Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Read This Book Before I Had Sex

We had a library in our home. I spent a lot of time in that library because that's where my father would send me when I was punished. And I was punished a lot. Not my fault I was smarter than him.

My sister Lindy never got in trouble so consequently never spent one minute in that room. I think she didn't learn to read until she was 28. I don't even know for a fact if she can read today because we only talk on the phone. Not my fault I was smarter than her.

I came to know every book in our library because I stopped sticking pins into my Dad's pictures long enough to read all the thick ones because I was sure they were the hardest. Then I would quote really big words at the dinner table. Just to punish him.

Eventually I got around to a thin book. Hardly visible among all the novels and biographies (Eleanor of Aquitaine! The Call of the Wild! Crime and Punishment!) was a pale blue hardcover called This is My Beloved by Walter Benton, first published in 1943. Inside I discovered lusty phrases like Your warm naked thighs and Your breasts are wonderfully alive under my kisses and the very disturbing Your lips cushioned the inherent murder in your teeth.

I was 15.

And had just kissed my first boy, Alain, in a town on the Atlantic coast of France called Meschers.

This is me and Alain, who was 17. Look how relaxed Alain was; look at me clutching my Kodak Brownie Camera as if he was going to steal it. You know the French. If he and I had gotten married we would have given birth not to a child but to one giant nose.

I came back from France that school year and read Walter Benton's incredibly gorgeous book of poetry. I thought I knew everything about love and the fine art of French kissing but as it turned out, apparently there was A LOT more to learn.

When I left Meschers, Alain gave me his little silver medallion from the most famous church in the world, Lourdes. Buying something from Lourdes often implies someone really needs it to keep them healthy. I hope I didn't kill him by accepting it.

But chances are good that I did.

So Happy Valentine's Day to all the boys and girls with "inherent murder in their teeth." It's a miracle I ever kissed anyone again after reading that line.

I still have that little silver medallion.


  1. I love this post. Awesome.

    But now I'm going to have to unfollow you again because you are perilously close to 300 followers.



  2. This is just lovely.

    And OH that photo. You are so sweet and Alain looks like he has the world by the balls.


  3. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Alain's smile suggests that he'd like to do a little more than kiss you.

    Nice story.

    (I remember when you were begging for your 100th follower. Now look at you. Ahh..the good old days.)

  4. Yes, Alain has that certain je ne c'est quoi, non? I think his lips are cushioning the inherent murder in his teeth.

    Was it the medallion he's wearing in that picture? Sweet that you would still have that. Must have really meant something to you. Have you seen Alain since?

  5. I absolutely love this...

    and if you look very closely at the family pictures on the walls of my mother's house you will notice small pinholes...the voodoo treatment :)

    Peace ~ Rene

  6. On the one hand the story of you at 15 and your French boyfriend is cute.

    On the other hand, if you replace my 15-year old daughter's name with yours I would freak out.

    Odd, isn't it?

  7. What a great story - happy V Day!

  8. When I was in high school my mother used to tell me that if I REALLY wanted, she would get me a nose job for graduation.


  9. dangerous business, kissing...

  10. What a lovely tale of innocent love. Rivals Summer of '42 with its poignant story of love never gained and Brownie almost lost.

    Yep, just like that other story. Except for the murderous teeth. I may never look at my dentist the same way again.

    As my Asian gardener would say: "Suzy, you are an incredibly humorous lady, and one I am proud to know by proxy."

    Why he calls me "proxy" I have no idea.

  11. Murder in the teeth...I love it....

  12. Oh, young love! Le sigh. How hot is Alain?

    Your parents' library was just like mine. Except when I was punished, I had to go to my room (which was away from their books). My parents were smarter than me.

  13. How is that, even wearing just a bathing suit, you can tell that he's French? What is it about those Frenchmen?

  14. he's got a boner and you're busy reading poetry? Guy deserved a medal

  15. "inherent murder in their teeth."

    I have come up with some interesting phrases but that takes the cake.

  16. Alain has fat thighs and he should have grabbed you when he had the chance. You lose, Frenchman.

  17. Such sweet memories... and you still have the medallion!

  18. I'm shocked, SHOCKED at the length of time it's taken me to fall in love with you.

    I hope you've invented a machine where I can go back and fix this issue.

    A -- "something" machine. You know. The thing where you go back and fix stuff.

    Anyway. You're a ruling ruler and I want you to retroactively run an island with me. Okay?

  19. French dudes and their noses are awesome. I like that yours had the perfect, cool French guy name: Alain. I'm kind of swooning right now.

  20. I kissed a french guy once. His name was Christophe Montague (?sp). He was so cute and I could say his name over and sexy.
    You're soo cute! And I agree with everyone about Alains smile.LOL

  21. I never stuck pins in the pictures I just turned them around so they faced the wall.
    We didn't have a library but I did read Lady Chatterly's Lover and could not figure out half of what they were talking about but then again I was only nine.

  22. Great post. Have you seen Alain since? He looks like he was a hottie.