I don’t know why but a moment from my past entered my memory recently and it didn’t half make me chuckle. I must have been no more than 11 or 12 years old and this was before the time when sex education was taught mandatory to kids at a young age.
Now before I go any further, I want to clarify something. Young boys can be pretty uninhibited. They say some pretty random things to each other. I was pretty naive and innocent still at that age unlike some other guys in my school who had already started collecting pictures of naked ladies from magazines and newspapers. I remember two guys, Paul and Peter, they used to go around the back of the school and show everyone their porn stashes and be all like “look at them boobies”. Then there were those that were just way ahead of the curve and had explicit stuff. I could never understand what was so cool about seeing a woman’s bits either (sorry ladies!). But I just couldn’t see the fuss. I mean, pubic hair on a woman most of us could manage but anything more graphic just seemed vulgar. At least to me. That being said, this is the same guy who had one of the hottest girls in school, who coincidently was quite friendly with me, ask me if I would like a girlfriend and even though I really fancied her a lot, I said “I don’t think I want a girlfriend until I’m 18 because how else can I go on a proper date with her”. I coolly then followed that up by telling her that I also REALLY wanted to focus on my studies. I was SO cool. But anyway, back to the story.
So I was standing in the school yard queuing up with the rest of my classmates waiting for our teacher to come and take us to the sports field. They used to wait for them and then they’d make us all jog down together. One of the guys I knew there, Brad was one of the more perverse guys in our year and he was chatting to someone about Dani Behr who was somewhat of a heart throb around the time. (This was before she made it big on TV too as she was just a stand in). So he said to this other guy, “Man I had the craziest wet dream” and I was shocked. Not shocked because he was talking about wet dreams but shocked because I thought he had just admitted to wetting the bed. That’s right, I had no CLUE about what he was talking about. And that’s me. I was so innocent. I didn’t even know what a boner was until I was like 14 and that’s only because someone told me I had one and I stupidly asked someone to explain what the hell they were talking about. So….embarrassing…just….so…embarrassing. But you know what? I’m also happy that I was so innocent. I’m happy because childhoods are meant to be sweet and innocent. People grow up too fast sometimes and I think we never realise just how good our childhoods are until we become adults. Sure, we get the freedom and the money but we also get the responsibilities. We also got to hang with our friends at our “place of business”, our working hours were short and we couldn’t get fired, at least as long as we were well behaved. And while there were many hard things about growing up, such as the onset of my depression and OCD and the death of a number of family members, I wish I had made more of it. Because they were more innocent times. The world seemed a brighter place too.