The Best Advice My Mom Ever Gave Me
I was a freshman in college, and I was crazystupid obsessed with my tan, beautiful, manipulative, bad-boy boyfriend. (Let's call him "Spicoli.)
In my world, Spicoli had zero supporters. My parents, my friends, and even my dog really, really wanted him to fall into a very deep, very fatal ditch, but the more they all told* me what a total loser he was, the more I was convinced that they were just uptight. Clearly, they had ZERO idea what it was like to have fun and be young and adventurous and totally infatuated with someone. Plus, Spicoli and I said "I love you" to each other, and that was huge. (Later, I found out he cheated on me A LOT, so it's probably better to say that I was in "love," and he was in "you're okay, I guess.")
Anyway, New Year's Eve came, and Spicoli invited me to a party. A sleepover party. With no parental supervision. And I was psyched because, you know, sex. SEX. It was about to happen! Maybe? So, you know, woooooo. Or, uh, woooooo? Um. Huh. What? Oh.
My mom totally knew what was up, and she even agreed to let me go to the party, but the catch was that she wanted to talk to me first. I figured it would be a lecture about how evil Spicoli was and how YOU ARE NOT TO SEE THAT BOY AGAIN and all of the parental tropes that John Hughes prepared me for, but what happened instead shocked me.
We actually had a talk—a calm one where we really listened to each other. She asked me about my opinions and thoughts about sex, and talked to me a lot about how my expectations might (or might not) match up with reality. Honestly, she was pretty amazing about making me feel like a normal human for having a million questions ("Is it possible to really be excited but totally terrified and still not 100% sure?" "Do things, uh, hurt?" "If I do it, will people be able to look at me afterwards and just, like, KNOW?") and she was really patient about answering everything. But ultimately, the best piece of advice she gave me—aside from "If you're active, always use protection," was this: "If you're in love—I mean, really, truly in love—then any decision you make will be the right one."
We talked for three or four hours, and it was such a relief to share it all with a smart, understanding person who'd already been there. And a few months later, when Spicoli broke up with me by never calling me back (...), I couldn't have appreciated her advice more. Thanks, Mom.
*Yes—the dog told me, too. Or sort of. He bit Spicoli repeatedly, and I think that counts.
Have you ever had this kind of frank discussion with your mom?
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