At one time in our lives, our parents called us to their side, and even though they assured us we were not in trouble, we saw they were visibly nervous. It could not possibly be good news. Then they clear their throat and begin to begin. The talk – the only talk that mattered. The mighty sex talk about sex, and of course the dirty, dirty things sex led to.
For me, it was my dad who did all the talking while I did all the listening. I remember the moment where time simply stopped in its tracks and was replaced by white knuckled horror. I still do not know if I was disturbed at that moment of time or now as I try to recall it.
I remember it was a Saturday afternoon in 1990, and we were watching the Dodgers play the Mets. That was the way we would bond. My father would look for Jaime Jarrin’s Spanish broadcast on the radio, while I manipulated the clothes hanger substituting for a proper antenna. In the end, the snowstorm of static would always win, but for a few precious hours we had a picture we could both live with – provided we did not move too much. It was somewhere in the middle of the game, when my father turned to me and informed me:
“Did they already talk to you at school?”
“You know. Making babies and condos – the ones you wear, not the ones you live in”
“My mom signed the slip. We are going to watch the movie on Friday.”
“Oh okay. Well remember gunslinger, you got a loaded weapon now. Watch out who you point that thing at. Who’s on second base?”
And just like that it was over. We never brought it up again. We both focused and concentrated on the ballgame, even though I could not tell you who won the game. I respected my dad a little bit more because I know it took a lot of him to utter those couple of words.
As the years passed, it was the white elephant in the room wearing a white sheet that everyone seemed to ignore. My dad would ignore the obvious – even if there was a random condom in the room. I was not even using them; I just thought that it was cool to go to nurse’s office and get them, because it was just as cool to let people know you were having sex.
My father invested his shaky faith in the school district. They had taught me long division and now he wanted them to put the fear of multiplication in me. He just wanted the school to take care of it. He felt school needed to be responsible for more than academic growth. He wanted my teachers to check my fingernails and dock me a couple of points if I needed a haircut. After all, his tax dollars were paying for a well-rounded education.
So now, more than 20 years later, the shoe is on the other foot. I have gone from showing the slide show to playing the video, and now we have the DVD. I press the play button and go to the other side of the classroom. After the movie is over, I have students asking me the same questions I was afraid to ask my dad, so I refer them to the nurse. In addition, I tend to blush and tell them to ask their parents. I have to give my father some credit for my method. Because there are some questions I do not know how to give answers to, so I just tell them to ask their mothers or fathers.
Follow Oscar Barajas on Twitter @Oscarcoatl.
[Photo By woodleywonderworks]