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Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Pastor of Innocence

I took the phone into my study. A lady's voice on the other end sounded relieved when I interrupted her explanation, to tell her that Sam had explained to me what happened. She was, she told me, in charge of pastoral care at the school and had been asked by the Deputy Head to inform us of the Lad's transgression.

I told her that Sam had been afraid to come home and come in quite late -- after walking around the block several times and hiding in the car in the cellar. I described his distress and shame and that I was quite sure he had learned valuable lessons. In addition, I told her that I had raised three sons and that at one time or another all of them had ventured into obtaining indiscreet erotic material.

Much to my amusement, she said, "That's why I never want to have boys. I only want girls!"

It was at this point I realized that this woman was very  young and inexperienced in what boys, if not girls, get up to. Which made me wonder if giving her the assignment to call us was a bit of a joke and 'baptism of fire' with the Deputy Head! "Poor woman," I thought to myself. And then I had to laugh at the awkwardness of her initial conversation with The Man. 

She wanted to know if I wanted her to return the picture that she had, which I had no desire to have, and which I expect has now been destroyed! She assured me that Sam was a lovely boy and that they had never had any problems with him and that she was sure there would be no more. (I wish I could be as sure!!)

So I've been thinking about this need for boys around this age to look at erotica. There is no mystery about their own gender -- it all hangs out -- so to speak. But women, it's all a mystery that they can't see and boys being boys, they want to get to the 'bottom of it' -- so to speak!

As for The Man: he was horrified when I told him and was not at all amused. I felt like such a strumpet! He would have been less appalled if Sam had been caught fighting than as the carrier of smut! Thankfully though, by the next day he was willing to accept that it really was quite normal -- even if not to him -- and was at least amused by the predicament faced by the innocent pastor explaining it all to him. He then retrieved the remaining cards from Sam and burned them in the Garden!

31 comments:

  1. Growing up I didn't know any guys who didn't have a secret stash of porn, usually a purloined copy of Dad's Playboy or Penthouse. I think this is part and parcel of the male experience growing up. Considering what can be easily viewed on the computer, I bet these cards were rather tame.

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  2. Now for many they have a secret stash of porn on their computers!

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  3. Boys should be taught that pornography is disgusting and dirty and they need to hide it really well.

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    1. It's a lesson they learn without much difficulty...

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  4. It's too bad, but our society has created a system of sex education based on furtive sneaking and peeking. It's good that you were so understanding with Sam.

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    1. It seems to have been ever thus...

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  5. You're not just having to guide Sam but his young and inexperienced pastoral tutor as well, Broad. I think everyone has learned a lot from this episode. :-)

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    1. I must say, I was very surprised to discover how inexperienced with boys she is.

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  6. Enjoyed your assessment of the whole situation and especially your summing up of the (young) male mind. A refreshingly down to earth attitude!

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  7. Broad, YOU OUGHT TO START A CAMPAIGN! Well done. In my job as school principal in middle school, I had to counsel many boys and girls. Most adults are too embarrassed to talk to kids about what is a normal stage in their lives.

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    1. Thank you, Rosaria. Most people only have to look at their own experience to know about this "right of passage" -- However, the division between the young and the not-so-young seems a great as ever.

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  8. All's well that ends well. You have handled this one brilliantly.

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    1. Thank you, Molly, you are very kind!

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  9. Oh well done! As former head of an international school I totally agree with Rosaria.

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    1. Thank you! Two of my boys attended the Munich International School -- and they absolutely loved it!

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  10. Poor Sam, He learned some important lessons the hard way!
    I remember very well the furtive passing round of smutty pictures by both boys and girls at that age. They were all very tame compared with what's so readily available these days. It's worrying that a boy's expectations from first relationships with girls can be unhealthily distorted by the nastier type of images they all have access to these days.

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    1. There is stuff on the Internet that really is horrific and it's very difficult to keep kids away from it. Nothing like the sanitized smut of my school days!

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  11. Well done. My grandson was so relieved when I explained I'd consider him abnormal if he weren't looking. And more relieved when he learned I said the same thing to his minister.
    Poor Sam. I hope he next encounter with the next rung on his ladder will be more benign.

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    1. I hope so, too. These things seem to happen when everything seems to be on an even keel and you least expect it!

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  12. Poor guy, having been caught and now everyone knows. He must be chagrined. I do hope he will recover, since he is not the first and won't be the last, not by a long shot.

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  13. Poor fellow! :) It is rather funny though.

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    1. It did have its humorous side, I must admit...

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  14. Poor Sam! Learned many things with great difficult!

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    1. Life has its challenges, as they say...

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  15. Pictures of naked women are just one of those things which are always going to hold a certain fascination for boys, it is modern pornography which - to my mind - is so damaging, and access to it on the saturated internet is getting easier and easier.

    I really hate pornography as it jades the viewer, and youngsters should not have to be jaded at that age - or any other age.

    One interesting spin-off about young lads looking at porn is that it has brought teenage pregnancies right down. The reason for this would only become obvious if you watched the stuff that they are exposed to. It always ends up the same way.

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    1. Fascinating take on this, Tom. Yes, the Internet stuff is very jaded -- nothing like the sort of stuff young lads had access to when my son bought those cards -- though I'm not sure when that may have been.

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  16. So you don't only have to counsel Sam, but your husband and the pastoral care teacher as well...
    You had best set up as a counselor and be paid for it!

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    1. What can I say -- you do what you gotta do!

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  17. Dear Broad, your savoir faire in all this is so enlightening to me. You just did everything--even talking to the counselor--with such aplomb and so much common sense. I've never been in a situation like this and I have no idea if my brother, who's three years older, was fascinated by erotica when he was young. I'm wondering how MOm would have handled this. I suspect that you and she have a lot in common in that you understand the human heart. Peace.

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