It probably isn’t as prevelant as it once was, but in bygone days quite a lot of guys had to undergo a rite of passage…normally with their father. There were a number of these rites…first beer, first live sporting event and so on. None of these things though, could prepare you for “The Talk”.
Obviously these days, most kids/teens are more aware of STDs and how to put a condom on a banana than their parents are, mainly due to school lessons…but it wasn’t always the case. I was unfortunately caught in that time when kids were becoming more aware, but parents weren’t. A bit like when the government switched from O-Level to GCSE in schools…only somewhat more embarrassing.
Picture the scene; A 16 year old Laughing Wolf arrives home at sometime before noon…having been out the entire night at his girlfriends place. Dad is in the kitchen as I grab something to eat and drink…small talk ensues. Football is discussed, schoolwork is discussed, would I take my brothers with me on Sunday to blah blah. I remember feeling a little confused…sure, Dad and I regularly nattered about little and nothing, but there seemed to be some sort of unspoken uneasiness. I couldn’t quite place it, nor could I work out why Dad was refusing to make eye contact with me.
I took my food into the living room, sat down and put the TV on. A few minutes went by and Dad came in, sat next to me and said “I think it is about time we had a talk son”.
I, of course, shit myself was curious as to what he wanted to discuss. I racked my brain, searching for what indiscretion had transpired…that I could have been caught for. Maybe he had noticed the missing Apple Korn bottle, found my stash of smokes at the bottom of the garden…that my tape deck had been broken for months and I had wired up a walkman to the stereo to hide it.
Dad turned the TV off and looked distinctly nervous. He ummed and aahed for a few moments, and I remember thinking that I was in serious trouble…Dad is never lost for words you see, so his discomfort was instantly passed onto me and I didn’t know what to make of it. He put his hand on my shoulder and started to say the almost timeless “Son, there comes a time in…” and was cut off. At the moment he began to speak, Mum walked into the living room..sized up the situation, realised what was going on and said “I wouldn’t worry about it Gordon, I have just been putting his washing away and saw a load of condoms in his drawer”.
The realisation of what Dad wanted to talk to me about hit me…the relief in Dads face was visible. He patted my shoulder and said “Good we had this talk son” and he was gone. I couldn’t believe it…my Dad, for just a few seconds, was a walking talking clich??. I put my uneaten food in the kitchen, and legged it outside for a smoke.
You see, I have never been to war…but I really felt like I dodged a bullet there. That said, as I sit here now, I kind of wonder what he was going to say…after all, it could come in handy in the future.
Did any of you dodge this bullet, or were you forced to endure the torture that is “The Talk”?