I felt it; I knew it, I breathe it all the time; I have been feeling it for years. I knew there was something wrong. "They're too sophisticated" the thoughts would run through my head, "they wear so much makeup, they know so much; they know too much," I would muse, doubting myself even as I flicked the thoughts away, just as a horse overrun by flies shoos them with her tail.
I thought I was being perhaps a bit ridiculous having not had a "swinging sex party" kind of life in my twenties and a very tame, modest sort of sexual existence. "How could these young girls know about stuff I just learned about in my thirties? Am I THAT naive?" I watched my students, mostly ninth graders, discuss and chat about the most lewd and taboo topics as though they were discussing reruns of Dora the Explorer. Their MySpace and FaceBook pages were webcam and photo friendly - and what they posted of themselves and their friends - oh my.... and what they purportedly had done, wanted to do, planned together without shame to do; oh, dear, oh, dear... No, I have never seen the movie 'Kids' but I work with them, day in and day out, and it is enough to send color to my cheeks, if not tears to my eyes, on an hourly basis.
As I drifted off into a stone-cold slumber last night, Bill Mahr chatted and strutted in his HBO kingdom with his shiny erudite guests. I was done with the analytical part of my brain for the day and, suffice it say, was quickly descending into the nether portions of my consciousness. Suddenly, however, I was fully, frighteningly awake. "We are now number one in teenage pregnancy." I heard Bill saying... HOW CAN THIS BE? As a forty-year-old woman I am old enough to remember the prevalence of teenage pregnancy back in the early 1990's but knew this issue had been largely addressed and the number drastically reduced.
I woke in the morning, frantic to dissect and analyze once more, quickly looking up statistics to see if this were actually true. It is.