Thursday, February 07, 2008

TIF Feb - Memories - Growing Up

Confused by the tabloids

To understand this, you need to know about me at around 12 years old. I was a voracious reader. If it was printed, I devoured it. At 11 I had access to a whole adult library. I read novels, biographies, travel books about the places Dad was stationed during the war, and medical textbooks. So, I was well-read, unworldly, not at all street-wise and had what my Mum called ‘an unhealthy interest in my insides.’

This was the beginning of the era of the contraceptive pill (of which I had read) and sexual permissiveness (of which I knew nothing).

One day, Dad said there was something in the Daily Mirror that I ought to read. If I didn’t understand it, I should come and ask him. He handed over the centre pages. In those days, newspapers put anything you wouldn’t want Granny or the kids to see in the middle, so you could lift it out and hide it! This ‘middle’ was about sexually transmitted diseases, known then as VD. ‘Oh, this looks interesting.’ I thought and set to. (Remember, this was a kid whose idea of a treat was to be allowed to stay up and watch ‘Your Life in Their Hands’) Symptoms and treatment were plain sailing to a child with a taste in literature like mine. Confusion came with how to get it and how to avoid it. According to the ‘Mirror’ you got this from having sex, but only if you were not married. I knew all about bacteria, viruses, parasites, antibiotics and immunisations but ‘casual sex’ was not in my vocabulary (or the ‘Mirror’s, apparently). Consequently I reasoned that something must happen when people got married that prevented infection. Poor Dad, I don’t know what he was expecting, but to be asked why you couldn’t just have the vaccination BEFORE you got married completely floored him!


Kathy said...

Thanks for the story. Can just imagine the look on his face.

fiona d said...

LOL, that's so funny - thanks for sharing it

Sue in western Washington, USA said...

Oh, that's rich! Are you *sure* you don't want to depict that in fibre instead of Jack Frost? ;- )
(No, I wouldn't either!)