When I was a kid, my mother was so uptight about anything having to do with sex that once, when scrounging through her purse looking for gum, I came across a wrapped tampon in her purse. When I asked her what it was, she said, “Leave that alone—it’s for my feet.”
About a year later, when my cousin, Alice, confided in me that she thought she was having her first period, I hesitantly approached my mother, and said, “I know you’re not comfortable with the subject, but I think Alice needs to see a podiatrist.”
Later that afternoon, I found myself in the Dr. Scholl’s section of the supermarket, helping Alice look for anything that would absorb. Or at least make her taller.
That same year, being the audiovisual geek of the seventh grade, I managed to smuggle out of school a copy of “The Film.”
You remember “The Film.” It’s the one that only the girls were allowed to see, and was apparently a darn good excuse for missing math class.
That Saturday afternoon, with my parents safely away shopping, there was a private screening of “The Film” for my brothers and our friends in our basement.
Frankly, I was quite disappointed. “The Film” was a Walt Disney Production, and all I remember is a series of colorful, animated butterflies flitting around from flower to flower. I learned nothing about female sexuality. At the time, though, I was very confused. Just what did Walt Disney have to do with “becoming a woman?”
In case you were wondering, this sudden flood of adolescent memories occurred to me just this morning at Target. I witnessed a young girl pulling a tampon from a box in her mother’s shopping cart.
“What’s this?” the girl queried.
Her obviously flustered grandmother took the tampon, turned it, examined it at various angles, and even held it up to the light.
“I don’t know, honey”, she said, “but it looks like something you might use on your feet.”
Well, why should this generation be raised any differently than we were?
Tacky column. Period. But consider the source.
Bye for now.