Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Big Purple Mark of Shame/Coolness

A friend of ours was at home yesterday, enjoying the afternoon, when her son came into the kitchen with a mark on his neck. A mark that had not been on his neck before his girlfriend had come over to study, in his bedroom, with the door open. A mark that was purple, and mottled, and obviously caused by suction. Yep, her baby had a hickey.

Like any good mother, our friend freaked out. How could HER son had gotten a hickey? They had the door open! She was less than 20 feet away! He dates a nice girl! She raised him better than that! She quickly sprang into action, letting him know she noticed the love bite, and that studying in his room, door open or not, was now off limits. He was embarrassed. The girlfriend was embarrassed. I don't think anyone was as embarrassed as our friend though. Not only was she having to lay down the law, but she was facing the fact her son is now doing stuff she never wanted to picture him doing, and that in the future he will likely be doing more of it. Oh, and then she had to think of all the things SHE had done when she was young, feel shame about them again, and then fear he will do THOSE things. Sheesh. Talk about mortifying.

After hearing the story I suggested she make him wear a scarlet "H" on his shirt, and assured her that the mocking from the other kids at school would probably be a worse punishment. I knew that wasn't totally true though -- remembering back to when I was his age, and the fact I wanted a hickey more than anything else in the world. I bought mock turtlenecks just in case I got one. I envied my friend Patrice, who looked like a leper with no self esteem. I knew that if I got a hickey I would have trashy, physical proof a boy liked me. My Mom told me nice girls don't, but I didn't want to be nice, I wanted to be cool.

I have no idea what I am going to do when Meg wants to be cool. Maybe by then have platonic relationships with boys will be all the rage, and sexual activity will be seen as tacky. Yes, I know that would mean the end of the species, but it also would mean me not having to worry about my daughter ever worrying about being a slut, or a prude, or having a boy use her physically because she wants him to love her, or deal with disease of heartbreak. I think that's a fair trade.

It hurts my head, and my heart just to think about it. I mean, to her it will just be a hickey, but to me it will be the first signpost on a road filled with dangers that I have already traveled, and don't want her to wreck on. Oh, and I can't provide her with an accurate map, and even if I could, she probably wouldn't take it.

Thank god for my friends -- and the fact they are going through this first.

18 comments:

The Tame One said...

This terrifies me! My oldest son is 10, my oldest daughter is 8 and it feels like its creeping up on me every day! Hickeys are nasty, but in the scheme of what it could be are sooo innocent and also a certain stepping stone to sex which is the terrifying part. I am hoping everyday that sex is way uncool in the next 5 years. I say 5 years because I taught middle schoolers for 9 years and yes, middle schoolers have sex. *gags and vomits* HELP!!

Deidra said...

Is it bad taste to say that I don't think a hickey is quite that bad? I mean, that was a pretty strong reaction. But it's probably just a matter of opinion!

Little Girl Big Glasses said...

My 10 year old came home yesterday with no less than 8 hickeys. On his face. All perfectly round. And so did all his friends. They'd been suctioning pencil erasers on their face all afternoon.

Cate said...

I really thought this was going to be another post about Meg biting people and leaving marks.

C Lo said...

WHY ARE YOU PUTTING THESE THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD LIBBY!!!?? WHY!!!???

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LL Cool Joe said...

My 16 year old daughter is already far from innocent, and that devastates me. You know I'm a Bible bashing Christian and I've had a hard time accepting the way her and all her peers treat relationships. She attends church, a private school etc, but it makes stuff all difference.

Times are a changing.....be warned. Full stop, whether you are a good mom or a bad mom.

Summer said...

You are having the same thoughts I am. We went to dinner with two couples that have preteens and teens. Topic for the night: Sexting. I really think I'd loose my damn mind if one of my sons sent a picture of his nuts and berries to a fast ass girl. Or if she sent a picture of her vag to him. Aren't you glad that as parents, we are there yet?

Sam said...

Ah, hickeys. How I miss them. My mother used to shame me horribly when she saw them on me, and I've vowed to be much cooler when/if I see them on Jarrah. You know why? There was no shame in my hickeys. Fact is, I was totally a good girl, who didn't do anything "below the neck" until I was 20, got good grades, never did drugs. My mother had nothing to worry about. I was horny as all get-out as a teenager, sure, but I was smart, too. I hope I remember this later. ;)

JenS said...

Oh dear mother of all that is worthy, I am so not ready to cope with that.

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm considering dipping my 13 year old son, who gets angsty, 'I weep for our love!!' quality texts from a young girl, in industrial grade plastics to try and curb this sort of thing before it's too late. I figure the barrier has to prevent something!

Kelly said...

Not too long ago, our friend's thirteen year old boy came over to mow our lawn. Apparently, he and our TWT neighbors daughter, are bf and gf. Caleb was covered with hickey's. My husband pulled him over to the side, and gave the best hickey advice I think I have ever heard.

He asked him why he'd let any body mark him like that, first of all, and then said, "What if she breaks up with you tomorrow, and you see some cute girl out, but she thinks you are taken because you have that garbage all over you?"

His eyes got all big, and he had a huge "ah ha" moment. Boys.

Daniel said...

While I've got no kids of my own, I do sometimes wonder what it'll be like if I do ever get to the point of having my very own teenager... what sort of tact would I use in teaching and leading this kid through puberty? I like to think that I'd take a vested interest, but... not too much. I want to respect my kids growth.

God help the boy that ever wants to touch my daughter...

Maybe I'll be so old by the time its even a matter of question that neither my kid and I would even want to hash it out.

G said...

I lucked out and never receive nor gave a hickey.

That being said, sounds like your friend overreacted just a tad. Maybe her son will now go to the girlfriend's house to study instead.

Jules said...

"Maybe by then have platonic relationships with boys will be all the rage, and sexual activity will be seen as tacky."

I am TOTALLY sure you are right on this prediction. Uh huh.....

lifeisacrapshoot said...

The only hickey I EVER received was when I was 20, living with my boyfriend, and my dad was staying the night with us. BF hickeyed my CHEEK, and my dad laughed at it, then told me just to tell people it was a bruise that BF had "given" to me.
I always refused to let boys hickey me. Nasty things!

FabuLeslie said...

I remember my first one and my mom's reaction. She was dropping me off at the airport for a trip back north to see my friends who we had moved 2000 miles away from the summer before. "...And I hope that's not a gift I see on your neck there from your friend Marcus!" And that's all that was ever said about it. I was kinda embarrassed, but kinda proud I think. And way to naive to know what any of it really meant.

Riot Kitty said...

I dread the day when my little bro (14) or sis (10) get to that point. For now we are happy that he is still only interested in his iphone and she likes Hello Kitty!

Waiting Lisa said...

I can't let myself think about all this. I already got teary at 3 AM when I randomly thought about him going to kindergarten.