Which suitor did I choose?

It was Valentine’s Day 1976 and I received two anonymous Valentine’s cards.  I can still remember my excitement.  The cards and envelopes were scrutinized as deeply as a Forensic Files crime.  If it was in 2022, I would have extracted the DNA from the saliva on the envelope…  Shortly after I received the cards, two boys in our ‘Glee Club’ asked me out and then I was convinced who sent which one.  But was I correct in my analysis?

I was so mortified by the Dragon card and the pink ‘tail’.  At 15 years old, I understood the implication but I was horribly naïve despite a clinical Roman Catholic health education which, as intended, put me off everything sexual.  Thank goodness Nana had passed away the previous year.  She would have declared it vulgar and made me wear a Burka to school.  Our uniform, which included regulation American tan tights with white knee socks on top, should have been enough to tamp down the boys’ lust!  My mum laughed out loud but I could see that she was thinking, “who sent that?”

The Tiger card was so different – sweet, beguiling and innocent.  The sentiment was delightful and the sender knew I loved all kinds of kitty cats.  The true love of my life was Tibby, my first cat.  I talked about her so much in school, that at our 25-year school reunion, old school mates asked me how she was?  She crossed to the rainbow bridge many years before. 

Kerry, idyllically happy with textbook and sleepy Tibby

Of the two suitors, only one appealed to me. V was an exotic half breed like me.  He was half Italian/half Scottish with black hair and pale blue eyes.  At the time I thought I was half Spanish/half Irish but I turned out to be a Heinz variety.  The other boy, W, was averagely handsome with a vague resemblance to Starsky of Starsky and Hutch fame but there was zero attraction from my end.  With that in mind, I determined that V. had sent the tiger card as he was a soft spoken, kind natured boy (liked by all mothers).  By process of elimination, that meant W. had sent the ribald Dragon card.  I turned him down and went out with V.

My short courtship with V. started so well.  He smelled so good and seemed interested in going further than first base but we didn’t.  We sat for hours listening to Tangerine Dream. His mother did not like me.  I can’t think of any reason for her to feel like that but I suspect she felt very uncomfortable with her oldest son, aged 16, having lustful thoughts for the pretty senorita.  She was lucky that Nana is always in my head or we might have got to second base…

After a few weeks, I was bored and dumped poor V. by kissing another Glee Club member in front of him.  My girl friends castigated me and I remember them comforting V. who was crying in the kitchen.  I didn’t even feel an ounce of regret – hormones make you behave terribly and I was only 15.  Later I went out with another Glee Club Member, M.  I dumped him on a boat halfway to an island on a school trip.  He spent the rest of the trip miserable.  What a heartless floozy I was… 😊

Much later I discovered there were some other boys who had a wee crush on me, so perhaps the senders are still anonymous.  Maybe sweet V. send the rude one – I could still extract the DNA… I hope you have a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

Sexual Fluidity – part II

Kerry looking like a Catholic school girl...

Kerry looking like a Catholic school girl…

Following on from my post yesterday, I am writing a series of blogs about sexuality. They are not from a professional/clinical viewpoint – I am just an interested observer and participant. Without further ado, I am musing today about sexuality and orientation. My Roman Catholic upbringing impressed on me the importance on not going beyond first base. I googled this on my work computer and then deleted the history. The definition in the Urban Dictionary was French Kissing so perhaps my interpretation of first base was a little off base…

On a short deviation from the title but not the topic my first boyfriend was Frank. He dumped me very quickly but then kept hooking up at parties during Spin the Bottle or the like. He was exotic with an Aussie accent and part of our Glee type gang of boys and girls. I had no idea how grown-ups kissed and was rather titillated that he French kissed me. Oh, la, la! Then I French kissed all the other boys in the Glee Club – I was popular. A year later, the girls were chatting after the summer vacation and one girl mentioned that a boy at the Carnival/Fairground had stuck his tongue in her mouth. All the girls shrieked with horror and I wanted to die, thinking that I am the slut of the Glee Club. Eventually, I found out that I wasn’t and that someone had gone ALL THE WAY!

Cut to college – it’s party time! Not only did I get to meet even more boys, some of whom were Protestant, but I developed boobs – YAY! All through my college years I had a steady boyfriend who I promised to marry but I still had to sew my wild oats, didn’t I? He was my first lover (I think…you know what happens when I drink) but I thought it was okay to mess around with other guys. I regularly went out to college events (dances/concerts) and would take the night bus home. From time to time I was approached by young ladies who were either bisexual or gay. I should point out that it was very common to hook up, in an innocent sense, with someone on the night bus home. It was your last chance to get frisky that night… I was curious about the female advances but demurred. My look is utterly feminine, bordering on slutty since Blondie was my role model and I then had long blonde hair. Was I giving out some ‘fluidity vibe’ or did I just seem approachable?

I soon got bored with college events and started going nightclubbing with a girlfriend who was working. She was dating one of the owner’s friends so we got free entrance, drinks and many propositions. The owner locked up the doors at 2 am and we stayed on, partying. It was like the Garden of Earthly Delights. People were indulging in drugs, stripping off, getting it on with both, either or all sexes. I just watched with fascination. A very handsome Spanish guy, who I danced with regularly, asked me if I would have sex with him. Perhaps an invitation to dinner would have greased the wheels but I demurred again. He pleaded with me that he wasn’t sure if he was gay or straight because he had been molested by a man when he was younger and that I would solve this conundrum. It had the ring of truth but was still a ruse to trick me into a world that I didn’t want to enter.

The girlfriend that introduced me to this world then made a pass at me. She kissed me full on the mouth in the club. For years there had been signs of this being a possibility but I thought it was youthful curiosity. Yet again, I demurred but was conflicted. I foolishly shared my feelings with yet another girlfriend who thought I was making a pass at her! Good Lord, life gets complicated when you wander off the Yellow Brick Road. I now know that not every person is completely heterosexual at a young age – much like puppies and kittens. It bothered me for some time – I knew I was completely attracted to men but was I also attracted to women? Since I didn’t wander off the path of heterosexuality, it took years for me to realize that I am utterly attracted to men. Their smell: their size: their attributes: their difference and their machismo. I joke that if Angelina Jolie approached me, I might consider it but really it is not my thing and that’s okay.

More musings tomorrow…