My daughter has been indulging in a weeklong binge of watching the complete Dawson’s Creek. Never having seen it, I had assumed it was a kids’ show, and I couldn’t figure out why it would appeal to a 21-year-old. I joined her for an episode. One character tells another that she can’t be friends with him if he doesn’t tell her how often he walks the dog and at what time of day. Perplexed, I asked my daughter what that meant. “Walking the dog is masturbation, Mom,” like, What planet were you born on that you don’t know that?
On the planet I was born on, I didn’t hear the word masturbation until I was 16 and, in a whispered conversation, my best friend told me, and we both shrieked “Ew!” I didn’t have a male friend I was close enough that I could possibly ask about the frequency and timing of his dogwalking. In fact, I still don’t.
Needless to say, the single episode of Girls I’ve watched was an education and a half!