Vintage Dating Advice for Tweens & Teens: Pet Your Dog, Not Your Date
I am about to let you all in on a big secret. I hope you’re sitting down, especially if you’re my mom. Your image of me is about to be changed forever.
I am a primary custodian of a child that I am genetically tied to. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, because she lacks my stunning jowls and facial birthmarks, but she is indeed mine. We are cosmically linked through DNA.
How did this baby come to be? What did I have to do to get her?
Your skills in deduction are as sharp as you think you are. Congratulations on a college degree well-earned!
It’s true: I have the stork on speed dial. I called him and then nine months later a baby was dropped on my house. It was a warm day. There was a lot of blood and poop, but I can’t recall where exactly it originated because I was too busy looking at the giant bird standing in my living room with a human infant.
Were it not for the time I spent in sex education in middle school, I would never have known to expect my sweet babe on my roof that one evening. I owe a lot to the classes I took from sixth through eighth grade in public school, for without them, how could I have known that my period is just the world’s way of ridding itself of all the excess chocolate it has laying around?
I thought today I would share with you a few of the morsels of knowledge that I gained as an eleven-year-old in sex ed. My hope is that when/if you find a baby dropped on your house, you will know where it came from.
(The angels. It came from the angels. Glenda the Good Witch and Mickey Mouse probably had hands in it, too.)
1. Wear deodorant.
As a sixth grader ambling nervously into my school’s annex room with all the other girls in my class, I was excited to learn about the inner workings of my body and why the male spokesmodels on Star Search made me feel a little squishy inside. Instead, I received many trial-size samples of deodorant. I was as shocked as you are to learn that as you grow, you get smellier. And while you’d think that smelling like cheese would be a great thing, it’s actually kind of not. Be sure to apply Teen Spirit liberally to your underarms. It’s been celebrity endorsed by Nirvana.
2. Your period is a beautiful thing.
Periods get such a bad rap, but I am here to set their reputation straight. In sixth grade, I learned from the school nurse that a day would come when blood would gush out of my mystical lady box. This would happen once a month, and I might feel the slightest bit tired or cranky. On reaaaaaaally bad days, I might even feel the need to eat one handful of salty pretzels. Life’s tough when Aunt Flo comes around.
But you can have fun with your periods, too! I soon learned outside the classroom that your cycles may start to sync up with your pre-menopausal history teacher’s and that she’d mention it in a moment of extreme indiscretion! They are also great for when you want to get out of an undesirable babysitting job that your mom made you take.
3. Pet your dog, not your date.
In seventh grade, I learned in sex ed that when you feel an overwhelming surge of romantic tension towards the boy who is your lab partner, you should remember that hormones are your worst enemy and that they make you into a crazy sex fiend. To drive this point home, the class’s sex ed workbooks had an exercise where students were invited to make pretend bumper stickers with clever sayings, such as “Pet your dog, not your date.”
Please let that sink in a minute.
I’m not sure, but it seems like you should ask your family pet first if your advances are welcome.
4. Alternative music will probably get you pregnant.
In eighth grade, the sex ed classes at my school were coed and pawned off on the student teachers. I guess this was because they were always pretty young and more in touch with the youth. It’s always fun learning about Fallopian tubes and sex from someone who is probably having more of it than your regular science teacher, who looked like a female version of Larry King.
One time, one of the student teachers lead the group in a conversation of the things we see around us that made us think about sex. Being thirteen years old, there was very little in the world that didn’t make us hot, so it was a pretty long discussion. But the bulk of it was talking about Green Day’s song “Longview” and Nine Inch Nails’ song “Closer.” In 1996, Billy Joe Armstrong and Trent Reznor were the fuel that powered the preteen libido, which is kind of amazing because neither of them looked like they were big fans of bathing. But I guess they’re better than Bieber? I don’t even know.
The whole point of the discussion was to root up all the things that could possibly make us deviate from the straight and narrow, but being opportunistic, we took lots of notes and then tested our classmates’ hotness triggers in our spare time AKA the instant class let out.
What do you remember about sex ed?
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