My Friend Emily

All the bad shit in my life that I have done can be traced back to one person. Emily.*

We met in 8th grade. Me, Hannah* (who is dreadfully maladjusted and turned into a redneck somewhere along the way) and Emily. Hannah and I had known each other since 6th grade as she was new in town and was the 3rd oboe player in the band. It was me, Hannah, and Laura. We were not friends with Laura because she liked band just a little too much.

We had weekly Friday night sleepovers where we rotatated whose house we slept at. In 8th grade the only alcohol I had ever had was a sip of scotch (which I hated at the time but grew to love as an adult). So one Friday night we are at Emily’s house. Hannah and Emily decided to go on a diet for the night and only eat carrots. We were wandering around the basement alternating between talking to older men on America Online and fretting over if we should call Dru [sic] Matthews.

Emily grows bored and wanders into the basement fridge where she finds a cache of Red Stripe. She asks us if we want to try it. We look at each other, shrug, and say “sure.” About 45 minutes later we figure out how to open the bottles. There was an entire case of beer in that refrigerator. We drank it all. I was fine all night (because I was a budding alcoholic and I had ingested more than carrots that evening). Emily spent the night vomiting and then crying that she got vomit in her hair and Hannah also threw up and then peed her pants on the floor. Have you ever smelled carrot and Red Stripe vomit?

Vowing to never drink “weird Jamaican beer” ever again (to this day, I have never tried Red Stripe again), we moved on to cigarettes.

There was a boy at school who had an older brother who would buy cigarettes and sell them to 8th grade girls at $10 a pack (yes, you read that right, $10 per pack of cigarettes. That’s $0.50/cigarette.) So we bought a pack of Marlboro lights. Emily’s parents were never home so we decided to “take a walk” around her cul-de-sac around midnight. We each took a cigarette and tried to figure out how to light it. I have never coughed so hard in my life. In fact, I coughed so hard I projectile vomited chicken with mushrooms and cream sauce in the gutter and onto her neighbors lawn. Thinking that was pretty cool and convinced that since my stomach was empty, it was safe to light up again. We smoked an entire pack of cigarettes between us three 8th grade girls in one night.

About two weeks later, we are back at Emily’s. When her parents were home, they were pretty cool. They fed us. A lot. Like when we got off the bus there was always cookies and dinner was always a thing. Then her parents would retire upstairs around 9:00. Thinking they just went to bed early we didn’t give it too much thought.

So the next morning, we are in the house by ourselves sitting in Emily’s room. She asks us if we want to watch TV in her parents room, so we collectively said “sure.” We climbed up on her parents poster bed and turned on the TV.

Well…we had never seen anything quite like it. It was a woman, with a mans (gigantic) penis in her mouth. We all kind of sat there and watched this porn star with longer than healthy yet, perfectly manicured fingernails fellate some dude.

Emily turned off the TV and turned to us. Well…fuck. We either need to rewind the last 20 minutes of whatever the fuck we saw so her parents don’t find out or…

What was that?

Emily tells us “there’s more” and to “meet her back in her bedroom.” Dutifully, we complied.

Hannah and I were the queens of talking shit. There was silence. We didn’t even make eye contact.

Emily returns with her arms full of magazines. She states that she found them in her parents bathroom when looking for a tampon (for the mensus that began for the first time in her life last year).

She dumps them on the floor. Penthouse. Playboy. Hustler. At least it was normal, higher end porn.

But wait. There’s more.

She comes back from her parents bedroom with her arms brimming with dildos and vibrators. We had no idea what their purpose was, but they were shaped like dicks.

We didn’t know where to begin. We sat cross legged in a circle with the magazines in the middle.

I read the forum columns in maybe 5 of the penthouse magazines. The pictures weirded me out. It reminded me health class. All I was trying to do was block out the memories of the lovely, G-rated dinners I had with these people and the cookies. Oh, the cookies.

Hannah was grossed out, like to the point she wanted to leave the room. Emily was poring over the images like an 8 year old in November with the JC Penney Christmas catalog. I was fascinated with the writing. Even in Playboy, the writing was outstanding. Yes, to this day, I will buy Playboy or Penthouse just to read the articles.

Once we were satisfied with our new porn collection, there was the issue of the toys. Until that day none of us had ever even seen a penis that belonged to a real person and now we had silicone casts of them. This set an unrealistic expectation for when we did actually see a real, live penis in which I believe we all said “that’s it?”

We were more confused than anything. This was 1998. Before Google was prominent and urban dictionary. Knowing now what I didn’t know then, there is no fucking way that I would touch anything that had gone near a friends moms junk. Or dad, I don’t judge.

We heard the front door open and Emily’s mom yell “I’m home!” Frantically we gathered up all the contraband and stood there like “we can’t run back across the hall and put everything back while she is here” I guess we were under the impression that her mom was some sort of closet pervert who only baked cookies and masturbated all day. So we hid everything under her bed and went downstairs.

Anyway Hannah’s mom picked Hannah and I up and she took me home. We never spoke of it again, but Emily became less and less a part of our trio. I don’t remember why. It was probably something heinous like liking a boy that one of us liked or like showing us her moms dildo collection.

I believe we are friends with her on Facebook. She seems well adjusted, I guess. Probably more well adjusted than Hannah and I combined.

Anyway, that’s how I got drunk for the first time, smoked cigarettes for the first time, and saw a penis for the first time. Thanks Emily.

*Names have been changed to protect…well…everyone.


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