Many of you non-Indian Americans had the pleasure (or displeasure, depending on how awkward it may have been for you) of having “the talk” with your mother or father, or both (geez).
You know what I’m taking about. The infamous birds and the bees. Now the following is really based on assumption because I never got the talk, but we’ll get to why I never got the talk a little later.
I’m guessing that the parent was pouring beads of sweat and totally nervous about having this discussion. The kid didn’t know what he/she was in for and the awkwardness that was about to ensue. More often than not, the kid got the whole lesson in that health class in elementary school where the video from 1975 was shown about peepees on boys and the flower on girls. So when your parent(s) started the conversation, you already knew the major details and humored them so they felt like good parents.
Or better yet, you were educated about blue balls. Yes that’s right. There is a video that exists educating teens about blue balls. Even I was shocked (and amused) to find it!
I don’t know a single Indian person, not a single one, who had the lecture about the birds and the bees. If they did, the rest of their lives would not be so awkward. Growing up, if I was watching TV with my parents, and a couple started making out on some random show, everyone got really uncomfortable. The channel would be changed immediately, mid smooch. Don’t even get me started on semi-sex scenes in movies. Total and utter awkwardness. Bollywood movies have just started showing actual kissing in the last couple of years and I must say, it’s totally wrong. Traditionally, during a dance and song number, if the couple leaned in to kiss, the scene would fade into the next or they would turn away from the cameras to make it look like they kissed. She would lean into his shoulder if he went to kiss her. So for them to show total make out scenes in Bollywood movies is just plain wrong. I’ll have to save this for another post because I could go on forever.
Fast forward a couple of years and I now have a boyfriend. No holding hands, and definitely no kissing around the parentals. Big no no. Boys and girls don’t do that. Let alone the fact that having a freakin boyfriend is rarely publicized to the parents. SO MANY of my girlfriends in high school and college hid the fact that they had a boytoy from their parents for most or the entire relationship, unless of course it got serious and absolutely led to marriage. When my sister and [American] brother in law were dating and my parents knew that they were going to get married, my mother actually pulled him aside one day and asked him “are you having the sex?”. I shit you not. My mother never approached my sister of course. Only her boyfriend. Talk about random and totally awkward.
Fast forward another couple of years. 29 years have passed since I was born. Reminder: my folks never talked to me about the birds and the bees. Now I’ve been married 2.5 years. They never asked my husband while we were dating “are you having the sex”. Thank God. However, the subject has still always been avoided.
My mom is visiting me and my husband and has been here for almost 3 weeks. Since my dad passed, I’ve been trying to get her to come up to NJ and stay with us for a while, and she finally listened.
Obviously, since we’ve been married for more than 2 years, we’ve started thinking about kids. My mom decides to approach the topic, but not as elegantly as I would have imagined…
“So come on! You need to start having babies. Get to work!”
She’s come to the conclusion that I must have figured out how the birds and the bees work, so we won’t need to sit down and get into the details. But listening to that line was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life!
Dear Mom – you avoided talking to me about sex my entire life. It was totally awkward watching kissing scenes on TV with you. I couldn’t hold my boyfriend’s hand in front of you (that’s IF you knew he was my boyfriend), and now I need to get to work making babies. Amazing.
Needless to say, my generation has hopefully learned something about our upbringing and will tweak it when it comes to our kids and “the talk”. I can’t wait to be that nervous parent approaching my kid about the topic knowing damn well that he/she knows all about it. Oh well! As long as we talk about it BEFORE he/she starts having kids, I’ll be golden.