I had a pretty sheltered childhood.
You’ve probably figured that out by now if you’ve read some of my previous posts on internet dating or teen stupidity, but I’ve got some new followers, so maybe not. (Welcome, all!) When I was a kid, I was never allowed to watch the “cool” TV shows. All my friends were watching Beverly Hills 90210, and I wasn’t allowed. All my friends were listening to rock music and watching MTV, and I wasn’t allowed. All my friends…well, you get the point. I was a good kid. I didn’t even rebel! Those were the rules, and I followed them. But it came with a price.
I remember being in fifth grade, and some boy named Ryan asked me, “Do you know what a condom is?”
And I said, “Isn’t it kind of like an apartment building?”
Oh, yes, I was a riot.
I still am somewhat sheltered, though I try to hide it. I’ll read references to something on a blog or hear something in a TV show, and I’ll look up and say to my husband, “Hon, what does ___________ mean?”
Then he’ll pause the DVR, roll his eyes (always the eye roll), and say, “Why don’t you Google it?”
Har de har har.
Some of this is my mother’s fault. She’s an awesome mom, but she did spend seven years in a convent, so she’s pretty sheltered herself. I was repeating a story the other day with a funny punch line, something about a happy ending, and she totally didn’t get it.
You try defining “happy ending” to your 67-year-old mother.
Don’t Google it.
But sometimes I wonder if the sheltered upbringing was to my benefit. If I’d been more world-savvy then, would all the Internet dating stories even exist? Or did all those experiences combine to make me the people-savvy person I am now? (I’m a pretty good judge of character, and I can smell BS a mile away.)
I know it’s impossible to turn back the clock. But now that I’m a mother, I often find myself wondering how much exposure is too much, and how much is too little. Kids are frighteningly world-savvy nowadays. Is that to their benefit? Or to their detriment?