Jan 212003
Authors: Sarah Laribee

I am a square Christian girl. There are cool ones out there, but I am really not one of them. In a class I was teaching last week, in a frantic attempt to seem cool, I started talking about Snoop Dogg’s new album, and how the last track was going to seal his imminent murder by Suge Knight. I don’t know who Suge Knight is. And I haven’t heard Snoop Dogg’s new album.

The only thing I actually know about Snoop Dogg is that stint in prison for the whole “cop killer” thing, which he should have been imprisoned for, and that was when his Christian name was Snoop Doggy Dogg.

I also would have a hard time telling Busta Rhymes from Snoop Dogg. But in desperation, I was telling a bunch of 10th graders about this, as a way to cover up the fact that their student teacher wears uncoolness like a warm blanket.

I was also just told that a recent haircut makes me look like Monica Lewinsky. This is strangely only horrific because it means I have a haircut that makes me look like a Democrat. But at least I look like someone famous.

I am at that stage in my life when the slight panic begins to seep in. John Mayer fans call it the quarter-life crisis. I don’t yet have a job. I am unsure where I am going to live in six months. I am unmarried. And I am that somewhat awkward state that causes blushing and apologetic faces among square college students and young professionals everywhere. I am a virgin.

Ah, virginity, that bizarre paradigm that leaves 24-year-olds somewhat fascinated by the 10th graders who are getting way more action than their teacher. And while my status is one of internationality, it still makes me feel a little bizarre at times. Ours is not a culture that treats the sexually ignorant kindly. From Herbal Essences commercials to the shamefully funny Will and Grace to sex toy articles that run in our own paper – one gets the feeling that one is the only person alive who has not yet had sex.

But just as everything square eventually becomes cool again (pleats are in at Old Navy), so, apparently, does chastity. A recent Newsweek article profiled the growing trend in American adolescents towards a life of abstinence before marriage. The True Love Waits program, a nationwide campaign that encourages young people to save sexual expression for their spouse is on an upswing.

And while abstinence is frequently associated with a Christian lifestyle, it is by no means limited to that. Teens and young adults across the country avoid sexual activity for a myriad of reasons. According to a survey by the National Coalition for Abstinence Education, of 1000 randomly selected households, 71 percent of respondents indicated that they believe that “couples should wait to have sex until marriage.” While this of course doesn’t mean that 71 percent of the country is actively promoting a life of virginal righteousness, it does indicate that perhaps a lack of sex is on the brain.

Twenty-four and square is sometimes a hard place to be. There’s a line in “As Good As It Gets” where the Helen Hunt character is talking about hugging her son too tightly because she isn’t ‘getting’ any. And I can understand that. Sometimes the whiff of a fine smelling boy makes me do a double take. But I know I’m holding on for better things. And holding on doesn’t seem so uncool these days.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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