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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things I never talked about as a teenager

Being a teen in the 1970s meant changes. After all, the 60s generation had taught us to rebel. Some of my peers pushed the envelope, wearing bell bottoms and "hot pants" and talking openly about smoking pot. They challenged authority.

In high school, there were some things I would never have talked about or heard discussed even by those who were wilder than most.

Even when I left the sheltered life of Abernathy, Texas and moved to Sidney, Montana for my high school year. Yes, I had run off. Gotten married, and was married in high school my senior year. That was pretty risque for back then. I had rebelled.

In Sidney, my circle of friends were different. There was Meredith, the feminist who refused to wear a bra even though she really needed to wear one. Marty and Jill, the actresses. Everyone was different -- something never really celebrated in the cookie cutter world I had lived in before.

But still, some things we never talked about.

Which brings me to today. Hubby and I were sitting on a bench at the mall, deciding where to head for supper. A group of teens, young teens, probably about 14-15, some barely one year past puberty, were standing in front of us. They were all dressed the same, boys and girls, in wrinkled T-shirts and baggy jeans with long, stringy hair.

"Gay, or not gay?" asked the tallest of the group to one of the shortest boys in the group. "I'm not gay," says the little one. "I can prove it." He pulls out what is obviously a note from some girl that they all hoot about.

Tall boy points to another one in the crowd. This one a girl, "Gay?" She shakes her head, no. "Bi?" she says yes, looking embarrassed and yet at the same time as if she's seeking approval. She gets approval and a high five and a hug from another.

The game continues. They openly talk about sex acts that still make me blush.

Maybe it's my 50 years, or maybe it's our changing societal mores. But those were definitely things that I never would have talked about -- OK, or even known about -- when I was in high school.

I pictured my grandson and granddaughters a few years down the line, at the mall, talking to their friends. I shudder. Progress, I don't think is always for the best...

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