The Fairy Tale Is Over

When I was about twelve years old, I remember my first overnight slumber party with friends. Before that occasion, I’d never spent the night with anyone outside my family. When my younger siblings were born, my brothers and I stayed with our cousins, but we were familiar with their house, feeling like it was simply an extension of our own home.sleepover

It’s been a long time since that first “official” sleepover, but that event has stuck in my mind all these years. There were six to eight of my girlfriends in attendance, lots of squealing and giggles, hairbrushes and combs in use, most of the girls clad in baby-doll pajamas, and plenty of stuffed animals and pillows flying through the air as we playfully teased and interacted.

Almost as soon as the night had begun, though, I made a personal (and private) decision that this overnight party would be my last for the foreseeable future. One thing I remember caused me significant discomfort was my friend’s mother who made a point of walking through the house wearing only her panties and bra. Despite my familiarity with my own personal undergarments, I found it disconcerting (and inappropriate) for this grown woman to be so casual in the presence of strangers in spite of (and perhaps mostly because of) our tender ages.

Yes, yes, I know … such occurrences may be the “norm” today. And I’m grateful my friend’s father wasn’t lounging about in his underwear! For me, this was simply an unnecessary display (TMI). Because I knew my parents to be scrupulous and discreet adults, I presumed all parents were like them. Boy, did I have a lot to learn! Continue Reading →