One day, it happened. Out of the blue, Gerald rang me up and asked if I was busy. I was, but I quickly threw those plans out the window and told him I was free. Then he said the words that no girl wants to hear from her first crush: “I have this friend who would like to go out with you Saturday night.”
My heart sank, but as calmly as I could, I asked, “Who is it?”
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“My friend Ollie,” he replied.
I had seen Ollie, a handsome Marine, because I used to baby-sit for some of his neighbors. I always thought he looked very cute in his dress blues, but he was a little shy, and I had never thought of dating him. Well, it was a bit awkward at first, but by the end of the evening, the sparks were flying, and soon we were going out on a regular basis. We were married five months before my eighteenth birthday and three months from his twenty-first. How young we were — but so much in love!
Looking back on it, it’s a wonder we ever figured out how to make each other so happy. Remember, this was the fifties, and I was just a teenager. The only sex education I ever got was from my mother, on my wedding night. “Now, Pat,” she told me, her face flushed with embarrassment, “you know there’s going to be stuff he’ll expect.”
That was it. Like most girls back then, that was all the information anyone saw fit to give me. I know my mom was doing the best she could, but come on — “stuff he’ll expect”? How sad is that? (And my mother, mind you, was eventually married four times!) But that’s what a lot of girls were told. They guy’s sexual satisfaction was all that mattered. If you were lucky enough to enjoy any of the sexual encounter, more power to you — but you sure weren’t going to get much help.
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Yes, it was an Ozzie and Harriet world when I was growing up. Ozzie worked, while Harriet stayed home and kept house. The man was responsible for bringing home the bacon and for making sure his sexual needs were fulfilled. If he wanted to, and if he knew how, maybe his wife would get some sexual pleasure, too, but if he couldn’t or didn’t want to provide that little service, then she was flat out of luck.