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.