I was about fourteen and reading the ‘dirty’ book of the day.
La Vida by Oscar Lewis.
It was a dog-eared copy with all the ‘good’ pages marked but I was reading the whole book because besides being just slightly titillating it was a pretty interesting story.
My parents were big believers of reading and looking things up. If you didn’t know a word, try and figure it out from the context of the sentence, or look it up.
Well, I came across a word that not only couldn’t I figure it out from the context of the sentence it wasn’t in the dictionary!
So I asked my mother.
The problem was, I asked her as we were entering the foyer of our apartment building just as a very prim and proper older woman was going out.
As we passed her I said to my mother, “I can’t figure out the definition of this word. What does c**t mean?”
Everything happened so fast…………
The woman shrieked and ran out of the building as my mother unlocked our door and shoved me inside while muttering. “I’ll tell you later!”
Once we were inside and she stopped laughing, I got a very detailed explanation of what an ugly and derogatory word that was to refer to a woman and to never, ever under any circumstance use it.
It wasn’t that my parents advocated censorship, just good taste.