Time To Pencil In “The Talk”

, , , , , , | Related | December 18, 2018

(I am roughly eleven years old. I am in my room working on homework when I notice the #2 at the top of my pencil and start to wonder if there are #1 or #3 pencils, as well, and how they are different. Considering my dad has always been rather knowledgeable, and this is before the Internet is easily accessed, I decide to ask him. I find him in the living room watching television with my mom. Not wanting to interrupt his show for a silly question, I decide to ask him if it’s okay first.)

Me: “Dad, I was wondering if I could ask you a question?”

(My dad stiffens and slowly turns his head to look at me. His face looks paler, his mouth hangs open, and there is some fear in his eyes.)

Dad: “W-what?”

Me: “Um, I wanted to know, if you weren’t too busy, if I could ask you a question.”

Dad: *shaken* “Uh… right. Okay. Just… go sit in my room and I’ll come in when I’m ready.”

Me: *figuring he wants to wait till a commercial break* “Okay.”

(This next part is from my mother’s perspective, which she shares with me years later. She has been watching the show, not listening to our conversation. After I leave the room the TV suddenly turns off.)

Mom: *looks at my dad* “Hmm? What’s going on?”

Dad: *gravely, not looking at her* “It’s time.”

Mom: *concerned by his tone* “Time for what?

Dad: “Our son has… questions. It’s time for ‘the talk.’”

(She picks up that he means it is time to give me the “sex talk.” They spend a few minutes discussing what points to bring up, and Mom tries to bolster him into doing this until he decides that he’s ready and goes to talk to me.)

Me: *obliviously watching TV while waiting*

Dad: *enters the room, turns off the television, and sits next to me on the bed* “Well, son, what questions did you have for me?”

Me: “Oh, I was wondering if there are other numbered pencils rather than #2; they always say, ‘use a #2 pencil,’ but I’ve never heard of a #1 pencil before.”

(I see my dad practically deflate as tension leaves his body. There’s a pause of at least ten seconds as he gathers his thoughts. He answers my question to my satisfaction.)

Me: “Cool. Thanks, Dad.” *starts to get up to leave*

Dad: *stopping me* “Wait. There’s something else I wanted to tell you about.”

Me: *confused*

(He proceeds to give me “the talk.” It isn’t especially overt, but the topic comes so out of left field for me I’m practically knocked off my feet.)

Dad: “So, son, do you have any more questions for me?”

Me: *dazed* “No… no more questions.”

(I shambled out of their room and back to my own. I sat down at my desk and stared at the innocuous pencil that started this. In the living room, I could hear my mother’s cackling laughter as she heard the story.)

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