I just realized one of the most embarrassing moments of my life just now, that I'd forgotten about. It's not that big of a deal. It was during my 6th or 7th grade and I was walking home from school with some friends. The all-to-familiar Plymouth Voyager w/ Cadbury Yellow paint and wood paneling swoops to a halt beside me ... it's the van of Sara, the girl I had an enormous crush on(to the point I thought "Sarah" by Starship was about her). So her Mom is driving it; her mom loved me.

Nearly all moms of girls I've had it for have loved me. This is also like the black spot of any chance of a relationship I have with the girl. It's almost a surefire thing that if the Mom and/or other members of the family like me, the girl will treat me like shit. Perhaps it's merely a gesture of sympathy; maybe they're thinking, "Well, somebody ought to be nice to him."

Back to the van. Sara's mom rolled the window down and said some greeting, I forget. The point was, I was walking with my friends, who teased Sara, so some of that energy transfixed into my own mouth. I don't know why, but at a lull in the conversation, I said

"Do you douche?!"

Now. Let me give you some background. The year was 1990, and there was some sort of commercial on for feminine hygiene products, and basically that was the famous tagline...much like "Ever have that 'not-so-fresh feeling?" Since everyone else was saying IT, I asked it of Sara's mom, much like someone would say "Well, see you later...". I had no clue what it might mean. Immediate reactions were mixed...my friends dropped their jaws a moment before collapsing in laughter; Sara gave me the finger, and her mom threw her head back and laughed, and drove away. I wasn't phased as much by what I'd said, so I asked why everyone reacted so strongly. I and my friends found out I knew very little about douching. I sort of thought, "What? it's like soap for girls... Right?"

I hadn't ever gotten "the talk" from my parents...or what I did get was pretty vague...suffice to say my folks did not elaborate on what it meant to douche. I'm glad, I guess. So that was the day I found out that it meant something very controversial to 6th graders, and that was it.

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