My fourteen year old daughter told me that being a slut is, well, slutty. But having lady balls, she clarified, means you’re unapologetically slutty.
My daughter admired her friend Amber (not her real name) whose lady balls rivaled congressman Weiner’s. Yes, I went there. When my daughter invited Amber over I was excited to meet her. I imagined a self-possessed, articulate, charming and provocatively adorned girl. Indeed, her tight jean shorts rolled into the cracks between the top of her thighs and her crotch. Her flawless teenage skin was painted with varying depths of foundation. Shimmering blush bullseye’d her cheeks. Her eyes were lined in Crayola-like indigo. But other than predicting her costume, I was completely off.
No, Amber was a thirteen-year-old basket case. She didn’t make eye contact, this girl with lady balls. She texted and jiggled her knees up and down, a drained can of Monster on the counter beside her. I discretely examined her for traces of lady balls; crimson and velvet. I’d imagined them resting gently in place of a chastity belt. Instead a little belly popped from beneath her snug shirt.
Amber’s visit was cut short. After the texting and the knees and the monosyllabic responses to my hostess-like questions–Food?Water?–she received a phone call from her mother. Her mother asked to speak with me because Amber-lady-balls was required at the police station.
The mother told me she and Amber had taken a restraining order out against a girl who had written on Amber’s FB wall. “Oh no,” I said. “I’m sorry,” I said. I was. I knew the girl Amber was filing a restraining order against. I knew she could be as mean as a cat in a bag. But a restraining order for writing that Amber was a “slut” on Amber’s FB wall seemed extreme. Amber’s mother wanted to talk more. She wanted to tell me how Amber had been crucified online. And she did tell me as she drove to our house, her cell phone against her ear and nothing but directions to keep her company.
My daughter met Amber in her lunch group. The guidance office put together the lunch group; a hodge-podge of introverts, extroverts, self-mutilators (cutters), eating disordered, slutty and non-slutty girls. My daughter was fascinated by everyone in the group. My daughter is irrefutably popular. She is careful to keep her slut tuned on low and she’s well-liked by teachers. The lunch group entertained the hell out of her. She’s learned first hand from the exposed young lives about things like foster families, abusive step-fathers, jailed parents and the vacations some girls take to popular psych hospitals near Boston. Yep, my girl learned a lot over pizza and Dixie cups of tap water. It made my divorce to her father seem like a non-event.
Amber slipped out of the house into the idling car when her mother pulled up. She evaporated behind thick tinted windows, like a celebrity, I thought.
Lady balls and the discrepancy between my interpretation and reality was a disappointment. But nothing compared to what came next. Amber, Miss Lady Balls herself, last week tortured the girl who wrote slut on Amber’s FB wall. The same one she’d taken the restraining order out on? Amber’s got her insane mother stoking her fires of perceived injustice. And the FB slut-scribe, she’s got nobody. I’ve known the scribe since she was an attention starved kindergartener. She’d put her warm head on my shoulder and pluck appreciatively at the special lunch I’d brought. My daughter, utterly unimpressed by heart-shaped cookies and organic baby carrots had been happy to share.
Last week Amber announced in a hallway full of hormone addled teenagers that FB-Scribe had texted pics of herself twisting a huge dildo into her vagina. (For the record, these kids don’t say vagina. They say pussy, twat, and hole.) The Scribe held her head up and marched through the laughing crowd. How could you not love a girl like that? She may have taken those pictures. She may have held her phone at an angle with one hand and with the other twisted. She may have licked a thousand eager little cocks. I don’t care if she has. I care why. And I’m curious about how she held her head up and navigated the crowd.
The answer is inside the way she understands herself in relation to the world. She’s got “it” going on. She’s accustomed to moving through throngs of girls who dislike her. They dislike her not entirely because she’s got “it” going on. She can be mean. I’ve seen her be. But she’s a survivor. She says please and thank you whenever I give her ride home and each time it’s to a different location. She gets angry at her peers. She swats at them. She writes on their FB walls and she doesn’t like when she’s got competition in the “it” department. How though, is that different from grown women? That’s another topic all together.
Anyway, as I watched her emerge into the painfully bright spring afternoon following Amber’s attack, the little girl who had hung onto me during lunches seven years earlier, rocked some of the biggest lady balls ever. She’s a kid who doesn’t have time to worry about aspersions. And to compensate, she sprouted some big ol’ lady balls. She is armed and dangerous. She’s carrying an AK47 of sexy around as her protection. And her validation that she’s got something, finally, that other kids don’t have. Ultimately, she doesn’t have emotional space to give a shit what anyone says or does. She proved that beyond a shadow of doubt. But that’s different from not caring. For her and other teenage girls, their lady balls provide them armor around missing chasity belts.
(Image by tibchris)