Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Like a virgin

Talking about my teenager's trip to rural France (tomorrow yikes!) a friend from the Irish countryside said
"Well of course in the countryside, all teenagers do is have sex. There is nothing else to do. When I came to London I met people that didn't get round to having sex until they were 21, they were so busy".
That evening I asked my daughter:"Are you going to have sex in France?"
Spluttering her tea she said:"NO!"
"In fact I'm so sick of hearing about sex. That's all they talk about at school. The more they talk about it, the less I want to do it. One girl writes 'I love sex' all over her pencil case and her exercise books. It's pathetic. I know for a fact that she's only had sex once. And she didn't even like it. But she keeps making out like she loves it. To be popular."
It is moments like this that I truly love my daughter and think that I must be doing something right. 
I was at school near Swiss Cottage and we had to walk to Belsize Park to play tennis. There must have been rehearsal studios there because every week we would see men with long hair and guitars unloading their van. One week, a group of us 14 year old schoolgirls were standing around watching them when one of the men stopped unloading. He perused our group and commanded
"Hands up who's a virgin!"
Embarrassed, our hands remained firmly next to our sides except for an orthodox Jewish girl, Esther, who wore thick round glasses and had her hair in pigtails. She was the only one who didn't hitch her school skirt up to look like a mini-skirt. She said daily prayers over her packed lunch. 
Esther proudly put up her hand with the enthusiasm of a pupil knowing the answer to a teacher's question.
The group of long-haired men laughed.
A few weeks later I recognized the same men on the TV, they were a band called Thin Lizzy


  1. Dear Ms ML,

    Great post. You are doing it right with your teenager.

    See you soon,

    AHIH xxx

  2. This is why it is so important for our kids to communicate with us so that they can have some perspective to compare with their peers where it is all about the pressure and looking good in everyone's eyes. Thanks!!

  3. The more I hear about your daughter, the more it's clear what a cool mum you are. But wow, this post brings back so many memories: the fear, confusion, fascination with the unknown...and the fascination with men in rock bands, wearing tight pants. I was such a geek I think I'd have put my hand up, though. It wasn't until I saw Alice Cooper on Top of the Pops that I allowed my inner slut to take over...

  4. My eldest daughter is 13, it's a difficult age. I was 13 the first time I went to a pub on my own and got drunk. It was before a West Ham Vs Man City game in 1976 and I'd tagged along with a bunch of visiting city fans. Whenever I get frustrated with her, I try and think of what I was up to then. I was 14 when I got into punk rock and started spending all my paper round money going to gigs.

    It scares the shit out of me now to think she'll be that age in a year. Still I guess I'm still here .....

  5. Well, Rog, read my next story to make your hair stand on end...

  6. What a bunch of twats! Thin Lizzy I mean. I hate adults who embarrass kids with their superior knowledge of sex.

    Good for Esther.


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