Posts Tagged ‘sex ed’

I Don’t Even Know What to Title This One

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Friday night is usually movie and pizza night for the family, unless T. and I have plans. This week, we were supposed to go out to dinner with friends for my birthday. (44. My God. But that is a post for another day.) Instead, the weather interfered and we stayed home and watched documentaries (Muscle Shoals and History of the Eagles) with our friend Terri. (If you haven’t seen Muscle Shoals, you need to immediately – my third viewing was as great as my first. Parts of it actually give me goosebumps.)

On Saturday, we decided to watch another movie. Tills spent the night out, so we watched with R. He’s 12, so we can watch a little more with him than we can with her. We usually pick movies out and run them by Common Sense Media. (A great site that tells you exactly what subjects are in a movie.)

We didn’t this time, and we probably should have. T. and I had both seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower before, and I read the book. R. had already read The Fault in Our Stars, so he has read some stuff with more mature subject matter. We didn’t remember anything particularly questionable in the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower, except that I did remember it had the subject of child molestation in it. I said, “Well, we can discuss that with him, if he even notices it.” I don’t think he did notice it in the midst of all the other OH GOD I FORGOT ABOUT THIS PART stuff.

Within five minutes, it was going something like this:

[Main character sees his older sister being smacked around by her pony-tailed boyfriend. She begs her little brother to not tell their parents. She says she can handle it.]

Me: “You ever see anything like that, you totally tell your parents, you understand me?”

R: “Okay, mom.” [Rolls eyes.]

[Movie references blowjobs.]

R: “What’s a blowjob?”

Me: “Uh, let’s watch the movie and we’ll explain later. You will probably want dad to explain it.” [I smirk at T.]

[Characters drive through a tunnel and one of them stands up in the back of the moving truck.]

Me: “Do not EVER stand up in the back of a moving truck.”

R: “That is so stupid. Why would they do that. Stupid.”

Me: [Oh my god, thank you for him thinking that is a stupid thing to do.]

[Kid in movie takes three brownies at a party, proceeds to get really, really high.]

Me: “Never take brownies from someone at a party in high school. People put marijuana in brownies sometimes.”

[Later, at another party, kid takes a hit of acid.]

Me: “If someone has a piece of paper at a party, don’t put it on your tongue.”

R. looks at me like I’m off my rocker.

Me: “People put hallucinogenic drugs on pieces of paper. Like LSD.”

Me: [Why the hell are these people letting their freshman kid go off with these seniors all the time?]

Interestingly, R. had a full understanding of and zero questions about the gay characters. The only part that we had to explain was that in the year that this movie was set, it was probably harder to be a gay teen, it was less accepted, and that is why the gay football player hid it from his Dad and schoolmates and why his dad beat him up, and why the kids got in a fight in the cafeteria. I’m taking this one as a win and a pretty awesome thing that he didn’t question much of it and didn’t realize that parents might not accept that a child was gay.

He did at one point ask if Charlie, the main character, was crazy. Charlie does try to kill himself and he ends up institutionalized, but in the end he gets help. We told him to watch, but that some bad things had happened to Charlie (his friend committed suicide – only mentioned in the film, but not shown as part of the story – and his aunt molested him and then died in a car crash and he felt responsible for that). But I think all of that went right over R’s head.

There were also some teens kissing and a little groping, and in true Palmer family tradition, T. and I sang “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” during those parts.

At the end of the movie, I got a little misty, because I actually really like the movie and loved the book. I asked R. what he thought and he said, “It was kind of boring.” Which T. and I laughed about later, because usually if R. really finds something boring, he will get up and walk away. He was tired and it was late, so I told him good night and to let us know tomorrow if he wanted to ask questions about the stuff in the movie.

Today, all four of us met my sister Lisa, nephew Dash, and my mom for lunch. Tiller got a little upset at the restaurant about having to leave for her girl scout meeting before getting her dessert. (My sister eats there at least once a week and we know the manager by name, and he gave the kids free dessert.)  So, Todd left to take Tills to her girl scout meeting, and R. and I rode back with mom, Lisa, and Dash to Lisa’s place. I drove Mom’s car, because I was going to drop them all off at Lisa’s, then go look at records. I said something about T. crying at the dinner table.

Mom: “Well, she is getting hormonal. I expect she’ll start her period before long.”

Me: “What? No.”

Mom: “I started in 5th grade.”

Me: “You did?”

Lisa: “Anne and I were both late. We were 14.”

Me: [sigh]

Dash: “What’s a period?”

Rollie: “Yeah. What’s a period?”

Dash: “You don’t know what a period is?”

Rollie: “Well, I know about the period at the end of a sentence.”

Me: “Rollie, you didn’t learn about periods at Fernbank when you learned about puberty?”

Dash: “What’s puberty?”

Rollie: “No.”

Me: “It’s also called ‘menstruation.’ They didn’t talk about that? You just learned about male puberty? It’s kind of like when you get hair under your arms and on your genitals. Except girls also menstruate.”

Dash: “Oh, that puberty!”

[Mom, Lisa, and I bust out laughing.]

Me: “Rollie, I’ll explain later, okay?”

Rollie: “Okay. You also need to explain what a blowjob is.”

Mom, Lisa, and I exploded in laughter. I was lucky that I was in the parking lot of Lisa’s condo at that point, because I just put on the brakes and cried laughing. And, of course, Mom and Lisa had no idea how the subject of blowjobs even came up in the first place. We tried to pull ourselves together, and I finally told them all to get out of the car.

Mom: “No, Annie, I’d really like to hear you explain this one.”

I turned around in the car and wiped the tears out of my eyes and looked very seriously at Rollie.

Me: “Baby, you know I love you, right?”

Rollie nods at me.

Me: “Please trust me when I say that you do not want me to explain this to you in front of your cousin, aunt, and grandma. Okay? We will talk about it tonight, okay?”

I managed to get everyone out of the car and when I got home, I told Todd he definitely needed to have that discussion with Rollie sooner than later.

I swear, I really don’t know what I’m doing with this parenting thing sometimes, but I always feel that honesty and openness is the best path. That being said, I’m super glad that T. will be explaining this one. Although I kind of wish that I could see video of R’s face when he hears what it is, because that is going to be comedy gold.