I lived on a street where every single house was Mormon, EXCEPT 2. It was a neighborhood where kids ran freely from house to house all day long and noone worried about where we were. We were safe, we were innocent, we were free. There were nightly games of hide and seek, or kick the can or freeze tag centering usually around our front yard, or the lightpost seperating our yard and the Strattons. We were a happy bunch of kids, livin the life in all our pure, young glory. My best friends were Karen and Andrea (and I can still tell you their phone numbers, Andreas was 969-0944, and Karens was 969-5187, HELLO) and we never did anything really wrong. Well ok fine, unless you count that one time when we were peaking into the window of the missionaries apartment (they lived behind karens house) and one walked out of the shower and we saw his, giggle, giggle...."male member" if you will. It was so disturbing and hilarious all at the same time. We ran away screaming and giggling. What? It was an ACCIDENT. We didn't MEAN to see his Happy jack. Other than that, it was like a perfect little picture out of a Norman Rockwell Painting. At least in my young mind it was. But then:
She moved in down the street from me, sometime during 5th grade. Her name was Nicole, and she was "different" from my other friends. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was definitely NOT the same. Perhaps it was the fact that her oldest brother lived out in an extra room out back, and his room was filled with Playboys and cigarettes. MAYBE it was the dynamic of her family. It could have been that she got to wear PANTYHOSE BEFORE she was even 12. But whatever it was, she had a definite "worldliness" that this little bubble of innocence had never known. She was the kind of a girl that would totally tell you something with such confidence and authority that you completely believed it. Even though most of the time it turned out to be total lies. She was a leader, an instigator, and she would prove to teach me a thing or two about the big bad world.
My sister Jenny says that she and Nicole went into the nasty older brothers room and looked at the Playboys. Somehow, I missed the pornathon...thank goodness. 'Cause I had plenty of other "learnin" to do.
I think the downfall began with the SHOCKING revelation from Nicole that Mormons (I am a Mormon you know) had "The SEX". I'm pretty sure you could insert a Shaggy size ZOINKS and a Jinkies right in there with my head exploding at this incredible news. I mean, I'd seen people on TV or the movies in bed together, sometimes with the implication that no clothes were involved. But certainly, CERTAINLY, "MY People" did nothing of the sort. I don't know HOW I thought that all those babies appeared in my house, and in all my families houses. I knew they were in Moms tummies, and where they came out from, but I surely didn't believe that there was naked cavorting that resulted in said children. In fact, I know that what I THOUGHT was, people like my parents just hugged or something, chastely clothed and then, poof, there would be a kiddo coming. So, you can imagine the disturbed visions that flooded my head for WEEKS following this revelation. It was AWFUL. Suddenly, EVERYONE I saw was suspect. I thought about my parents, my aunts and uncles, people at church, all doing naughty things like I saw in movies. It was really more than I could take in all my 10 year old glory. So thanks Nicole, thanks for that.
One day Nicole announced that she had gotten her period. You KNOW we were all obsessed with this right of passage. I mean, we'd had THE talk in 5th grade. Who was gonna get it? Who of us would be first, and therefore SO cool! I will never forget it..there we were walking down the street, just as we passed the Reeses house she blurted out, with much bravado..."So, I got my period." Gasp, choke....'You DID?" "Oh my gosh, what was it like?" She didn't have much more to say.
As it turns out, when the truth finally came out....She had just wiped way to hard.
It was with Nicole that I first really did swearing. As a young child, it is not that I never heard it; My Dad would say things, and generally it was upsetting to me. Swearing is NOT what you do around here. My Mom occassionaly would let something fly, and again, it brought me to tears. So, I certainly wasn't busting out my trash mouth. But Nicole, well, there was something about her that brought out my inner bad girl (and trust me, she is there inside me). We would sneak over to the park across the street, sit on the swings and say EVERY swear word we could think of. It felt so dangerous, so bad A, so COOL. Apparently the park was safe for swearing. But once we crossed back over, the "swear" was stuffed back down again. But it was "our" naughty little secret.
We both shared a hardcore love of Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele. That was such a GREAT show, and he was a hot hot HOTTY! I would day dream away the hours about Pierce, his sexy accent and how he would love me.
Games of Truth or Dare were begun, standing in the alley behind Nicoles house. Boys of the neighborhood like Randy and Chris and Damon came out to play. We'd stand in the safety and shadows of the darkened alley and dare eachother to kiss so and so. My first "kisses" (which SO do NOT count) were with Damon and Randy. They felt yucky and wierd, all chap lipped and awkward. But at the same time, soo thrilling, 'cause once again, we were taking a walk on the WILD side.
She was a leader, a leader on the Hell path apparently. She was convincing, and fun and darker than my friends of innocence. She knew about things, how to do things, what "things" meant. Clearly, I had much to learn. I should also insert here that this is also when Jody Kirkland rolled into town. Her family was from California, and they were beach blond beautiful! No really, BEAUTIFUL! All super blond, huge blue eyes, super tan, hotties. She was up there in her "worldly" knowledge as well. And she certainly latched right on to Nicole and helped steer this girl (me) down a bumpy road.
But, my biggest, baddest "sin" with Nicole (and Jody) was yet to come...
****I must fix a glaring mistake in my memory that Andrea, of the broken leg fame has cleared up. It was NOT Melia that was there. In fact, Melia and her family had now moved into their new 2 story house down the street. So, it was now Jody Kirkland living in Melias old house. Andrea says Nicole wasn't there. I don't believe it. But ok, fine, just me Andrea and Jody. Please forgive this mistake. Apparently, we wanted to go to the mall, but her Grandma wouldn't let her. So, we went to Jody's instead and Jody instigated the cliff jumping (see, she WAS naughty). So I guess, essentially, it's Andreas Grammas fault that she broke her leg, 'cause if we'd JUST gone to the mall, none of this would have happened. Hee hee
Oh, and her big lie was.....The baby had started to cry, she ran to grab her and tripped over a toy, and poof, her ankle just snapped. Apparently, all of the old folks bought it. She didn't fess up to the truth of that story until she was in COLLEGE! As soon as she told her parents, her Dad brought her the phone and insisted that she call her Gramma and tell her she was SORRY for breaking her back, all because of stupidity and a lie. ::SNORT:: Sorry, that just cracked me up. But anyway, there you have it....the REST of the story.