Coming of Age Funny

It was the summer of Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Nine

I had just turned twenty and decided it was time to attempt my first ‘blow job’.

Calling me naive would’ve been something of an understatement.

Don’t get me wrong, I was not entirely innocent about the magical world of sexuality, it was just that there were a few stumbling blocks in my way.

My maternal grandfather was high on the list of obstacles that interfered with my education. He possessed formidable powers and did his best to ensure that I remained innocent.

We lived on a farm and the lessons provided by Nature were difficult for even my grandfather to control, especially given that our livelihood arose from the carefully monitored sexual activity of the farm animals.

My father and my grandfather openly discussed the reproductive needs of their herd of Guernsey cows, lorded over by one rather handsome Guernsey stud bull. 

However, their clinical discussions centered mostly on the fine tuning required to keep a herd of dairy cows producing milk efficiently.

These rather boring conversations often took place around the dinner table and while my siblings ignored what for them was a dull topic, I paid close attention.

For one thing, I knew there had to be more involved than cold numbers in a ledger designed to keep track of who was ovulating, who had “dried up” and who was approaching death due to reaching an age where calf production was no longer an option.

I suspected there was much being hidden.

My intuitive sense went on high alert when the 'breed' word was tossed out casually. I was well trained in the art of elusively evading saying what you really meant and I knew that my dad and grandpa were about to venture into this intriguing land where a ‘coded language' was spoken.

It would begin at breakfast.

“Marce, I believe today would be the best time to breed number 78.”

My ears would immediately perk up when I heard the word breed.

“Sure Dad” my father would reply, “I’ll get Bea to keep the kids in the house”

I knew what breeding really meant. Careful studies of my mother’s nurses training manuals had left me with a rather clear vision of the operation involved.

What frustrated me was the stylistic outlines of human anatomy and the clinical description regarding acts of intercourse. Somehow, I just knew there was more and longed to understand what REALLY transpired. 

I sensed there was so much more.

Oh, I had seen various animals copulating. 

They never seemed to feel the necessity of performing the deed in private. In fact, their very openness completely demystified the whole thing, placing the process into the realm of acts best described as “normal bodily functions”. 

I knew however, that something was missing and that breeding had to include a lot more than just reproducing another cow.

I also knew the lengths to which my grandfather would travel to keep me as far away from the adventure as possible.

I remember the day I raced into the house, in a panic, eyes filled with tears, screaming for my grandfather’s help.

“Grandpa, grandpa, come quick, the neighbour’s dog is hurting Cynthia.”

My grandfather looked out the window, blanched and replied, “No dear, they are just playing games.”

I calmed a little, but needed further assurance that Cynthia wasn’t being harmed.

“But grandpa, they are trying to run away from each other and can’t because their bums are struck together.”

My grandfather’s face turned a rather unusual shade and he, uncharacteristically, seemed at a loss for words.

Finally, he just pulled me away from the door, pointed me towards the room cleaning sounds were coming from and gruffly said:

“Go talk to your mother.”

My mother turned off the vacuum, listened impatiently to my story, then tersely told me, “not to be so stupid, leave the dogs alone, don’t bother your grandfather and for God’s sake, let me get my housework done in peace.”

I was dismissed as her foot stomped on the start button and the appliance once again roared back to life, effectively ending any chance to continue a discussion.

By the time I got back to the scene of the crime, the male dog had disappeared, Cynthia was quietly licking her bum and my grandfather was already two fields away, studiously checking the fence line.

Our farm seemed to provide endless examples of copulating animals. 

The cows made me very curious, as they seemed as willing to mount one another, as wait their turn for the bull.

Questioning my grandfather was useless, as his explanation that they were giving each other ‘piggyback’ rides, ended any possible deeper discussion.

Springtime was an especially confusing season for me. 

It seemed that every living creature on our farm was hell bent on “playing games” that aroused my suspicions.

Most of these games involved giving one another 'piggyback' rides. 

I, myself, prefered hide and seek.

A game providing the perfect opportunity to leave annoying brothers and sisters checking my whereabouts for several hours.

The farm animals were not interested in hide and seek at all. In fact they didn’t seem to have an inkling of how that particular game was played. Except for the chickens, they were very good at finding places to hide their eggs. 

They were much more forthcoming and upfront in their endeavours to fertilize them.

Springtime found my grandfather and I spending a lot of time checking the furthest perimeters of our farm’s fence line. He diligently attempted to keep me away from frolicking animals doing their best to have fun playing games back at home.

He would eventually give up, marching me back to the house with instructions to my mother to “find something useful for her to do”. 

I knew that unwashed dishes, dusting, cleaning windows and other household chores would be my afternoon’s reward for innocently pointing out two dragonflies flying in unison one upon the other’s back.

 My grandfather's chameleon ability to change facial shades never failed to amaze me.

Perhaps I needn’t have made the joke about them giving each other a ‘piggyback’ ride.

My next stumbling block was provided by the Catholic Church.

Well, more precisely by the black robed stewardess who provided instructions on the proper way to conduct one's life.

These women were extremely efficient at keeping me on the straight and narrow.

Despite their efforts to thwart my curiosity, I became quite fascinated with Catholic doctrine and dogma, especially as much of it drew upon references to my other favourite subject - sex. It was often a toss-up, with my sexual curiosity taking precedence.

I often stumbled into truly forbidden territory with my teachers.

My curiosity, arising genuinely out of confusion, provoked stunned lapses into silence, followed by a mad rush to quickly change the topic. Those poor nuns seemed ill equipped to field my probing.

 “How could a “virgin” have a baby?”

“Who were the brothers Jesus spoke of in the Bible?” 

“Who exactly was Mary Magdalene and what exactly was her relationship to Jesus”

“Why was it ok for the priest to wear dresses in public but NOT for my uncle Peter who got caught in one of my mother’s gowns?”

The nuns were as proficient as my grandfather in their ability to deftly elude answering my questions.

On more than one occasion I thought they’d be well served by a vigorous game of ‘piggyback’. They already seemed to be well versed in the game of hide and seek.

The nuns drew the line on matters of dogma, most especially on canon law.

My questions on these matters got me sent to the priest and being told to “bugger off” was enough to stop even me.

I took rules seriously and was truly wanting guidance from the priest as to whether or not I had broken the required fast when I accidently swallowed some phlegm I had coughed up into my mouth.

I decided just to take my chances at possibly having broken the rules on fasting before taking communion. I rationalized that my confession, even met so rudely, was enough to give me indemnity. 

I rarely took chances when it involved the eternal damnation of my soul into the fiery pits of hell.

By the time I was 13 my sex education had advanced, in spite of my grandfathers efforts to thwart my learning.

I now understood many of the farm animal scenes which had made no sense when I was young. The connection to the performance of such acts by human beings was still somewhat of a mystery.

I had by this time managed to find more detailed anatomy books at the library. 

They may have explained the clinical aspect of sex, however, they completely failed to illumine the more shrouded mystery of secrets that I had come to know were not to be spoken of, especially with adults and certainly never my grandfather. 

By my mid teens, my farmyard education approached graduation. My grasp of the subject was fairly complete and I was careful not to reveal my proficiency in these matters to my grandfather.

I certainly had known better than to mention having watched our neighbours mare being mounted by a rather raunchy stallion. Even though I was greatly concerned for the poor mare’s ability to heal from the assault of the stallion's massive appendage, I decided to let them handle things on their own. 

They seemed satisfied to indulge in a heated game of piggyback riding, so my concerns appeared to be unwarranted.

My education broadened when I was sent to boarding school in Victoria, two hours south of our farm on Vancouver Island.

What I hadn’t yet learned about sex, I certainly began to understand better during our educational lectures on the subject from the nuns.

The stern warnings of what we were NOT to do, left out any references to enjoyment, focusing more on the fiery damnation that awaited those who experimented. 

Yet again I sensed that much was being hidden from me.

At least there was no attempt to cover up the lecture with explanations of ‘piggyback’ rides.

No indeed, there were much more specific guidelines.

As proper young Catholic girls, we were NEVER to allow a boy to put his penis in any of our orifices. 

This warning somewhat perplexed me, as when I did a quick count of all my orifices, I came up with 9.

It seemed keeping boys in check was going to be a rather daunting task.

I was grateful for the nun's warnings as to the potential dangers of the penis and the lengths boys would go to use them.

My observation of equestrion sex had left me a little dubious about penis’ anyway, and though I’d had brief glimpses of my younger brothers, I was still doubtful as to what the fully grown adult male version might actually look like. I had to trust that the adult version did not compare in proportion to a stallion.

I recalled a joke about a young newly married couple on their honeymoon at the Empress Hotel. They had spent several hours in the Crystal Pool and had shyly returned to their honeymoon suite.

The young bride performed her ablutions, came back to the bed while her husband used the bathroom for his own preparations.

He returned to the bedroom to find his bride unconscious on the bed with a note beside her pillow.

It read: “The vaseline is in the drawer, the shoehorn on the shelf. I saw your tool in the Crystal Pool and I chloroformed myself.”

I had laughed along with everyone.

At 15 my mature understanding of the rites of passage for newlyweds was fairly complete and I knew that another name for a penis was ‘tool’.

I even had a fairly good idea of what the vaseline was to be used for.

The shoehorn? Well, its necessity left me very puzzled and nervous.

Once again my memory of the stallion instilled a distinct fear of what I was to anticipate. 

Questioning my mother proved useless as she sharply reprimanded me for “being stupid and talking about things best left alone. And really, that wasn’t a very funny joke at all.”

I knew better than to pursue the subject. 

I suspected that the following year when I returned to the farm and began public high school in my hometown would fill in the blank spots.

The closure of my formal education in the Catholic school system ended an era of relative innocence.

I had begun to doubt much of what I’d been taught in my ten years within that system.

Further indoctrination into church law and other such legal matters had managed to squash any desire I had to remain a member of the church.

Even though well trained to accept male superiority, I was beginning to have my doubts about an institution with such blatant disregard for the female experience.

As we began to navigate the turbulent waters of the 1960’s, my decision to put aside my religious beliefs took on a certain animosity. My scorn for the male gender, or at least their arrogant assumption in their superiority, became the fodder for many heated discussions around our table.

My sister and I became openly rebellious. My father didn’t handle it well. He was often left sputtering. Discussions inevitably ended with us being banished to our rooms, dinner withheld and my mother hissing warnings to “just be quiet and not make him so angry.”

What never failed to escape my attention was her smug little smile as she watched my father’s sullen lapse into silence, muttering something about "girls not knowing their proper place anymore."

By the time I was 17, I pretty well knew everything there was to know about sex. Or so I thought.

By this time I’d had some ‘hands on’ experience (well, two of them anyway) and considered myself to be an expert on the topic.

Better than a lot of first hand experience was the fact that I had a good eye. I could sum things up pretty quickly with surreptitious glances. If this failed, I managed to drop things on the ground, an act which provided me with some up close and personal observations of the subject in question.

My hardcore education took place on the eastside of Vancouver, more precisely hairdressing school on Hastings St. across from Pigeon Park.

My parents had squelched my idea of being sent to Paris to study art and instead had sent me to Vancouver to become a hairdresser after I refused to go to school anymore and quit in grade eleven.

My suspicions had been correct, what I learned over the following year far surpassed the lessons being taught in public high school in Nanaimo.

I very much wanted to be a ‘bad girl’. However, between the right hand of the Eternal Judge and the four hands of my parents, I managed to stay on the straight and narrow.

I still carried a deep fear of being sent to hell. I owed thanks for this to the indoctrination of the excellent minions of the Roman Catholic church. 

Even though by this time I’d pretty much abandoned catholicism, its vise-like grip on my inner fears still prevailed.

I worked diligently to dig them out.

And still I remained a virgin, at least technically speaking.

I talked a good talk and hoped no one realized exactly how ignorant I actually was.

I’d listened carefully to others' detailed stories and had been able to gather vital information about the act of intercourse. 

I was fascinated by the various and sundry ways males of the human species attacked the endeavor.

None of my education prepared me for Tony.

Not only did he snare my heart, he turned my world upside down, spinning me around in circles till I was dizzy.

I met this man on a blind date set up by my best friend. She wanted to teach him a lesson and believed I’d be the perfect instrument to implement her plan.

Her plan backfired and he and I married 8 months after we met.

The marriage was a disaster from the start and though it only lasted about 3 minutes, seemed like an eternity.

So, we come full circle.

It was the summer of 1969.

I was attempting to perform fellatio on my husband, mostly in an attempt to impress him with my sexual prowess and mature grasp of the subject in hand.

This man had secured my hand by placing a ring on my finger and so I’d relinquished that which had been kept intact for twenty years.

Tony was a rather hasty lover but at least provided me with some first hand experience on how sensitive the male appendage could be, along with the various and sundry ways it could perform.

Somehow, I believed that ‘blowing’ on said apparatus would provide much pleasure for the male it was attached to. After all, the common vernacular seemed to offer specific direction.

I believed myself to be performing a rather thorough job when my husband stopped my performance, with a puzzled, “What exactly are you doing?”

I wondered if maybe he was drunk, or so overwhelmed with pleasure that I’d rendered him dumbstruck

I was horrified when he explained to me the full meaning of a “blow job”.

I believe my actual response was to push it rudely away and yell, “What?! You expect me to put THAT in my mouth?!”

Needless to say, I was not impressed, nor inclined to further my education. 

Somehow we managed to survive this crisis and continued to torture one another for a few more years.

It was my ardent desire to have children that kept me in a marriage that could best be described as a living hell.

I do my best to look back on those years and see how they shaped me to become the woman I am today.

I do my best to pick out good qualities about Tony. 

I have forgiven him for his shortcomings and though he has passed on, I hope he forgives me for the many that I brought into the relationship.

The question I ask myself on occasion is this, “Given all that I know now, would I repeat the same mistake?”

I suppose the deeper question would be, “Would I give up all the lessons I learned by being married to Tony?”

Unequivocally, my answer would be…..


June 22, 2021 01:46

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