Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Case of the Me Toos

In our elementary school, sex education became a part of the curriculum in fifth grade. We learned about our changing bodies, about the beauty of a woman's menstrual cycle and about something I never fully comprehended but had read about once in a Judy Blume-type book -- a wet dream. Lots of natural processes and changes were going to happen (or were happening) to us, our teacher promised, processes that would not actually happen to me until many years later.

The girls in the class viewed the impending changes as an exciting event, one that should be highly anticipated and discussed on end. Over the next few weeks after sex ed, each girl watched the others for signs that indicated their womanhood was upon them. No one wanted to be the last to mature, the one left out of the new group forming of those who had blossomed. It was almost as if we expected that puberty would transform us from ten year old caterpillars to beautiful majestic Monarchs. We were all on the verge of flight, and soon it became all we could talk about.

During recess and lunch, we discussed the topic of training bras: who had gotten their first training bra, who wore real bras, what color bras we had. Jenny was a grade up than the rest of us and she wore a real bra, a real bra that was not purchased in the kids section of Macy's. The rest of us wanted to wear real bras too, but for most of us, and especially for me, there was no real reason besides vanity to wear such garments. It didn't matter that I didn't need one, wearing one was the ticket that got you into the cool kids circle and that allowed you to credibly weigh in on other recess matters. It was one of my earliest memories of having a case of the "me too's," wanting something purely because everyone else wanted/had it and I needed to want/have it too.

This week I felt an inkling of something familiar before I realized that it was another case of the me toos. Lately it seems as though everyone and anyone who I went to school with, or even everyone who ever went to school period, is getting engaged and married. And it must be because of this, because of this new forming cool kids club, that all of a sudden I wonder when I am going to get engaged. At worst, my mom has figured out how to project her thoughts into my brain, cleverly disguising them as my own. But then, of course, I realize that that is not the real me thinking these thoughts. After all, even though I don't want anything lavish, the idea of a wedding just isn't real to me yet, not until we can think about how we are going to work our monthly budget out so that one day, and many pennies later, we can get Mariah Carey to sing at our reception.

21 comments:

Jennifer said...

That reminds me of that children's book "Me Too" by Mercer Mayer... but in a more adult sense, of course.
I remember my first bra and my first pair of underwear that didn't come in a package of three. I was so proud.

Rachel said...

I don't know what to say to this post other than, "Me too."

The Bug said...

By the time we had our little talk in the 5th grade I had already passed that threshhold. It was the first and only time in my school life that I was a cool kid. Of course we didn't know it at the time, but who in the world would want to start that early? Think of it - I'm 45 now - how many months is that? Shudder!

I think that having Mariah sign would be cool, but just don't let her talk...

michael said...

Interesting from a guys point of view, most guys I know never went through any of this. There was never a me to to get your first jock strap! Guys don't seem to compete this way, sure you wanted to be taller but not too tall, stronger, faster etc. But it was not something we dwelled on. I remember those 5th grade sex ed classes, part of the drug prevention classes too at my school. If the girls were talking about becoming a women us guys were back onto kick-ball or some other game. It just was not that important to us. But then most guys have no idea when they became a man or if they did at all! ;-) Being cool never had anything to do with what was between our legs, and certainly not something we would have talked about.

Perhaps just me as I never felt a need to compare my size to other guys in the locker room nor was I ever curious about them. On the other hand I could never get enough information about the girls and that still holds true today. Girls have always been the most fascinating of topics so while you were focused on you, we were too. Not on ourselves so much.

2busy said...

It'll happen...

Sobrina Tung said...

Ah yes! The underwear in the package of 3! hehe

The Bug, kids can be so silly, can't they? And LOL about Mariah. I've never really seen her in an interview... that bad?

Michael, I always had a sneaking suspicion the boys just didn't care. Glad to know maybe some of the boys I chased around on the playground maybe liked it...

MunkyBt said...

Holy crap! Me too! ~snicker~ Wet dreams... Sooo confusing. I honestly didn't know what the deal was until I started dating my hubby, and he had to explain it to me.

I remember they showed us (boys & girls together) this weird beta max video with a collection of scenes that were supposed to represent the different changes we were going to go through. The wet dream scene showed this boy who looked about 13 (but was wearing a cowboy pajama set for some reason). He tried sneaking out of his room with his entire bedding set (did he really need the pillow cases?) wadded up in his arms, but was caught by his older brother (who 1.apparently just got home from a date, for which he obviously had no curfew, and 2.bore a very strong resemblance to one of the New Kids on the Block). Donny (or whatever Big Brother's name was) asked Lil Bro what he's doing & Lil Bro looked like he was going to cry. Donny then noticed the bedding and got this very knowing look on his face, put his arm around Lil Bro and said something to the effect of "Don't worry. You just had a wet dream. (He gives a big sparkly Colgate smile at this point.)It's a very natural thing that just happened." "You mean I'm not dying?", says Lil Bro. "Ha Ha. No, that happens to every guy when they reach a certain age. It's all just a part of growing up. Come on. I'll show you where Mom keeps the laundry detergent, and where dad keeps his old magazines..."

Okay, so maybe I fibbed about that last line, but the rest was true. I remember being extremely confused because nobody ever explained what a wet dream was. Honestly, I thought part of growing up meant that boys would pee the bed more. Whenever I asked an adult what a wet dream was, they'd always answer "oh, it's just something boys go through. Go watch cartoons."

Sobrina Tung said...

HAHAHHA so funny! Great story :)

SingleDatingMommy said...

Me Three...

Denise said...

Stay strong! Getting married was one of the most stressful things I've ever done! There's no need to rush, I swear! Just be thankful you have a love in your life...even if he likes wearing skinny cords :)

Cham said...

Getting married was one of the best things I've ever done in my life (if not the only best thing!) - but I did it before it was cool for me to do it. I got married at 18 - jumped the gun so to speak - everyone thought I was preggers. No wailing pooping offspring here (2 years later)!

I got married on my own time. Only a few of my friends are married even at this point. It's all in your own personal timing. There's nothing "me too" about it. When the time is right, you guys will know it.

<3

(Now if only a certain someone would happen to read his beloved's blog...)

Boom Boom said...

Such a great way to tell this story and how you're feeling. What you are feeling is not unusual and a lot of us women understand. I've been living in Los Angeles for six years now and I am on such a different playing field from my good friends from high school/college. I was in two weddings in two months! I've lost track of all the children that I send gifts to now. And now that I'm past 30, the feeling comes on at whim, when I least expect it. But I promise there are moments when you think, thank goodness. Not there yet. And there are moments when you realize life is taking you where you're meant to be. I'm a big fan of yours and a big fan of you and Alan's strength. You've gone through something that very few could understand. Take your blessings and embrace the life you are building...for yourself and with him. All good things come in due time. P.S. Next time you feel this way, swing by and we'll throw a pity party/tantrum together:)

Thai said...

You should get her soon. I heard her sing live on TV recently and homegirl's losing it.

PoMo said...

my friends seem to be dropping like flies as of late too. every time i call and whine to my mother about another one who's taken 'the death sentence', she always says, 'well...would YOU want to be married to him?' and i have to stop and think about it for a minute, because really i wouldn't want to be and she's absolutely right.

and then i remember how happy i am to be unscathed by marriage...for now...

Sobrina Tung said...

Boom Boom -- All right! I'm always looking for someone to have a pity party with!

PoMo, I can totally see a mom saying something like that. LOL

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