When I was typing the title of my blog, I asked my husband if there should be a hyphen in Middle School. He said, “No, and apparently there’s no hymen either.” Yes, he’s right about that, and unfortunately we learned a lot of things about middle schoolers this year that we would really rather not think of. It would be so much easier to stick our heads in the sand with the other parents. So much easier.
When I was in eighth grade, the big rumor was that R and M had sex and used a blue condom. This was big news because NO ONE IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX IN EIGHTH GRADE EVEN WITH COLORED CONDOMS and we knew this. The girls gathered to talk about M. One girl created a nickname for her, “Butter because she spreads easy.” Well, even then I thought that margarine would have probably been a better name if that was the reasoning. I kept my mouth shut because I was glad to NOT be the victim of middle school ridicule for once, and if you looked at the picture above, you know this was rare. M was called Butter all through eighth grade and high school. No one was high fiving her or R for their actions. We all thought it was weird, really, and not cool. It was embarrassing for both R and M and neither of them bragged about it.
Times they are a changin’.
I have middle schooler and I have learned things that keep me awake at night. I mean, the drug dealing, huffing, and cutting were already horrors for me, but recently I learned that a lot of kids are having sex at 12 or 13.
Yes, you read that right. They are losing their virginity before they develop all of their molars, or brain cells. Here’s the kicker – they are also NOT USING CONDOMS. Here in the corn state, the kids are given the abstinence education version of sex ed. They don’t learn about birth control or STD’s. They are just told basically what sex is and to not do it until they are married. Well, that is obviously working well.
From what I am hearing, kids seem to be having sex wherever they can, even in school. Last week, I heard about two different “couples” having sex in school bathrooms, one in middle school and one in high school. Last time I checked, the bathroom was a place where people, peed, pooped, and vomited. It’s not exactly a romantic place. Plus, people are walking in and out all of the time. There is nothing not icky about this situation.
It’s a different world. When I was in eighth grade, my big concerns were how white my new Ked’s were or if my mom would let me go to the movies on Friday night. I fully understood that sex caused babies, and most likely a good beating. There was no way that I wanted either. Now, if you get pregnant when you’re a teenager, you can get your very own TV show and become a “celebrity.” If I had gotten pregnant, I would have gotten a beating and a trip to the abortion clinic. I definitely would not have gotten a TV show. Heck, this was back when MTV still had music videos.
You’re welcome for the awkward photos.
Disclaimer: This was originally posted on my fantastically unpopular Salon.com blog about four years ago. I no longer have a middle schooler and I have finally unclenched my shoulders from 3 years of horror.