Back in the day, I was friends with a junior high crowd who always ran for class president and got selected class sweethearts.
We were the “cool crowd,” the trendsetters.
In the seventh grade, one of my BFF’s hosted the first boy/girl dance party, and all of a sudden this light turned on in my brain. Boys weren’t yucky. Another friend was the first to go “steady” (this meant nothing more back then than holding hands and smooching with mouths closed), and I was even more intrigued by a new notion. Boys are not yucky and kissing boys is good.
When Mother Superior discovered these new events, she dragged our whole gang into her office without benefit of lawyer representation or being given our Miranda Warning. Sensing she may have been too late to stop our sinful spiral, she called for stricter intervention – she summoned the parish priest.
Father stood like Moses before the sinning Jews at the foot of Mount Sinai and warned us about the evils of handholding and how that eventually led to even more sin – kissing. Now he really had my attention – kissing someone other than your old great aunt must really be fun.
It was when he tied in all this sin with the commandment on coveting that he lost me. I had no idea how my interest in smooching had anything to do with my neighbors. Mrs. Cowser lived alone with three Chihuahuas, and the Delgado family stayed up all night and ate all day long. I had no desire to covet anything they owned. I just wanted to hold hands with a boy and experience smooching.
He finished his admonition by proclaiming there would be no more boy/girl parties, there would be no PDA on campus (and that included hand holding), and the boys and the girls were not to associate with each other during our free time - recess and lunch. We were asked to agree to the new rules and some of my friends nodded and a few actually agreed out loud.
But there were some of us who just stood there weighing our options.
Let’s just say, you don’t get to be “cool” by following all the rules. Coolness transcends convention. The Truly Cool live on the periphery, defying restrictions. We real cool.