I used to be terrified of a few things: vomit, roller coasters, and PDA. This is something that most girls have in common. My fears were not of miscellaneous fruits or animals; they were reasonable. But with the passing of time, I don’t know if my fears would stand as “acceptable.” Yes, girls are probably still shuddering at the sight of bodily fluids. Some, like me, will never be too fond of adventure parks, either. PDA is a different story. The girls today don’t give two shits, and I’ll tell you why.
First, let me give some backstory. My freshman year of high school brought a lot of new and exciting changes. My boobs kept growing even after I thought they had stopped, and I was finally getting back into my normal routine of having a panic attack a day. It was really great. It was also the year that I would be start going to school with my first “real” boyfriend. Going to school with your boyfriend for the first time is like having a co-ed sleepover party in the first grade. It isn’t like anything is going to actually happen out of the ordinary, but because you’re in the same vicinity your mind plays a dirty little trick on you that it will. Every day had the opportunity for something amazing and wonderful to happen because I was “young” and “in love” and I was also, like, fourteen.
For him, there was no secret fantasy hiding in the janitor’s closet or the handicap stall of the second floor girl’s bathroom. It was much simpler than that–we were in school together, so when he saw me in the hallway, or when he walked me to class, he was going to hold my hand.
Hence, World War III commenced.
For some reason, I was OK with wishing that one day my boyfriend would get the school marching band to surprise me with a rendition of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun,” but I was not OK with any public displays of affection (for newbies out there, public display of affection = PDA). It wasn’t even that I was embarrassed to have a boyfriend. I was far from embarrassed. I felt like the luckiest girl in the whole school. For a reason I am still not totally aware of, I was terrified of any touching, hugging, kissing, groping, lap-sitting, etc. etc. in front of anyone else.
The two of us would get into bitter arguments over PDA. Why was it such a big deal for me to hold his hand? Why couldn’t we hug before class? Not even a kiss on the cheek? My defense was simple: no one needed to see it. I was always very prude and in the stubbornest of ways. I had heard so many people go off about how disgusting it is to see couples being mushy in the halls. I had even been blockaded from my locker many a time (a common occurrence at my high school) by couples going at it up against the wall.
My literal fear of PDA got so bad that my mom eventually had to say something to me about it. “You’re so cold towards [insert ex’s name here haha lol]. Why don’t you just be a little warmer? One day you’re gonna push him so far away that he’s not going to come back.” Since Mama always knows best, especially when she’s Jewish Yenta Mama, I took her advice to the best of my ability. Slowly, I eased by way into the nauseating hand-holding and the awkward-feeling-but-looks-cute arm around the waist. “See?” I would say to my boyfriend. “Look how good I’m doing!” You’d think I was going through psychotherapy (not to say I wasn’t, anyway) or that maybe he was teaching me how to ride a bicycle (not that he didn’t, either) by the way we would speak about it.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about the biddies in their prime–they can still eat whatever they want, they can still solely rely on Mommy and Daddy’s ca$h flow, they’re still naive enough to believe that a quadruple date with four senior guys isn’t just a quadruple booty call–and how these days, they are lovin’ themselves some PDA. Let me go back to where I started. Why do they love PDA? Obviously, I’m going to blame this on social media. Haha duh.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had a Facebook. But social media was not nearly as much of a “thing” then as it was now. My freshman year was when people learned how to put photos onto Facebook from their Blackberries (freshman now don’t even know what a Blackberry is) that were filtered into an album automatically titled “Mobile Uploads.” And just like that, my fave vocab word of all time–mupload, obv–was born into creation.
Now, there is no way to put photos on Facebook aside from through your iPhone… or at least that’s how we make it look. Facebook and its critical importance in the everyday life of a teenaged girl has built up PDA to become a normal thing. Everyone sees everything you do because there’s a mupload of you doing it already on Facebook. I’ve seen you hooking up, I’ve seen you grinding, I’ve seen you holding each other’s hair back, and I’ve seen you sitting on the toilet. So, you might as well go ahead and hold hands in the hallways. You might as well.
The weirdest thing is this: after a few years of high school, I started feeling a compulsion to chronicle my relationships on Facebook. Simultaneously, I found myself feeling more and more comfortable with a quick kiss or a hand-hold. Just some food for thought…
On the bright side of things, in case you were wondering, I’m totally over my phobia of PDA. Vomit… not so much.