Tag: blogiversary

Blogiversary Best-Of: Moms Will Be Moms, But Judy is Forever

Happy Third Anniversary, you crazy blog of mine.

To honor three food-and-tale-filled blogging years, lets revisit a reader favorite: from May 13, 2009, heres a story about my friend Andie, and also Andies mom and Judy Blume, and what we learned about men from them both.


Original post and comments found here.

{ A Mothers Day tale }

In 1978 just three types of contraband existed for me and my pal Andie Lerner: shoplifted Bonne Bell makeup, those curious magazines in our brothers rooms, and Judy Blumes teen sex novel, Forever. But at eleven, I feared juvenile cosmetics prison and declined the five-finger discount; despite many examinations of our brothers covert reads, Andie and I werent quite clear on the attraction; and finally, though wed heard the title whispered and wanted it desperately, we were not wise to the horizontal goods in Forever. We were not actually wise to anything.

What we were was clueless, but lucky a copy was circulating in our classroom by day, and pedaling home to bedrooms at night. The smudged paperback moved desk to desk when Mrs. Endicott turned to the board, one girl slid it to the palms of another, and by the time she turned back, the deal was done. Math resumed with two flushed faces, one triumphant and one hopeful and one day during fractions, the palms belonged to Andie. It was Friday afternoon, and our eyes locked in telegraphed plan: sleepover, toaster-oven snacks and a cover-to-cover inspectionno falling asleep like last time, Andie – of Forever.

Andie lived two houses down from our split-level, in a rambling old Tudor. Her family snacked on flax bread, and ate lentil soup in hand-thrown pottery crocks. Wide oak stairs led to a sunny living room crammed with macrame plants and art books and an enormous black Steinway, on which Andies dad would balance a glass of red wine and frequently bang out jazz. My own dad liked to browse tax law, so I found it all thrilling, right up to the day Mr. Lerner met a young woman and left the grand piano and Mrs. Lerner behind. Andies mom started wearing bangles and scarves and higher heels, and buying potato chips, and was never home. Mr. Lerners unfortunate weakness had built a premier sleepover destination.

So it was in an empty house, in the sitting room that held just a sofabed and television, that we holed up with Forever. Our props meant business: sleeping bags, Twizzlers, root beer, at least a dozen pillows and a few of their Persian cats. The fridge revealed one package of cocktail franks, and Id brought a can of Wiener Wrap a kind of processed dough you wrapped and baked around hot dogs. We could bake them in the toaster oven. I could sprinkle them with cheddar, and was excited about that, about sprinkling cheddar on Wiener Wraps.

But first, Forever. We literally tore through it pulling back and forth until we finally took turns munching licorice and reading aloud, all about Kath and Michael, and what they were doing.

But what were they doing? An hour later wed read all the words, laughing ha ha, he called his member Ralph and while we knew what Judy Blume was saying, sex on a multicolor rug, we didnt quite know what sex on a multicolor rug, or any rug, was supposed to mean.

So we put the book aside and chugged root beer, and watched TV. They were showing Planet of the Apes, and we were mesmerized by chimp makeup and funny lines. Charlton Heston was yelling about something. I bet he never had sex on a multicolor rug! Andie said. I pointed to Roddy McDowells ape. Not him either! I said. We howled and turned out the lights, and everything on TV was hilarious, and Forever fell to the floor. Eventually we heard a key turn, and a clack-clack down the hallway. My mom, Andie shrieked, get the book! I reached under the bed for the paperback but couldnt find it, scrabbling. Mrs. Lerner poked her head in the dark room, then swept in all the way.

You girls are stillll up, she said.

Were going to sleep, Mom, said Andie. Mrs. Lerner smelled like sandalwood, and swayed on her heels a little. Instead of leaving, she plunked down on the bed. I breathed in, but inched away. She leaned over. Whats this? In one floral-sleeved movement, she brought the book off the carpet.

She took a flashlight from Andie. What is it? She shined one spot on the cover. Oh ho, she said, oh yes I do see! My lungs collapsed. I could run home, I thought, I could bang on the door and I could confess to having the book, but at least Id be out of here.

Now Mrs. Lerner swung to face us. Andie and I huddled on the sofabed, toward the wall. She turned the flashlight off for a moment, then on again. Then pointed it at us. So you got this. Okay. Okay. Just tell me one thing, ONE THING. We held our breaths. Was it good?

Was it good. I looked at Andie, who was looking at me. Good? Her mom was still lurching. Was. It. Good. Was it good for her the first time?

Oh, now we were truly up a creek. Neither of us had an inkling, but from her wild-eyed jangly look behind the light, we sure needed an answer. Andie looked stricken. So I gave her one.

Oh yeah, it was great!

She looked suspicious, pressed the book under her palm. It was great. The first time.

It seemed to be working, so I went on. Yeah, fantastic! Everything was perfect!

Mrs. Lerner slipped the flashlight off, and was silent for two minutes. I thought she might be asleep.

Then its a LIE! she yelled. I touched Andies arm. If it was good for her then it is BULL. She jumped to her feet, and yanked her beaded shawl. All men are assholes, she said, and dont you forget it. She reached down, grabbed the book, and left.

Andie and I sat frozen for five minutes. Not until we heard shoes on wood, then shoes hit a wall upstairs, and finally the flump of a body in bed, did we finally start laughing, laughing so hard that root beer came out my nose. We did not discuss Kath and Michael, nor virgins or moms nor multicolor rugs. At two a.m. we went to the kitchen, preheated the toaster oven, and carefully wrapped pink cocktail franks in canned yellow dough. We sat on the brick floor in pajamas and tore open a bag of Oreos, giggling and crumb-faced, waiting for Wiener Wraps.

* no illustration of Wiener Wraps; remember what happened last time?