no kissing

I’m giving the girls a snack this evening before they head out to the movies. It’s not quite dinner and it’s a little more than a snack actually. I sauté some shrimp in olive oil with a dash of butter and scallions, squeeze lemon all over it and braise some asparagus. I figure it will fill them up so that they won’t get a refill on the large popcorns they’ll surely buy. Fourteen year old girls can eat a lot.

While they’re eating I say to them, “My friend Romy told me that 9th grade is all about blow jobs.”

After the sputter and scream something about Gross, we’re eating! the friend tells me about the girl on her softball team who had an abortion at 13 and I remind her to not judge the girl too harshly. 13 year olds aren’t responsible for their own bodies yet.

Both girls nod and tell me about the various blow job givers in town and I make mental notes as to which schools they attend. There is a pattern and it’s unlikely that those girls are moving faster than the girls at other schools and more likely that some schools are chattier than others; and by chat I mean gossip.

Jane and her friend are running to the movies and they look perfectly adorable and as they’re walking out the door to go to the movies Jane looks over her shoulder and says, “I guess this is a good time to tell you that I was asked out on a date for Friday night.”

“Are you asking permission?” I say.


“Who is he?” I say.

And she tells me. He is a lovely boy whose parents are nice by all accounts. The friend likes him, she’s met him and says he’s nice so I approve the date without asking my husband. The girls close the front door and walk to the movies.

After a minute or two I realize I’ve let them go to the movies without any parental embarrassment and feel like a failure so in my running clothes, a sloppy ponytail and a Katz’ Deli apron I dash out into the middle of the street and scream at the top of my lungs.

“Don’t kiss any boys at the movies!” And I wave like a lunatic or perhaps like a woman with a developmental delay.

And then I wiped my hands on my apron. My work here is done.

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