Guess what? I discovered something pretty amazing today, that really ties in to some of my recent posts. Scout Finch (yes, that Scout Finch) and I have something in common. And what is that you might ask? Well, if the new release by Harper Lee is to be believed as a legitimate account of Jean Louise, aka “Scout” Finch’s life years after To Kill A Mockingbird was written, then she and I are both quite naive. Or should I say were. I was really shocked when I came to a part in Go Set a Watchman where Scout has just started her monthly “curse” and is told by a group of girls at school that in order to get pregnant, several things must occur. First, you must have your “curse”, then a boy must kiss you and stick his tongue in your mouth. Thus: pregnancy. Scout believes this group of gossipy girls, and is struck with panic. After all, not one day ago, a boy stuck his tongue out at her. After doing some quick research (by way of reading a dictionary), Scout comes to the conclusion that she is indeed pregnant and should expect to birth her baby in October. She can’t live with herself. she sulks around, and finally plans to kill herself on September 30th, so as not to bring shame to herself and to her family.
Surely I was never that stupid. I mean, who would believe such a notion? Well, I’m somewhat proud to say I didn’t have such fantastical ideas involving boys and tongues, but I somehow became convinced (through my own mind and it’s tricks) that I had become pregnant by immaculate conception of some sort. I imagined a little fetus floating about inside my uterus, and how the hands and feet would begin to kick some day soon. I began to worry about how I would get rid of it. Ok, let me just stop here for a minute and tell you…I was not sexually active at all at this point. I don’t know how the hell I thought I had become pregnant, but in my mind, I was. A baby was growing inside me, and I didn’t want it. I remember punching my belly and hoping that had killed the imagined baby growing inside me. Obviously, I must have known I wasn’t pregnant on some level…but one thing that may have helped to convince my rational side that I really might be pregnant was that my legs, that had always been slim and smooth, now had some slight stretch marks on the thighs. I was growing and my skin was stretching. Well, my younger sister asked my mom why her older sisters legs had those weird lines on them. My mom replied that it was like when a woman gets stretch marks on her belly from pregnancy. Then, my sister asked “Is she pregnant?!”
Boom. My “baby” was conceived. Even though I would laugh about this conversation with my friend less than a week later, I guess it still had a really big impact on me. Somewhere along the line I stopped thinking I was pregnant. But anyway, I thought this coincidence between my thought process and Scouts was a little jarring. I hope you got a laugh. I don’t mind if it is at my 13 year old self expense.