Boys, Boys, Boys

This is going to be harder than I thought. I’ve only just begun transcribing my first journal (actually, it was a diary–indicated by the “Dear Diary” at the beginning of each entry), and already I’m growing weary of my 12-year-old self. It’s less than a month into the school year and I’ve already focused like a laser on getting a boyfriend. Seventh grade is when “it” all started to happen: going together (the 1970s equivalent of “going steady”), French kissing, spin-the-bottle, and a sordid variety of prepubescent foreplay that is nothing short of embarrassing to read. We certainly thought we were hot stuff, and we flaunted it and encouraged each other to keep going.

Seventh grade was also when I discovered the word “fuck.” My, how I delighted in using that word! A neatly-folded note was tucked between the pages of the diary, a missive from my friend Joanne that simply listed words and phrases we liked to say or that held some deeper meaning for us. One of the phrases was, of course, “F U C K off!” written just that way, as though the blanks had been there like in a game of hangman and we had to guess what would fit. Such delight we took in that word! Seventh grade was the dawn of my incredible potty mouth, much to my mother’s chagrin, and it wasn’t until I had a child of my own that I made any effort to clean up my act.

I wonder what my mother thought at the time, or whether she had any idea about the kind of mischief I was getting myself into with my friends. Have I ever told her? By today’s standards, our activities were probably pretty mild, but still–if Helen comes even close to the kind of boy preoccupation I manifested, I will be in big trouble as a parent…

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