Tonight, while chatting with a gg female friend, I said something about being jealous and bummed out when all the girls in my 5th grade class were taken away for a super secret meeting. I was left behind with the boys. Talk about depressing. That led us into a conversation about health class. Apparently everyone in high school takes a health class. Who knew?
She told me that the hush hush meeting in the 5th grade was to explain that your body is changing. And here is what you should expect. She said the boys in her school had the same talk. That didn’t happen in my school. But, that might be because she went to a Catholic school in North Dakota. While I attended a public school in Southern California. I remember asking several girls in my class during recess for the next week what they talked about in their super secret meeting. I felt left out. And I was more than a little depressed when they wouldn’t tell me.
I knew that I probably should have taken a health class in high school. But, I didn’t. And I still managed to graduate. It was supposedly mandatory. But, somehow, I managed to avoid it. The way it was structured, you took one semester of driver’s ed. and the next semester was health. I took the driver’s ed. But, missed the second semester of health. I have this very fuzzy memory of it being classified as an elective. And since I had so much swimming time used to cover my P.E. requirement, they used my excess time in the pool to cover it. But, I’m not sure if that’s right. All I know is that I didn’t take health class. My friend told me it covered STD’s and symptoms. I always suspected they talked about STD’s and condoms and such. But, she also said they talked about symptoms. I hadn’t even thought about symptoms. Well, good thing for the internet. If I ever have sex again, I’ll just look stuff up. She didn’t go into detail about things. She’s my age. So, what she was taught has long sincenbeen forgotten. But, I did find myself googling things while we were talking.
All this talk about sex education has me remembering an embarrassing conversation when I was 18. My then girlfriend and her family moved away to the desert when she graduated. We tried to keep it together for a little while. And they allowed me to come visit on weekends. I think I slept on the couch a couple of weekends. Anyways, one weekend, they swung through our valley after getting groceries at the air force commissary. On the way to their house, the conversation came to a bit of a lull. My eye caught something in one of the grocery bags. I asked “what’s a tampon?”. *crickets* Yeah. I know now. But, back then, I wasn’t even sure where babies came from. After shocked looks from her mom, her sister and my girlfriend, I was politely told that I should talk with my mom about that. I didn’t know what I had asked. But, I felt completely in the dark the rest of the weekend. It was like they were keeping something from me. It was incredibly frustrating and depressing.
I don’t remember if I asked my mom. I don’t think I would have. She didn’t have “the talk” with me. My step-dad didn’t. My own father didn’t. I think my mom and I spoke about that a couple of years ago. I think she told me she wasn’t’ really comfortable talking to her son about it. She figured I already knew from guy friends and was taught it in school anyway.