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English 212
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Humor and Privacy

Bea Lucaciu

I dipped the straw's wrapper in the puddle of water forming on the table, showing my lack of interest in the conversation. I was so tired of hearing about computers and video games.
"She's so hot!" Rich exclaimed, interrupting the current conversation. My ears perked up. I looked over at the girl all the guys were gawking at, and remained greatly unimpressed. Of course, she was thin a thin blonde with large breasts. I guess that's what I expected to find when I glanced in the direction they were looking.
I endured the dull exchange as I impatiently waited for the rest of our friends from high school to show up. At least, once everyone was there, I wouldn't have to hear quite as much about modern technology and "hot" girls. Besides, Chris was joining us tonight, which promised to make the evening much more entertaining.
By midnight, everyone had shown up at the diner, just as planned. We all reminisced about our adventures, dramas, and romances back in high school. Chris, as expected, made hilarious comments consistently throughout the evening. There were many times that our conversation turned to sex. Thankfully, due to the combination of people there, comments about attractive girls were kept to a minimum. When the remarks did occur, though less in number, we girls made sure to overpower the conversation with tales of gorgeous men we had seen lately. Sure enough, the guys refrained from steering the conversation back to beautiful women.
We joked about our sex lives (or lack thereof) for a great deal of time, but then we began discussing the sex lives of others. As our friends kept the main conversation going, Chris and I branched off and began our own. Apparently, his friend Derek insisted on telling him all the sordid details of his sex life.
"If I have to know the details, I'm making you suffer with me," he laughed, after making me listen to the stories Derek had told him. Derek had been a shy, mild-mannered boy who had never even held a girl's hand a year earlier, and now he was talking about having sex with his girlfriend all the time. It was more than I could comprehend. In fact, I think it was more than anyone else could comprehend as well, judging by the horrified look on their faces. However, it didn't take long for them to burst out into laughter.
After that, it was a fast-paced exchange of who was sleeping with whom, and how many times. Never once did we talk about our own desires or emotions. It was as if we were all detached from what we were discussing, and simply telling stories.
"...and I guess it wasn't a good idea that Marie and I had a lot of sex after I was injured that day," Chris shared, looking over at me. He knew well that I disliked Marie, so I would find the idea of them going at beyond repulsive. But I wasn't the one that said it.
"Oh my God! That's disgusting! You're both so skinny; it's like bones rubbing on bones!" Kristy shuddered. She hadn't said a word when the conversation would turn to sex until that moment. Her comment was followed by a flood of laughter. Even Chris couldn't help but laugh.
Not once did we speak of our desires or emotions that are attached to sex. Not as a group, anyway. Sex has always been something to trigger a humorous dialogue among my friends. As individuals, we speak freely about our sex lives and passions. As a larger crowd, there aren't many serious or complicated things that we discuss.
Night fades into early morning, and we find ourselves still gathered at the diner. Eventually, Juliana, Kristy, and I are the only three remaining. Perhaps now we would be able to talk about sex as we perceive it.
Juliana began, "It's been forever since Trent and I have had sex. Ever since the pregnancy scare, I haven't wanted to, and he's been really patient."
"But didn't that whole thing happen over a year ago?" questioned Kristy.
"Yeah, but I've been too scared. We actually tried to have sex last week, and had to stop. It's been so long that it was too painful," Juliana explained.
I decided to take a step back and let the story unfold further. I just listened as they chatted, realizing that this was not an extension of the conversation that had been happening in our larger group. This was a conversation meant only for a few participants. There was a level of comfort that wasn't present earlier. Perhaps it was because there were no men around, or because the group had decreased dramatically in size. Whatever the reason was, we were getting to the real meat of the subject.
Kristy continued, "Well, at least you have someone to have sex with. I'll probably never have sex - I can't even get a date!"
That was our cue to comfort her as she wallowed in self-pity. After she was done, we resumed our previous discourse. They asked me some questions, and I openly gave details. I became more active in this conversation than I had been in the last. I tried to chalk it up to the fact that, in large groups of people, I tend to be an observer and not a participant. That was true to an extent, but I found that I was more inclined to speak about my private life when the group consisted only of women. Having Chris, Rich, and the other guys prevented us from having "girly" talks without turning them into jokes. We seem to know how to utilize humor when in a large group. But the real issues lie deep and are only discovered when the boys have gone.

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