Thursday, September 30, 2004

At the beginning of the summer after my senior year of high school, three of my girl friends and I made a bet: that we would not be having sex that summer. The whole point of this bet was to lose it, of course, but we made sure that it was structured so that either way we were winners.
This comes to mind today because the two girls sitting behind me on the bus were having the same sort of frank, highly italicized conversation that we had at the pool hall and Applebees all that summer. The lady sitting next to me, vaguely late-middle-age, was making squeaking breathy offended sort of noises. She was not even remotely as entertained as I was by the discourse happening behind us, but I wanted to turn around and join in.

I don't think that we were rampaging sluts at 16 and 17, we were just healthy teenage girls. We all had standards and expected them to be at least mostly met. Because of course we all lost the bet eventually. The last I heard, one of them was married to her, um, co-loser, and the other one was rapidly approaching that state. Bethany and I reset the bet after we all lost, and she, also last I heard, was living with the second guy. I'm probably the only one that still thinks about it.
Sure, we had big mouths and an uncomfortable habit of discussing our exploits in public places. (And I can't tell you how many times this habit has made me the center of a whole roomful of attention.) We were comfortable with ourselves and our place in the universe in a way that I've never been since.
So I don't think it's fair to turn all huffy at young girls being unfettered and themselves, even in public. Maybe even especially in public. They're the only ones who are brave enough.

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