In my old age I’ve become a bit wiser about certain things and with that wisdom has come the ability to shed bad habits. One bad habit I’ve shed is listening or encouraging my friends to divulge bedroom secrets. I’m not talking about the occasional “Oooh, girl that new guy I met put it on me,” I’m talking about those extremely detailed conversations that leave you able to pick their man out in a blindfolded penis lineup. In our younger years this wasn’t really a bad thing. We were all young, giddy and eager to share our new experiences and since telling your parents was usually out of the question, telling your friends was the next best thing. Who knew back then that there could be such a thing as knowing and telling too much…or that the consequences could be traumatizing.
The moment I realized I had to stop all the sharing came in college. I was friends with a girl in one of my communications classes sophomore year named Alexis*. For weeks Alexis had been telling me about this great guy she met named Corey and she went over in excruciating detail all of their dates and his sexual prowess. I knew every position he put her in, place they had sex and convo they had. I mean I could’ve written a New York Times bestseller with her stories. One day Alexis came to my room as she had many times before, but this day was going to be different. Corey had been giving her the cold shoulder lately and it was stressing her out. She came in my room and sat on the floor facing my bed. On my wall I had pictures of family and friends from back home and the pictures spelled out N.Y.C. (corny I know, but I was 19 sue me). Alexis is in the middle of telling me her Corey drama when she looks up at the wall and stops mid sentence.
“That guy on your wall in the orange shirt.”
“On the left, at the bottom of the N.”
I turn around on the bed to find the picture and begin to tell her who it is.
“Oh, that’s my uncle.”
“What’s his name?”
Now my uncle was a fixture on my campus, especially during homecoming when he and his boys came to hang out on The Yard and bask in the grown man hood celeb status that naive girls showered them with. I had plenty of friends that liked my uncle and his crew so when Alexis asked his name all I thought was “Here we go another groupie.”
“His name is Jason*”
“Oh, where’s he from?”
“New York, he lives in Queens.”
At this point Alexis gets up and starts to walk out of my room. She’s screaming and talking to herself and is in a complete state of panic. I go out into the hall and make her come back in the room. As I close the door behind me she throws herself down on the floor and continues talking to herself.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!!!”
“What, what’s wrong with you?”
I’m confused. “What? Who’s Corey?”
She gets up and points to the picture on my wall of my Uncle Jason. “Him! That’s the guy I’ve been telling you about, that’s Corey!”
I know it was wrong, but the shock of it all made me bust out laughing and not a little laugh either, it was one of those laughs that brought tears to your eyes and made you roll around on the floor like you had the holy ghost. Alexis had run down the hall to her room and I followed. She was crying and didn’t want to talk so I apologized, told her that it wasn’t a big deal that she was dating my uncle and left. When I got back to my room I was fully prepared to call my uncle when it hit me. My uncle was Corey. MY UNCLE WAS COREY!!!! The same Corey that not two days before I learned had the craziest tongue game and liked to ummmm, toss salad. Ewwww….my uncle tosses salad! My uncle that kisses my face likes to toss salad!!! GROSS!!!
Now I was on the floor. I couldn’t believe it, I was grossed out and haunted by images of my uncle getting head in the car at Bike Week where he and Alexis met, having sex in the bathroom at his boy’s house and talking dirty to her on the late night. This is not the image a niece is supposed to have of her uncle, or anyone in her family for that matter. I was scarred beyond repair. When I gathered the strength, I called my uncle and told him the story. He just laughed and explained that he didn’t know we were friends but that he stopped calling because she got a bit too clingy (In fairness I don’t think she was clingy….he just had a baby and a girlfriend at home). After sternly warning him to refrain from dating anymore chicks that even so much as live near my school, I went and drank a couple shots of Henny in an attempt to burn the whole event from memory.
It’s been several years since that horrific night and while I still can’t look my uncle directly in the eye, I have walked away with one very valuable lesson….I don’t care if my friends kiss, but they better not tell me sugar, honey, iced tea…I’m running out of uncles.
So when did you learn it was better to kiss and not tell? How much of your relationship do you feel is ok to share with friends and family?