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The Facts of Life October 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Less IS More, People.

In the fourth grade, I switched from Atlantic Elementary (K through 3rd grade) to Cedar Drive School (4th – 8th grade).  I soon noticed a number of intriguing differences between the two schools.  Most notably, the presence of a small stainless steel “dispensary” on the wall of each of the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms.

Curious about the contents of the steel box, I slid a dime into the slot, turned the crank, and waited to see what the dispensary would dispense.

Out popped a lightweight cylindrical object, about the size of a cigar, encased in a sanitary wrapper labeled either Kotex or Tampax ~ I cannot recall which.

Not that it matters since I’d never heard of a Kotex or a Tampax before.


I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland.  Curious and curiouser.

Grasping the tube in my hand, I returned to the classroom and asked my teacher, Mrs. Hettrick, to identify said object.

With a stern (but understanding) look, she took it from me, slid it into the top drawer of her desk, and said, “Remind me as you’re leaving today and I’ll  return it so you can ask your mother about it.”


What type of conspiracy of silence was this?

At the end of the school day, I dutifully reclaimed it from Mrs. Hettrick and rode home on the school bus full of perplexing questions.  At my stop, I hopped off the bus, raced down the street, and flew into the kitchen, waving the UPO (Unidentified Purchased Object) in front of me.

“Mom, what’s this?”

With a quick glance at my brothers and younger sister, mom ushered me upstairs where we had “The Talk.”

I can describe “The Talk” for you in a single word ~> ~> ~> A~W~K~W~A~R~D.

Gagging on the “spilled beans” (and beginning to see just how “Curiosity Killed The Cat”), I escaped from mom and ran next door to Mrs. Nast’s house.

Finding her in the kitchen, I announced:

“Now I know why you adopted David and Karen!”

Mrs. Nast glanced up from her dinner preparations, mild surprise written all over her face, and said, “You do?”

“Yes!  Mom just told me how babies are made.  EWW!  That’s so disgusting!  When I get married, I’m adopting like you did.”

With an amused (but understanding) look, Mrs. Nast began to explain the Ins and Outs and Hows and Whys of adoption.

I ignored her as I revealed the source of my greatest anguish:  “I don’t understand how anyone could do that . . . FOUR times!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

On a related “facts of life” note:  In the 7th grade, I brought in an anatomically correct doll (borrowed from . . . Mrs. Nast) to use as “Baby Jesus” in the Nativity Scene.  My friends were amazed to see a doll with a penis!

Roxanne Scott, in particular, was fascinated with it.

The teacher made me take it home because of the commotion it caused.



1. Val Boyko - October 17, 2017

I recall the same reaction!! My first lesson was in the classroom with our old spinster headmistress. She turned to the class and asked. “Who is the best artist here? “There were mumbles and shuffles … and fingers pointing towards me. She asked me to come to the blackboard and draw an upside down pear.
Thankfully she started with the female reproductive organs … I never did get to draw a penis on the board!

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

To this day, I’ve never had the “opportunity” to draw a penis on a blackboard ~> it’s NOT on my Bucket List. 😀

Val Boyko - October 17, 2017

Not surprised … mine neither 😳

nrhatch - October 18, 2017

Also not on my bucket list ~> spinster headmistress or nun. 😀

2. SDC - October 17, 2017


nrhatch - October 17, 2017

Exactly! I still laugh at my complete and utter naiveté . . . and initial horror when mom “spilled the beans”!

SDC - October 17, 2017



nrhatch - October 18, 2017

That’s the ticket!

3. Joanne Sisco - October 17, 2017

Priceless!! I think we all had the same reaction as newly-informed kids 🤣

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

I bet mothers everywhere make it sound “extra horrible” to keep our curiosity in check until after we get married! 😀

Joanne Sisco - October 18, 2017

… and every mother in the world fails when the teenage hormones kick in 😉

nrhatch - October 18, 2017

Yes. When the hormones “speak up” . . . teens listen!

4. Rainee - October 17, 2017

Good story Nancy. I remember the day I asked my dad what “the pill” was and he couldn’t get away quick enough after he said “ask your mother”!

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

As awful as “The Talk” was with mom . . . I am glad dad was excluded from the conversation. 😀

5. Jill Weatherholt - October 17, 2017

LOL! Great story, Nancy. I don’t remember my parents ever having “the talk” with me or my sister. I do remember taking Sex Ed in school. Me and my best friend giggled through all of the films. 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

We had Sex Ed in school . . . but not until the 7th grade. In the 4th grade, my naiveté was intact. I do recall LOTS of giggling during the 7th Grade health classes when the boys were ushered out to be coached by “The Coach” and the girls stayed put with one of the female gym teachers.

We had another “in depth” section on Sex Ed in HS when we covered some of the more unpleasant “facts of life” ~> STD’s, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, and pregnancy.

6. Kate Crimmins - October 17, 2017

I overheard some relatives talk about “bleeding.” It terrified me as I couldn’t figure out where you would bleed from (I was maybe 10 or 11) so I asked my mother. Her answer was simple. Where you pee. Holy molies, now I’m truly terrified. Never got more info from her. The nuns gave us a private class and booklets. I also read my encyclopedia. Slowly I pieced it together. My though was that there had to be a better way. Today I think kids learn a lot sooner.

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

I expect you’re right ~ the ease of internet access and sharing probably means that tweens share what they’ve learned about “life” on their Smart Phones.

During “The Talk” my mother gave me a booklet of Frequently Asked Questions and told me to come back to her with any of my own questions after reading it. She also told me NOT to leave the booklet out where my younger sister would see it. 😀

Kate Crimmins - October 17, 2017

I was afraid to leave it out for my Mom to see it!

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

Haha! Yes, we must look out for our “elders” so as not to upset their sensibilities.

7. joyroses13 - October 17, 2017

You had me laughing! Especially the “adoption” part! 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

That’s my favorite part because, after “The Talk,” I immediately assumed that “THAT” is why Mrs. Nast adopted David and Karen.

joyroses13 - October 17, 2017

Too funny the things we assumed when we were little!

nrhatch - October 18, 2017

Exactly! I mean, when you believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy . . . other erroneous assumptions are easy to make!

8. Ally Bean - October 17, 2017

I remember Sex Ed in school, and thinking that the films I was being shown must be fake. Ick, I said. Of course later I learned otherwise, but very little of that information came from my mother. She was too reserved to talk about things like that.

nrhatch - October 17, 2017

The original “Reality TV” . . .

I think my mother saw it as a “bonding” moment . . . when I just wanted to get as far away from “The Talk” as possible!

9. L. Marie - October 18, 2017

You are hilarious! My mother had the talk with me when I was ten. She handed me a book, WHERE DO BABIES COME FROM? by Dr. Paul Gillette. Of course I didn’t read it. 😀 😃 😄 I had the same reaction when I learned the facts.

nrhatch - October 18, 2017

The “facts of life” can be hard to digest . . . especially when we are still under the belief that “boys have cooties!”

Speaking of cooties . . . did you ever play that game? We did!

The object of the original 1949 game is to be the first player to build a “cootie” piece by piece from various plastic body parts[1][2] that include a beehive-like body, a head, antennae, eyes, a coiled proboscis, and six legs.[3] Body parts are acquired following the player’s roll of a die, with each number on the die corresponding to one of the body parts.[1] The body corresponds to one, the head to two, three to the antennas (feelers), four to the eye, five to the proboscis (mouth), and six to the leg.[4] The first part to be acquired must be the body, and then the head. All other body parts may then be acquired in any order. When a player acquires a part, an additional throw of the die is allowed in an attempt to acquire another part. The winner is the first player to completely assemble a cootie.[4] [Wikipedia]


10. Debra - October 22, 2017

What an amusing and sweet recollection, Nancy. It brought back memories of my own, in those “between years” when there are so many questions and mysteries, and facts don’t entirely line up! The idea of you bringing the anatomically correct doll to school and creating such a stir is absolutely hilarious! I’m still chuckling!

nrhatch - October 23, 2017

Thanks, Debra. Glad you got a kick out of it. The doll and its anatomy definitely created a “stir.” 😀

11. Anne Lene @ MinimalistSometimes - November 27, 2017

😂😂😂 what a great story… I see why you would assumed the adoption part… I would be right there with you 😂

nrhatch - November 27, 2017

Glad you and I are on the same page, Anne.

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