Growing up is never easy, especially when you look around and know you are and really don’t want to. This is just another drop in the bucket, another story about “becoming a woman.” It seems so insipid to use that term, but it apt.
I developed earlier than all of my friends. It sucked. It also meant I came to term and more comfortable with my body before all of my friends. I was the girl who got asked questions by everybody that hadn’t experienced it yet. I had just turned 11 when I got my period, I knew what it was, but that didn’t make the thing any less terrifying. Too late my parents realized the link between the hormones in the food we were eating and why their ten year old was getting breasts. More than anything this, “becoming a women” business was annoying. My parents split when I was 4 and my mom was out of town working. My Dad was remarkably chill about the whole thing and my Stepmom really stepped up to the plate as it were. The whole experience while terrible, I lived through it.
My menstruations were so bad when I first got them I would have to change my max pad every couple hours and sleep with a towel over my sheets in case I over flowed in my sleep. I was a swimmer too so I had no choice but to start using tampons immediately. I didn’t really think about it until some of my peers starting telling me wild stories about tampons. Some of which were completely bizarre. I think the strangest ones I heard was how one girl was told a tampon would no longer my her a christian. Trying to dissuade some them for this asinine thinking was rather interesting. Eventually that novelty wore off and everybody else got to get the great experience.
To say I was precocious teenage might be an understatement. Many of my parent’s friends would say things like, “yeah, 15 going on 40.” When I did finally venture into having sex it wasn’t because I found somebody who I loved that I wanted to share it with, I just wanted to know. That it. I didn’t find it all the great, it was simply something I wanted to experience. Why was it such a big deal? Why were people always talking about it? It was a science experiment to me.
I had promised my parent’s I would tell them when I started to have sex and I did. It’s still really embarrassing to think about. They reacted in the opposite manner I thought that would. I had become pretty good at gauging my parent’s reacting growing up and watching my siblings shenanigans. My Dad was long the lines of: okay, where you safe? Are you going to do it again any time soon? (I should be stated here that I had been on birth control since I was 13 due to a hormone imbalance; however; I still used a condom.)My Mom, flipped her lid. Apparently she had had some pretty terrible experiences with my sister that I was unaware of.
Here is something strange about virginity to me. Nobody ever told me it was something special that I should hold onto. No ever said it had value of any kind. I had heard some tripe about who it was a lovely flower from some religious people, but why would I believe them? (At this point in my life I felt like they had lied to me about too much already.) So why was it so surprising that I didn’t think twice about loosing it? I knew it would be uncomfortable to loose, there would be blood. That was okay it. Really it wasn’t so bad, I remember hearing and feeling a little pop at the same time and a little blood, but not the gushing fountain described by Sylvia Plath.
I might of followed the more normal channels if had actually been a dating person. I didn’t really see the point in dating really. I had tried to have a couple boyfriend, but it always seemed stupid to me. Were we ever actually dating? No not really. I had boys I liked, boys I would kiss, but none of them ever actually asked me out. My very first kiss I was 3, I don’t remember it, but another family story. A little boy about 5 comes up to me shoves his gum in my mouth and says, “KISS ME!” Then pushed me down on the ground and and kissed me. Mother all over the playground freaked out. The first kiss I remember was by another such asshole I don’t like to think about. He tried to take it way too far considering I was 10, a horrible story for another time. For now let us begin the…
#1. Does He Count? Had math class together in middle school. Was asked out by him by a mutual friend. He wouldn’t give me his home number, wouldn’t eat lunch with me and we never did anything together outside of school. Lasted two week, we never kissed. I ended it because it was stupid to me, in my mind we were never actually dated. Thus began the school roomers that I must be a lesbian that lasted all the way into high school.
#2. Summer boyfriend. My best friend lived in San Diego and I spent most of the summer with her. She set me up with him, she knew him from the neighborhood. He was nice, cute and older. How much older? 16 to my 12. I had fun. I enjoyed it, kissing. First feeling of an ejection against me, I thought it was flattering. He never pressured me which was nice. Lasted 2 months, I did not, nor to I now believe in long distance relationships. Summer ended and so did it, c’est la vie.
#3. Friend Ex. This begins and kind of disturbing trend for me, I am not good at meeting people. So what end up happening? My friends meet people and I meet people through my friends. My friend had lived down the street from him and said he was nice and that he thought I was cool. He was nice, a stoner, we went out on a couple dates. Messed around, lasted three months. For two of which I did not see him. My thought? Do I really have a boyfriend if I never see him? No.
And that was it for a long, long time.
Again, I kissed boys, I hung out with boys, they never asked me out and I never asked anybody else out. It seemed simpler that way and nobody really kept my interest.
Can I emphasize now that I am not a role model?
So at 15, a friend of mine said there was a boy who wanted to have sex with me and her. My thoughts? I always hear people talking about sex, making it a big deal. What is the distinction between lust and love? Can you have sex with without any kind of love?
I discover yes, you can have sex without love. Later I learned, for me, sex is so much better when you’re invested and if not love, actively like the person. Also I later realized she was not a good friend.
I did it. It was over. I didn’t feel like I had to do it again any time soon.
Then I met:
#4. The Older Man. It’s a trope, I know it. I never said I lived my life without clichés. I was on a trip with my youth group, (Of the UU variety), he was there, I was there. I really didn’t even think to think of him as an older man. He was 21 to my 16.
I am going to digress more than I already have here for a moment. Why do girls date older men? Because they ask and you feel flattered to be noticed. You feel more mature and worldly. In other words, you feel special. What you don’t realized until later? Why is an older man actively seeking a younger woman? Because his peers realize there is something wrong there and without experienced eye, you miss it. The term arrested development definitely applies.
So how did it end with the Older Man? In a cluster fuck. Parents didn’t like it, but dealt with me. My siblings found him creepy and I finalize realized he didn’t respect me and he was not a healthy or well-rounded person. It was borderline stalking for a while.
When it final ended, I felt broken. We had had sex and it was terrible (the sex and the situation) and of course my Mother found out, which it one of the many ways and reasons it ended in a fireball. We made promises, he did not keep them, I was done. The whole experience is what soap operas were made of.
I got over it, mostly, there are still many metaphoric scars.
Then like the idiot teenager I was:
#5. Stolen boyfriend. It wasn’t intentional, we just clicked. He was friends with all of my friend, he was having a shitty time a home, I was getting over my shitty time with the Older Man. He and my girlfriend had both been there and seen some of that drama. I though they were causal, I actually though there were breaking up. Then I realized after three months with him that I was just lonely and he was my first rebound boy. When I ended it after this realization, he didn’t speak to me for a long time. The girlfriend and I stayed friends. She comes back later.
Again I realized I was more than a little broken and I should be alone. How many 16 year-olds can say that? I didn’t want to date. I had one boy try and have me be his girlfriend. I told him flatly, “No we just made out, that doesn’t make me your girlfriend.” He ended up dating somebody else within a week, (found out years later he was still mad about that.)
#6. Open Boy-toy. Remember that guy who took my virginity? Well, why not try again? I was 17 and it seemed earlier to tell my parents that we were dating then really what it was, watching movies and have sex. We did evolve into a couple over the three years we ended up hanging out together. He ended up influencing my life a lot. He was a great guy, my only ex that I am still friend with. The whole relationship was based on one thing though, it was open. His sex drive was higher than mine. When I realized it was more like a relationship, (because we hung out all the time), I laid out the ground rules:
- No STD or pregnancies.
- You always tell me before hand and get my okay.
- You never sleep in their bed or let them see in ours.
Open relationships are not of everybody. You can’t get jealous about who your partner is sleep with and you have to trust them. I never really took advantage of our open relationship because I had come to realize at this time that I don’t enjoy myself unless I become emotionally invested in the person. And if I had become more emotionally invested in Boy-toy I would of ended up ending it. I also did a couple times. It did end when we moved in together, he skipped his half of the rent and then broke the rules number 2 and 3. I agonized over it for two months before I actually ended it. Breakups are never good, this one was about pare.
After Boy-toy I didn’t really want anything. The whole rule of it takes half the time you were in the relationship to get over it, was about right. I didn’t even look at a boy for about a year. Then took another six months for me to realize, no I was just horny. There is where a line of men becomes a bit fuzzy. I was working my way through school with a shitty job and slightly depressed. I slept around a little. I still had some standards. I was completely paranoid about STD’s so that helped a lot. I almost dated a couple. I tried OKCupid. I was weird, met some people. 19-21 is a weird time.
My friends saw I was becoming increasing depressed. Then my girlfriend, you know the one from #5? Yeah her, she meet somebody. He was the bees knees. He introduction to our friend was, “He is awesome.” What do you do when your best friend is very depressed? Well my friend thought, bring her on my dates with my new boyfriend! After they had been going out of a while she tells me she’s thinking about ending it. I was really starting to like him at this point. I had to prove to myself that no I wasn’t selfish and let her end it. She is awesome and he is awesome so awesome couple should stay awesome! I kept them together for four whole months longer than they should of. They did end up breaking out.
Two week later after my friend says me and He is Awesome should date.
#7. We go on a date. It was awesome. Of course there is backlash. My girlfriend is very upset, I tell her I could only take her for her word. Well we all end up getting over it, she and I are still very good friends.
After me and Awesome moved to Texas and being together for three years, Awesome became my husband. I was gitty, I know I am over using the word, but it was awesome. My girlfriend was maid of honor, it only seemed right.
Of course I was also the kind of girl who said she would never get married. When I announced in 2012 I was getting married, Boy-toy reaction was, “THE MAYAN’S WERE RIGHT! THE END IS COMING!” Love that boy.
It’s been almost two years now since we’ve been married. I never really understood why everybody told me it was so different. I had been very nervous about getting married. I had done research, culture traditions, asked all the females in my family for advice. I didn’t even start to think about the planning bit until I had thought about what it meant to be married. It’s amazing all the things you have to think of for a wedding, all things I had never thought about in my life. Really though, being married doesn’t seem any different than when we were dating. Awesome moved in with me after we were together for about 8 months because of a terrible roommate situation.
I have been very lucky in my life so far. I am not here to brag, I am not here to preach, I just felt like I needed to put this into words and send it out into the world. Maybe it will find somebody who needs these words.