and you need to pee," I ask, just to stop thinking about friction and if my mother was multi-orgasmic. I'd much rather think of my father urinating. Or Helen Thomas doing just about anything.
My mom's answer? "There's a little lever that shuts off the urine until a couple has, um, finished."
At dinner I asked my mom what the "lever" was called. Everything had a clinical name and I was sure the lever was not called the lever. So when I asked my lever-follow-up question, the rest of the family looked at me like I had three heads and broke up laughing.
Liar! My own mom lied to me. About sex. In front of other boys!
No wonder I scammed her in the Great Book Report Scandal of 1982. She deserved it!
Twenty-sex, er, 26 years later, and a stack of therapy bills that could choke a .... okay, bad analogy.... I think I'm finally recovered.
But I still twinge when I see a blackboard. Thank the Lord for dry-erase boards.
Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden
6 days ago