Tomorrow (April 11) would be my parents' 39th wedding anniversary, but they got divorced when I was 12. Although most of my childhood memories of my parents are of them individually, I do have quite a few memories of us as a complete family. The following story is one of those memories and I thought it appropriate to share it today. So happy would-be anniversary Mom & Dad. And thanks for always being able to talk to Dave and me about anything at any time.
"Dad, can I have herpes?" an 8-year old Dave asked one night during dessert.
"No, you can't," was my dad's immediate and firm response.
From across the kitchen, my mom pipes up, "I hate to correct you, especially in front of the kids, John, but I think it's important to answer their questions about sex openly and honestly. If they're asking questions, we should have the courage to answer them, even if it's a bit uncomfortable for us."
With that, Mom walked back over to the table, and dove right into a lecture about Herpes Simplex 1 and 2. Dad looked horrified.
"First of all," she began, ignoring the dismayed look on Dad's face, "there are two kinds of Herpes. Herpes Simplex 1 are little sores you can get in your mouth or on your lips. Sometimes these are called canker sores or fever blisters. Just about everyone gets them at some point in their life, even you."
My dad starts to interrupt her, but she's on a roll. "Herpes Simplex 2 is the same kind of little sores, but they are on your private parts."
Dad, Dave and I are now looking at her as if she's got 2 heads, but she continues. "So, while I hope you never get the second kind of Herpes, the answer to your question is that yes, you can get Herpes."
At this point, my dad who would not ever discuss sex with us, was bright red and probably wished he was not still sitting at the table. None of us could contain ourselves and exploded in laughter.
Finally, Dave regains his composure and says "Mom, I just wanted to know if I could have her piece of cake since Jessica didn't want dessert! But I don't want it anymore."