This morning, before the kids woke up, I was watching episode two of the first season of House of Cards*. Maxine came in and asked what I was watching. I told her the name, and that it was a grown-up show, not really interesting or suitable for kids. That was mistake number one: nothing is so enticing as forbidden fruit. Mistake number two was figuring she would get bored with it and leave. After all, there was no action, just conversation. Unlike some shows I enjoy, there had been no physical violence so far. There had been one sex scene earlier in the episode, but it was tame, and with no nudity, and I was ready to pause if I sensed something like that coming. But I had forgotten about the colorful language: mistake number three.
One character asks another, "Who are you boinking** to get this information?"
I play it cool. Maybe if I pretend there was nothing worth noticing, there will have been nothing worth noticing.
The reply, "I didn't boink* anyone!"
I've been a teacher for almost twenty years now. I can shrug this off. Then Maxine turns to me and says, "Boinking?" I stop the video as the horses gleefully gallop away, and decide how to proceed.
"It has to do with sex. You know what that is, right?"
After a brief pause she says, "Aha! The D-word!"
I'm all out of poker-face at this point. She can immediately tell that I have no idea what she is talking about, and mercifully gives me no time to come up with any D-words that will make this situation more awkward than it already is.
"Dating!" she says.
I take a moment to process. "Close enough," I say, relieved that my eleven-year-old daughter is not going to be discussing things that I am reluctant to write in my blog, but somewhat concerned at how she has connected sex to dating. "This conversation will continue soon, sweetheart." I want this to be true, but I know that my Powers of Procrastination (capitalized because they really are that powerful) may swoop in and pummel this promise into passivity.
"In the meantime, don't use that word. It is too easy to offend people, or make them think that you are a bad person." She assures me that she doesn't speak English often enough for this to be a problem. Aside from at home, church is the only place where she speaks English regularly. What could go wrong?
Maybe I'd better have that talk tomorrow.****
* Yes, I have just started watching it. I see why so many people like it. I have three weeks of vacation left. Four seasons of 13 episodes each means I may end up wasting the rest of my summer vacation.
** They did not, in fact, use the verb "boink." They used a word which I avoid using in my Roblog. In fact, the closest I have come is in this post about my final days at Wal-Mart.*** Reading that makes me glad to be here and now!
*** Spoiler alert, I used the word effing. My Uncle Tom was the principal of a school in a town called Effingham, which I liked to believe was founded by people who were really, really angry at their ham.
**** Just to clarify, I mean the talk about the word boink, not "the sex talk." The sex talk is not one conversation in this family, but a series. My feeling is that if we talk about it often enough, she will be comfortable talking to me about sex, even if she wants to talk about something embarrassing, painful, or worse.