12.14.2006

THE FACTS OF LIFE

Unlike most schoolchildren these days who can learn about sex quite readily from late-night Cinemax or HBO (or that stack of magazines in the box Dad doesn't let Mom see), I remained blissfully ignorant of the birds and the bees for a good long while. Being precocious, I knew something had to happen to make babies. I knew about pregnancy. I knew the baby sat inside the mom for nine months until she got sick of it and pushed it out. I just wasn't sure what the cause of the pregnancy was. Babies don't spontaneously generate themselves, do they?

I quickly discounted spontaneous generation because that would mean I could get pregnant at any time, which terrified me.

Even in 4th grade I knew the stork was a load of hooey. The idea of outsourcing baby-making and delivery to some avian middleman seemed patently ridiculous. Plus, I've seen storks at the zoo. They had trouble negotiating branches, let alone masterminding the global delivery of millions of mewling little chestbursters. Unless Ciconia ciconia suddenly merged with FedEx, storks bringing babies was out of the question.

No, it has to be some interaction between a man and a woman, I decided. It couldn't be something innocuous like touching or hugging, since that happens all the time and not everyone is getting pregnant. It had to be something serious. Something with pomp and circumstance involved. Maybe a ritual?

One night I was watching a movie, one of those Lifetime made-for-TV deals. One scene showed a blushing bride and her erstwhile groom exchanging a kiss at the altar beneath the benevolent gaze of a priest. Fast-forward a few frames, and the same couple is beaming at their newborn child, sleeping in a frilly wicker bassinet.

Why I hadn't made this connection before, I didn't know. It all seemed so patently obvious! The first thing married people do is have a baby, and they're not married until they have that kiss at the end of the ceremony. For the next year or so, I firmly believed that a priest had some sort of ability to certify a woman's uterus for baby-making, and that she got pregnant when she kissed the groom. I figured that was the whole point of having a wedding in the first place. Not until much later, when I eventually pieced things together from a copy of Grey's Anatomy I found by the roadside, did I realize where babies actually came from and that weddings only existed so the new couple could get a lot of gifts and money from their friends and family.

It's rather interesting the things that make sense when one doesn't know what's going on.

3 comments:

Inexplicably Yours, M. said...

Haha it was sort of hard for me to now know. I learned when I was 8 or so. There are these really perverted boys in my apartment complex...ya nuff' said.

My parents never had that chat with me that apparantly everyone is getting. I'm pretty open with them, and they to me, so "The talk" has actually been discussed in little chunks throughout my life anyway. Not that "scary"...

Well, I have to give you kudos for your site. I like the doodles. I have to figure out how to make my site my own, not "Dot"ty.

Jared said...

Wait, I still don't get it. How does it work?

~Jared

Christina said...

Thanks M; getting your site to be "your own" isn't *terribly* hard if you cheat a little, like I did. Find a template that you like, and copy the html into a text file and switch out the images in that template with images of your own. You'd only need to know basic html and there's a lot of very good html tutorials out there.

Jared, if you still don't know, you never will. Here's a hint...it doesn't involve pants.