Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Judy Blume Taught Me About Sex

I was up early to meet my Pilates client on the upper east side. I hopped on the 6 train, and just for the record, getting on the subway during the morning rush hour, is like the running of the bulls. You can easily get gorged in the ass if you’re not careful.

I sat down across from a boy who must’ve been 11 or 12-years old. He was reading, The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon––a twisting plot of a worldwide government conspiracy that could lead to the end of the world. I thought it was an odd choice for an 11 or 12-year old. Not that I know what your average, less than average or above average, 11-year old reads, because I don’t.

What I do know is that Mr. Sheldon created the television masterpieces, Hart to Hart and I Dream of Jeannie. The way I see it, Christina Aguilera owes Sidney big time. I also know that Sidney didn’t start writing books until after he turned 50. Whew, I still have a few years to crank one out.

I couldn’t imagine how an 11-year old boy found his way to Sidney Sheldon, but I admired this pint sized rebel. It reminded me of myself. For once upon a time, I was a rebel. I stepped out of my fifth grade reading curriculum by studying and memorizing Judy Blume's masterpiece, Forever, thanks to my neighbor and fellow Yonkers street gang member, Stacy Dominguez, who gave her copy to me.

Forever was the story of Katherine and Michael’s first time having sex. That book was my sex education. God knows my parent’s never sat me down and explained anything. Either they were in denial or too hung over. Anyway, that’s what the World Book Encyclopedia was for.

I underlined the dirty parts in Forever, or what I thought were the dirty parts, and I brought the book to school to share with my friends, because I’m a giver and a sharerer. My friends and I gathered on the blacktop at recess, and being the public speaker that I am (read: attention monger) I read the dirty parts out loud with the confidence of a prepubescent Tracy Lords.

“Then he was on top of me and I felt Ralph, hard, against my thigh.”

In the book, the Michael character named his penis Ralph and ever since then, whenever I hear the name Ralph, I think cock. Ralph Lauren, Cock Lauren. Cock Machio. Cock Waldo Emerson.

“Just when I thought, Oh God…we’re really and truly going to do it, Michael groaned and said, “Oh, no…no…I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I came.”

Write what you know, Judy. Write what you know.

My friend Jennifer, okay, that’s a lie. I don’t have a friend Jennifer, I was just trying to protect the innocent. My friend Leslie (sorry Leslie) wanted to borrow the book, so I lent it to her. The following day in school, I was called into the nurse’s office. And there was Leslie, Leslie’s mom, my mom, and the school nurse.

Leslie’s mom was pissed. She was appalled that her daughter was reading a book about sex. Clearly she was in denial as well. I was such a smart ass at the time, not like I am now, and thought the whole incident was funny. I’m sure the expression on my face said, “Bite me.”

The nurse looked at me and said, “Forever is inappropriate reading for someone your age.”

I looked at her. “Inappropriate? My parents roll joints before family car trips. My dad wears nut huggers, and carries a man bag. I think we have different definitions of inappropriate.”

Then she looked at my mom, waiting for her to say something parental. All she could say was, “I’m just glad she can read.”


Anonymous said...


Tammi said...

Thanks for my morning chuckle!!!!

Caffeinated OC Mommy said...

Ahhh Judy Blume... good memories Darling! Thanks for the reminder. xoxo

P.S. I grabbed you my Dear, ever so gently... lol said...

Ahh...memories of my own first "dirty" book. A rite of passage for 11-year-old girls, I guess.

mrsmomx6 said...

OMG! I knew we were twins, but not!

I LIVED for Forever and Tiger Eyes. Judy educated me more than any parent ever could. I sooo hated Theo at the end of the book.

OMG! I remembered Theo's name. Gag me.

You're mom's reply was hilarious. It's EXACTLY what flies out of my mouth.

Are you there God? It's me...Sharon

Kathy Radigan said...

Oh my gosh, I remember that book too!! Although my mom and I did have the sex talk, Forever cleared up some things she didn't really explain. I also remember being at sleeping parties and reading it as a group. And, I too have never been able to hear the name Ralph without thinking of the book. Thanks for a great laugh!!

Just Jen said...

Oh lord, what a walk down memory lane with this post. Judy Blume was my hero as a young girl in the late 70s and early 80s. Tiger Eyes and Forever were books that I read and re-read over and over. Along with Sooner or Later by Carol & Bruce Hart. Helped me when my mother stopped being a mother to me. Thanks for the memories (*tear).

Lynne Favreau said...

Catching on blog post this morning and every darn one of them is making me feel nostalgic. My fathers name was Ralph—you can imagine my horror. Boys name their dicks?

Laurel Ann Walker said...

I was the early bloomer that shared Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with children younger than me in elementary school. I, too, am a sharer. I probably pissed off some parents by telling their daughters about bras and periods but, then again, at least they didn't have to.

Forever was another fascinating read for me but unfortunately for my parents, I had already gotten hold of this "romance" novel called "Welcome to Temptation." If you know what I mean...

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, man, I remember this! Judy Blume was so...dirty.


Awesome post!

:-) A.

Michael Ann said...

Judy Blume....loved her. Loved "Forever." Brings back lots of memories.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Hey Ladies,
Thank you all for reading and sashaying down memory lane with me. A few answers: yes, men and women name their partners or their own dicks. Yes, my mother's witty answer is classic mom, and dirty is as dirty does and I was one dirty ten year old. L'chaim!

alphawoman said...

I had to read Valley of the Dolls in grammar school for my sex education! I believe my Mom was a little naive about my trips to the library! Even the librarians didn't stop me for reading inappropriate material for a 12 year old. I can relate to the kid on the train - lol.

Sugar Plums & Lollipops said...

Haaahaaaa! Love reading your blog! New follower here. You can follow be back at

Lynnie said...

Wow. How could I have ever missed this book? My MOM!!!! I bet she hid it. I am going to go and order it right now and learn all about sex from Judy....even though I am almost 40 with three children!

thegirlfriendmom said...

Thank you Lynnie, (now following) and Sugar Plums and Lollipops(now following as well) and alphawoman(pretty sure I'm already following, I really appreciate the comments.

elizabeth said...

nice post! I totally remember that book!

Well I have to agree--at least you were reading! Ha!

cardiogirl said...

I'm so surprised that I never read this one. I've read all of Judy's stuff back in the day except, of course, this one. It can't be that our library did not carry it. I read everything Sidney Sheldon and Jackie Collins wrote back when I was 10-13 years old in front of my parents.

They never looked at any of the stuff I read. I, of course, look at everything my 11 year old reads.

Stephanie said...

Ahh--- Judy. This book is like seeing Bob Saget's stand-up for the first time... it's all, wait, WHAT? Awesome.

I read this book in like 2 hours at the library. Now, I was supposed to be helping my partner on our science project, but I was way too absorbed. She went on to get a master's degree... but I digress.

Never, EVER put after shave on your balls-- that's what I learned from that book.

Sigh, memories. Course after that I started sneaking and reading my mom's jackie collins, for which my husband is eternally grateful! ;)

injaynesworld said...

I wish Judy Blume had been around when I was "that age." For me it was "Catcher in the Rye" and "Lolita," but my mom and yours would have had a lot in common.
"I'm just glad she can read."

You are one funny broad. Glad She Writes led me over here.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Hey injaynesworld,
Thank you so much for stopping by and for following.