As every smart parent knows, the best way to keep kids from becoming sexually active is to treat their feelings as something dirty, destructive and unmentionable. This is particularly true when you are raising daughters, because society does not go far enough in enforcing a double standard for males and females. Girls, nothing is more important than maintaining a good reputation! Take it from “First Kiss,” the cautionary tale from Falling In Love #118:
Your first boyfriend … Your first date … And your first kiss! And suddenly that one kiss leads to another and another and another … until you finally have to ask yourself: “Am I still worthy of love?”
Before my sarcasm reserves run dry, let us consider the plight of young Ellen Turner. It’s her very first date with Jimmy, and they reach a crossroads as they sit in his parked convertible in the dark. You know what I’m talking about.
Ellen pays a heavy price for her ruinous behavior during a tortured night of weeping and unending heartache. What was she thinking, expressing such deviant
basic, age-appropriate desires so early in a relationship? Soon, Keith will be telling lewd tales in the locker room and inscribing her name in bathroom stalls. I blame rock ‘n roll — and pot.
It goes on.
The next day, Ellen is devastated when Jimmy doesn’t show up on time for a second date. And why would he, when she’s clearly the town trollop?
But it turns out he was changing a flat tire! He not only gives Ellen a second chance, but also has the decency to worry about his own role — however understandable because he is male — in this tawdry affair. Still, the writer makes sure Falling in Love‘s impressionable readers understand that Ellen barely averted disaster. “Does one mistake always mean it’s the fatal one?” she muses. “Luckily, I got another chance. Will you be that fortunate?” Unlikely.
It would have been even better if the story had shown Jimmy and Ellen on a second date, sitting far apart in a parlor room while a responsible adult chaperoned. It’s obvious they can’t be trusted to control themselves.