So when I was in fifth grade, my mom was the local public health nurse. To be honest I didn’t know exactly what that meant, except that in our small town the people who didn’t say, “OH, you’re Marty’s kid” would be sure to say instead, “OH, you’re Dawn’s kid!”
Well, the other thing it meant was that she came to my school to teach the public health courses.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?
When I was about ten or eleven, my mother – MY MOTHER – stood at the front of the class and talked about things like uteruses and menstrual flow. I sat in my seat, staring very hard at my desk and pretending like I didn’t have any mother OR ovaries. Thank GOD the boys and the girls had been separated, or I swear my head would have simply burst into flames and I would have died, the end, amen.
After the talk – there were posters involved, as I remember – Mom asked if anyone had any questions.
“Ok, fine. Why don’t you write down your questions on these pieces of paper?” She handed out slips of paper. If I wrote anything (and I don’t think I did), I suspect it was, “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?”
She gathered the paper and solemnly opened the first one, which was folded in a tight, sweaty bundle. Is it fun, being a sex nurse? it read. She blinked at it for a moment, then set it down and chose another paper. Do you like being the sex nurse? Ahem. Next paper. What’s it like to be a sex nurse?
“Ok! End of question time!”
We were excused to lunch. As we lined up outside the cafeteria we were joined by the boys. As they sauntered up, Chris called out to us with a smirk,
“HEY! Girls got a VAGINA!” Danielle, who was entirely tough and unafraid of any word, shot back,
“So what? Boys got a PENIS!”
The whole class burst out into relieved laughter, happy to have the subject safely back in the hands of hooligans.