RDM and I have this ritual-we’d sometimes sit and discuss the most embarrassing things we have done/said/believed in and try to see who gets freaked out by the other’s confession first. Some of the stories are plain people-repellent; the sheer magnitude of
depravity, stupidity is incredible and disturbing in many levels and I won’t try to gross you out describing how bad they are. (Don’t judge. RDM is a normal god-fearing happy-go-lucky geek-turned-cool dude type-turned occasionally geeky guy and at first glance, there’s simply nothing to suggest that there is something wrong with yours truly.) But we do take this game very seriously. So when he says that when he was a kid he used to wear mascara and pink jeans and guffaws like this is the joke of the century, I come up with a “When I was a kid, I used to think you have to tie condoms around your waist when you’re having sex.”.
Flashback. I used to be a precocious prudish dumb kid. At the ripe old age of thirteen I had fallen in love with a guy who I thought resembled Akshay Kumar( yes now, you’re allowed to judge. Or plain stop reading to save me from cringing in embarrassment at the mere thought of someone being privy to secrets of my shameful past *what drama*). For me, love was all about running in the slo-mo towards each other; what’d people do after they meet I had no freaking clue about. (sort of like the Joker comparing himself to a dog running behind a car…in a really really snigger-inducing eyebrow-archingly uncool way). I thought kissing on cheeks led to babies. Holding hands in public was looked upon as a moral crime. After marriage, people would kiss each other’s necks and thus make babies. I used to have a very one-track mind back then. Study your ass off, stuff your face, read books, go to sleep on time, wear ugly oversized shapeless clothes and be a ‘good’ girl, whatever philosophy defines ‘good’.
Like all normal people with their normal quota of raging hormones but trying to suppress them because ‘good boys and girls don’t do bad things’, I used to indulge in some harmless boy-watching in school, discuss boys with the best friend AD, stand in the corridors like the poster girl of loserdom for one glimpse of that senior who had helped me answer GK questions in an exam and had a cute dimple that reminded me of Shah Rukh Khan. (Leave NOW I say :-|)
Sex was an entirely different planet altogether. Peno-vaginal intercourse was a concept I came to be aware of very late, like really late but more on that later; I feel mortified now. A very volatile proximity between hormones and almost puritanical denial of them was what my adolescence had been all about. And of course, if you’re the only girl in a family with equal number of older and younger brothers, the latter will always pretend throughout their childhood/adolescence that you didn’t exist and will only find you useful when they need a human punching bag( who kicked right back. yes. I think half my childhood and most of my parents’/grandparents’/uncles’/aunts’ patience went in breaking up our fights, bloody, loud and laden with abuses like ‘shuor’, (meaning pig/pig-faced, cuss words for 10 year olds). Only from snatches of secretly whispered conversation could I gather little nuggets of wisdom and information that shaped my entire (albeit meager) fund pre-adulthood sexual knowledge.
Like I had an idea that condoms were useful during sex but the way my red-in-the-face, tight-arsed, why-doesn’t-my-little-sister-play-with-dolls-anymore thinking elder brother explained to me, I came to think of it as a tablet. (In my defense, I was really small). When, much later, I had looked it up in the dictionary ( while younger brother kept close watch lest some nuisance in the form of a parent would come along…yes we were that …what’d do you call it?…weird? juvenile? ), I thought it said something about ‘rubber’ and promptly reached the conclusion that it was a belt to tie around the waist. (I am not a disgusting person. I am somewhat quick to draw conclusions. And I am perceptive like that only.) After this, the brother plain gave up on explaining.
Then there had been days when my much wiser, more knowledgeable self was asked by an enthusiastic pre-teen, questions like ‘what is a condom?’ “have you ever seen a condom?”; all of it had been going on in a roomful of ‘good girls don’t mix with boys’ thinking parents with my own set in an earshot. So I explained with prissy elder sisterly disapproval that a> these are adult things; you will understand when you grow up b> I don’t know (which my brother followed up with a ‘big surprise there’) c> helpless, Alan-sque expression. If you are lucky the kid will get bored and find better ways of extracting answers; if you are blessed with the luck of yours truly, he will keep pressing you for answers as the parents stare at you-days that I put down as plain bad karma. And you have to come up with really smart ways of bypassing the little tyke (no ‘I have to go to the loo‘ doesn’t work. ask me) or you have to field questions from an angry set of parents who will think that their biggest fear has come true-you are sexually active or in their words “my son/daughter has turned bad now..waaaaa!”
Cut to scene 1-weird conversation ended with RDM being unable to bring himself to look me in the eye while yours truly was trying to figure out whether she should feel jubilant for freaking him out first or plain moronic. Being the uncomplicated soul that she is, she settled for jubilant.
Big surprise there.