As I recall, I discovered girls quite by accident one day, while thumbing through the Montgomery Wards Catalog. It might have been the Sears Catalog but those prices were too high and we were a poor family.
I never quite made it to the “girdle” section of the thing, I was always afraid I’d get caught. I did, however, look at the pretty girls, I mean dresses, on sale. They had really nice, umm, legs.
And so it was, that a 10 year old became aware that there were “other” life forms inhabiting the planet, and that the very fact that they were not “like” us is what made them so interesting.
We always thought that girls were just our sisters, meant to pick on, put frogs on, and the occasional plump of gunk we got from the bottom of the lake and snuck up to camp. It never occurred to any of us that they were anything else. I mean, we KNEW our mothers were sorta like girls, but sisters were sisters and mothers were mothers, what else could they be?
Of course, once “one of us” had the “news” about girls, I can tell you, it spread like wildfire. Suddenly talking about cars seemed so mundane. The chatter turned to girls and the biggest question was, OK, what do we DO with them? I mean IF they’re so “different,” then what? It’s important to keep in mind here, that this is the thinking of a 10 year old, and does not accurately reflect the current thinking of the author, whoever HE or SHE is.
One of the guys “had the talk” with his father about this very subject, so we all gathered ’round to see and hear everything there was to know about girls. We all listened carefully to him describe how they were “delicate flowers” and we needed to “protect them.” Well crud, that just sounded like another JOB to us.
Why are they so delicate and why do WE have to protect them? Heck, I’d SEEN some of these “girls” throw a boy to the ground during recess….didn’t seem to me that she needed any “protection.”
At some point, another in the group got “their talk” and we learned that you had to “buy” this protection down at the drug store. None of us knew what that meant at all, but apparently there was some sort of medicine we had to take in order to protect these girls. That seemed very unnecessary to us, I mean if we just AVOIDED them, like we had been for the last 10 years, then why would we have to take a pill…or worse, a SHOT?
It was all terribly confusing. I kept waiting to get my talk on the subject figuring my Dad was surely smarter than everybody else’s, and would have more and better information.
I was wrong on both counts there, my talk never came.
Nope. I was left to figure girls out all by myself.
Everybody talked about “kissing” these girls. Now I’d kissed my sister and my mother, what was this big deal anyway?
Apparently, there some other kind of kissing going on, the kind you did with somebody else’s sister. I couldn’t figure out why I’d want to go and kiss somebody else’s sister when I’d already kissed mine a couple of times, and then we were told that this kind of kissing came from France.
As it happened, I also came from France, and parts from England too. I wasn’t sure which parts were which, but it made sense that probably my lips came from France since that’s what you do all this kissing with.
Now, however, we were even more confused.
What is this kind of kissing, and worse yet, why doesn’t America have it’s own official kind of kissing?
Much later in life, I learned we DO have a special kind here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., you do it at work with your boss and it involves a specialized nose diving adventure that results in a noxious brown smattering on your nose.
So this France type kissing became all we talked about.
Who was gonna do it first, with whom, and what the heck is it anyway.
We were all on “the hunt” for further information/instruction. We figured it would take us years digging through the Dewey Decimal System at the library to figure it out. First, we’d have to split up and each go at different times so no one would catch on to what we were up to. Then there was the matter of funneling all of the acquired information to everyone and since we didn’t have a mimeograph machine, we were simply going to have to hold clandestine meetings to discuss this information.
Just a side note, we were RIGHT about one thing, it WOULD take us years…and years…and years….
Meanwhile, some of us were beginning to notice changes to our bodies. We were growing hair and our voices were changing, etc. We also noticed that girls were, umm, changing too. Problem was, we got hair in places that we didn’t understand, and they got, well, better stuff than we apparently had. It seemed to the group that the boys were getting the shaft here in the stuff department.
Then one day, whilst skating at the Ice Rink over on Schuyler Street, this one girl skated up to me and grabbed my hand. It was like I’d just swallowed a whole cup of hot chocolate or something, without even stopping to breath.
I had no idea what any of this meant, but I remember it to this day and i couldn’t wait for our next meeting to tell everyone else.
THIS, my friends, could be the breakthrough that we’d been looking for. Maybe this France Kissing stuff didn’t involve lips at all…maybe over there it was a hands thing and it sure looked to me like the girls had gotten some advance notice of the do’s and don’ts here.
Since I was the only one in the bunch who’d actually HAD this experience, a vote was held and I was elected President of the “we don’t know nothin’ bout girls” group. That made me the expert on the subject, and I was feelin’ kinda frisky with my newfound prestige.
I decided, right then and there, to once and for all, get to the bottom of this girl thing.
So off I went to the ONE place where I KNEW that I could count on getting good intel from. No, not my Father, from the Montgomery Wards Catalog.
I have to tell you, once I KNEW, for sure, what the deal was, I was so afraid of girls that I couldn’t even look at one. In fact, I think I stopped looking at my sister AND my mother, for nearly a year.
I couldn’t look at the picture exactly, or I’d get in real trouble, so I held my hand over those, and just read the articles. Sort of like I do today with other publications.
But I learned stuff.
These girls weren’t delicate flowers at all…that was just a ruse to get us boys to do things for them. They were, in fact, way more rough and tough than we were.
For instance, I’d known a LOT of guys. We all took showers in Gym class and I darned well would have KNOWN if ANY of them was wearing HOSES. These girls were wearing hoses for crying out loud. This was WAY back before these lightweight hoses were being made, golly, a good 50′ garden hose might weigh 50 pounds or so, and they were wearin one on each leg!!!
Who the heck knew????
Not only that, but they were wearing other stuff under there too. Rubber Girdles, whatever they were, some kind of special cups, all kinds of weird and strange stuff.
I reported this back to the group. You could’ve heard a pin drop as every jaw in the place fell open and blank stares became the official “look” of the club.
One of the guys finally broke the silence and pretty much spoke for each and every one of us.
“I ain’t kissing no girl whut is wearin hoses and rubber stuff, it just ain’t happening!”
We ALL agreed. It was time to take our attention to other things, like cars and boats and such. This whole girl thing seemed like a gigantic waste of time, and how in the world were we EVER gonna look at another one again.
Now we had noticed, that most of the girls liked to sit at the front of the class. We naturally assumed that they did this so they could be noticed by those of us sitting in the back of the room.
Why else would you want to sit up front unless your were deaf or blind and couldn’t hear or see the blackboard?
As a group, we made another pact.
We were gonna get to class early, and steal all their front row seats ourselves, so we wouldn’t have to look at them anymore. That would ruin their entire scary thought process, and if we held our ground, we might even be able to get out the door first at the end of the teachers speeches. Just a mad rush for the door, without having to be careful not to trip over, touch, or otherwise come into any contact with, the now DREADED GIRLS.
It mighta worked too, but it didn’t.
This one girl came in to get her seat. Her name was Nancy and she was a pretty gal but she had one them mouths that made you believe that she’d rather bite you than speak to you. Anyways, Nancy came in and noticed we were all up front and her seat had been taken.
The other girls just went and sat in the back, probably secretly happy because they could study longer or something crazy like that. You know how girls are, right?
But Nancy was a WHOLE other kettle of fish, no pun intended. One of the guys, I forget his name cuz he was a couple years older than the rest of us and got to stay back a couple times since the teacher really liked him or something, had the luck of the draw to be sitting right there in Nancy’s seat.
Well, there came a spittn’ and a sputterin’ the likes of which none of us had ever heard outa no girls mouth ever before. We all looked around at one another in morbid fear only to realize that she was takin’ it out on the older kid, not us.
Seemed fair to us since he’d gotten to stay in the same grade a few times and didn’t even have to study or nothing since he already KNEW the work. He’d had a big advantage on the rest of us, and there were a few that thought this just wasn’t right at all.
Too bad about whatever Nancy was gonna do to the guy, enough is enough.
Well she stood there flailin’ her hands and arms, just letting loose with words so fast that we didn’t even have time to write them all down for future study and conversation, when suddenly, the doggonest thing happened.
I guess she just plain run out of words and mad, because she just grabbed Tommy (yep, I finally remembered his name) right by the scruff of the neck, and laid a big fat sloppy slurpin’ noise kinda kiss, right on his lips.
Well, talk about a pin drop. The only thing we heard was Billy when he farted in the back row. Other than that, just plain SILENCE.
Now Tommy, he turned 36 shades of red, then an awful shade of green, and he up and ran right out of the room. I kid you not.
Now, Nancy started crying for some danged reason and none of us knew what to do about THAT, so we did the only thing we could think of.
We all ran out of the room after Tommy.
You’re probably thinking that we wanted to go comfort the kid, but that wasn’t it at all. We didn’t give a hoot about his comfort, he could stand like the rest of us….we wanted to know what the kissing thing felt like.
“It was TERRIBLE” he said. “She stuck her tongue right in my mouth, almost to my tonsils.”
We were aghast. How could such a thing happen? Sticking your tongue in somebody’s mouth?
Well several things happened later that day, and it’s my sad duty to report them to you before I go.
The truth of the matter is this, we all learned a great deal that day. First, never steal a girls seat because that causes kissing and NOW we knew, this whole France kissing thing was pure bad news.
Second, We all made fun of Tommy for MONTHS. I later discovered that he’d wound up in Prison for beating up some guy for laughing at him, so I guess there’s that.
But what about Nancy….and the REST of the girls? Well, I guess the girls must’ve had a club kinda like ours, because THEY all got together to talk about the whole thing too. The difference seemed to be that Nancy somehow became a hero to THEIR group.
She later became some sort of princess or something in High School and was known far and wide as somebody you didn’t fool with unless you wanted to get kissed.
It’s kinda funny, actually. All these things we learned back then.
Truth is, I still don’t know too much more about girls at all, they’re still a mystery and apparently most of the other guys in the world aren’t getting it either. I read all the time about how they don’t understand women.
Personally, I think it pretty simple. Stay away from Nancy and things will be just fine.