The Talk

July 24, 2009 · 2 comments

I was watching Oprah the other day, but only under duress. I had come downstairs after putting my children to bed, and found my wife glued to the TV. It was the television equivalent of being landlocked, and she refused my request for an easement to Sports Center. The Oprarain topic was this: At what age is it best to have “the talk” with your child? My first reaction was “when I am 80”, but I soon learned that they were referring to the age of the child. According to the show, the general consensus was that age 9 or 10 was about right. During a commercial break my better half (or better Two-Thirds, as she sees it) asked how my parents went about having the “talk” with me. Ah, the memories.

I was eleven years old, and by all accounts, I was a happy go lucky child. My younger brother (who was about eight) and I had found some Playboy Magazines in a field, which we promptly hid in our garage. I was perfectly content to never utter a word about our stash, but my brother . . . well, let’s just say that he has always had a more finely tuned moral compass than me, and a lesser capacity to handle guilt. Couple those two qualities with an absolute inability to keep a secret, and my little glimpse into the Hefner lifestyle was in serious jeopardy.

I knew the jig was up when dad called me into his room for a “chat.” As I entered, there sat my dad, my mom, and Stooly, who immediately blurted out “I had to tell them!! I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer!!” (Did I mention that the magazines had only been in the garage for about an hour? Note to self: if ever caught behind enemy lines with your brother, take the cyanide pills immediately, because if he has any valuable information whatsoever, it will be divulged!!!!!)

Since the cat was already out of the bag, there was no need for dad to begin with the obligatory, and might I add constitutionally questionable, inquiry of whether there was anything I needed to tell him. So he cut to the chase saying “Since you and your brother have taken an interest in the bodies of grown women, your mother and I feel that its time we had a talk with you and your brother about how children are made.” (My parents had seven children. I am pretty sure they are well versed on the topic). Whereupon he described how “it” took place. Now, dad was never one to mince words, and he also refrained from using any technical jargon. To the contrary, Dr. Thesaurus insisted on using synonyms to make his point. I must admit that it was a bit uncomfortable to hear phrases like “You are getting to the age where its all about boobs”, “you’ll get a rock hard pecker”, or any reference to N.A.R.B. (No Apparent Reason Boner). After all, my mom was sitting right there!!! But it worked, I never forgot “the talk.”

Of course the pinnacle of the event was when he opened it up for a question and answer period. I just wanted to leave the room, but my newly diagnosed pornophobic brother quickly raised his hand. He was always such a polite student. “Yes, you in the back row, what’s your question?” I am sure my parents thought it was going to be some innocent little inquiry about whether it was OK to kiss a girl, or a confirmation that sex should wait for marriage. But noooo, this was little “Mr. I-Wanna-Know” himself, and upon being granted the floor he asked “Where do you stick it?!?”

I am not exactly sure how dad answered the question, but I do recall that it was the first time he deferred to my mother for her input. Alas, she was mute as all the air had escaped out of her lungs. I believe that in the end, that specific question was answered with the age old “when you need to know, you’ll know” line, and we called it a day.