I’m not sure if anyone else can relate to this but school had a way of tangling my brain like a kitten in a yarn shop, especially regarding sex and the opposite sex. My example has less to do with the how and more to do with why.
In history class, the teacher said that tribes broke into warfare to protect the women and children. Basically, war was about courtship, security and sex? Saints preserve us!! Guess that explained the Sunday night movies where adults kissed and suddenly there was a family to protect. Okay... but why?
During English class the teacher said most poetry was part of the oral tradition used to lure unsuspecting virgins into bed. Naughty boys like Chaucer and Shakespeare, committed some of those stories to writing and the tales are full of corset-busting sexy scenes but the only thing my inquisitive, adolescent mind wanted to know was why? (We studied homophones too—which made sense--Why and Y?)
In biology class, the teacher told us that the factors determining whether a person becomes a boy or a girl depended on the XX or XY chromosomes. The double XX for girls held the attention of the boys in the class but something told me I was being hornswoggled, because there was nothing sexy in his discussion about conception and zygotes. In fact, if it related to sex, the teacher made it sound gross.
Algebra!!! Where do I start? Especially, when they asked about X+ Y. The previous class they had taught us that Y is a male chromosome and here they were asking what happens when Y is missing from the equation. Didn't the teachers talk in the lounge? Why did they expect innocent students to tell the math teachers the dirty truth! Why was the Y missing anyway? More importantly, why would anyone care?
I took my homework home and asked my dad about it. He was an engineer and was willing to help. He sat me down and began somewhere after the Stone Age. There was the wheel and then some pulleys, gears and finally ball bearings. He told me ball bearings worked a lot like my joints. I yawned and yawned and after four hours, my math homework was still blank. He told me to go brush my teeth and said I was adorable before saying goodnight.
I had one more question. “Dad, is the missing Y a boy?” “A boy?” He asked, looking surprised. He smiled and searched the room for my mother’s eyes. “I think she’s ready for the talk,” he said, sounding serious. Mom laughed and told him she wasn't up to it and asked him why he thought it was time?
That night as I slipped into my pajamas I thought about what he meant by ‘the talk’—and in my heart I mistakenly knew-- I knew it had to do with sex, chromosomes, wars, poetry and lots of kissing. Which proved my inconclusive theory that Y stood for various boys and as a member of the X crowd, I would always be asking why!
How about you--does any of this sound familiar?