"We won’t be long,” they’d say as they pushed past me and headed for my dad’s bathroom.
I didn’t know how to handle their intrusion. I knew that I wasn’t allowed to “have people over” when she was still at work. But, I wanted the older guys in the neighborhood to like me. Our family wasn't typical for Carol Dr. My parents didn’t take us to church. They had The Cocktail Hour every night. They hired a gardener to do the lawn and a cleaning lady.
And there were Playboy magazines hidden in my dad’s bathroom. We were different.
Once, the neighbor boys got a ladder from the garage and climbed up to a second-story window so they could see my mom in the bathtub. That didn’t go well.
Another time, they had a huge orange fight in the alley behind our house. They picked oranges off our trees and threw them at each other (and at our house). When we got home, there were 100’s of oranges all over the yard. When my mom found out, she made them replace all the oranges. I still remember those boys coming to the house carrying paper sacks of navel and valencia oranges looking sheepish.
What I took away from that part of my life was something about feeling uncomfortable being me. Feeling embarrassed that my dad had all those girlie magazines.
Guilt by association. Shameful, maybe.
I learned that my interest in boys meant I would let them barge past me without hearing my requests. That I didn’t have power.
They were small things in my life that left me feeling less worthy of being okay as a powerful sexual person.
How about you? What little (or big) things that have impacted your way of seeing yourself? Email me.
I’d love to hear the stories that have shaped who you are.