"It's a long one...(that's what she said)"

This was originally posted on September 1, 2014. 

So, did you eat the cookie???

I've been struggling with this next post only because over the course of this week, I've had so many different directions of taking it. I'm flattered by the amount of people who took the time to read my thoughts and respond with words of encouragement and support. 

The past posts have been a tad "blog-cliche" if I'm being honest. Not that they aren't genuinely my life, but they deal with issues that many have dealt with in the past and pose ideas and thoughts that are pretty common. I hope that today, you'll allow me to be vulnerable and share with you something much more personal. I understand that such topics lead to much speculation and opinions as each individual has their own story, and I understand that each reader will interpret this differently. I am sharing because it has taken me a very long time to not be ashamed of the decisions I have made. I am sharing because I would like to think there are people out there in the same position, dealing with people who judge or feel judged and are alone. I am not a cliche. 

In three months, I turn 26 years old. In three months, I will be a 26 year old virgin. 

No, I'm not waiting for marriage.

No, I don't think God and Jesus really care as long as I'm happy.

No, I don't think sex is a sin.

No, I don't think sex is disgusting. 

No, I don't think this has held me back from enjoying my life the way I want to. 

No, you can't submit me for MTV's new show.

No, for the first time in my life, I am not ashamed to share this with the world. 

Let's rewind a bit. 

A young, blonde, curly headed, four year old Margaret dressed in a scottie dog sweater, plaid-pleated wool skirt, and mary jane's sat at the table with her parents. 

"Margaret, what did you do at daycare today?"

"I had sex with Jason in the book nook at nap time."

WHAT? 

As my parents, who LOVE sharing this story, will tell it, I was quite pleased with myself after sharing my daily activities. After they picked their jaws off of the ground, they cautiously asked me what I thought "sex" was. 

"Well, Jason hugged and kissed me while we were reading in the book nook. He told me we were having sex." 

That book nook was shut down by the next morning and I was ushered into the library the next afternoon with my petrified Dad. 

"We need a book about sex..." he whispered softly to the head librarian, who still to this day, has a twinkle in her eye every time she sees me back home. 

"Oh, OHH. Yes, well we have a book about baby animals right over here."

"Uh, yeah. We are past that point right now," my father nearly choked out. 

After VHS tapes of "The Miracle of Life" with images that still haunt my dreams until I'm drugged with my own child in my arms, (I'm still not thrilled with the whole process) and several books, "sex" was not a word uttered out of my mouth for a while. Any other questions were answered in uncomfortable classes taught by the school nurse or gym teachers, (the latter who showed the entire town his knowledge of the topic.) Honestly, through my early teen years, I wasn't blind to it happening around me, but I wasn't concerned or intrigued by it. It was just a thing people were doing like going to soccer practice or drama club. I was a busy kid with so many activities, I had just enough time for the awkward crush on the kid that wouldn't even talk to me. My closest friends didn't really talk about sex until our later years of high school when they were in "serious" relationships. My girlfriends and I were too concerned about whether Ryan and Marisa were ever going to get back together on The OC. To me then, sex was something that two people did and mostly kept to themselves about. It wasn't any reason to make a big deal. 

During those teenage years, I was at my prime bully target. I've discussed this before briefly, but in late middle school and early high school, I was predominately bullied by older boys. I remember being alone, cornered in the hallway by four boys who were making fun of my weight and clothing. Not exactly the way to feel pretty or worthy of love, let alone sex. A few years later, the same boys, threw chalkboard erasers at me in front of the entire class while the teacher was out of the room. This time I made some quick-witted joke to keep the tears from falling. These memories haunted my mind. How could any boy, man, person, want to love me if I was the target of such hate. 

Of course, like most victims of bullying, I internalized my self-hate. I filled the cracks with music and friends and "happy thoughts", burying the pain deep. Music became my therapy. My passion for music and it's expression of emotions I couldn't express and it's connection of people who felt the same way, brought me to my college experiences. A small choir conservatory in Princeton, NJ, where it felt enough like a small town but away from the life and struggles of my small hometown, became where I grew up. That small music conservatory gave me my life back. Day by day, I was able to really learn who I was as a person and be accepted into a world where the heart and emotions ruled. Music could pull out every bit of vulnerability I had without uttering a word of my own past. Others who felt as outcasts, finally had a place in the world. 

What comes with a small music conservatory in Princeton, NJ is not the long list of future doctors, lawyers, and politicians one would think came from the prestigious college down the road. Everyone would joke that we were really in school to get the MRS degree and live a life of Greenwich luxury as someone's wife. This plan obviously didn't pan out for us. Our small school demographics were mostly divas, I mean women, a collection of some of the most fabulously, gay men, and then a handful of straight guys....and I mean, handful. Sex was happening, please, take my word on it. Besides singing at all hours of the night, other sounds could be heard from the practice rooms, but not for this chick. By this time, I had had a few crushes, mostly unrequited love from the guy I was friends with at the time, but nothing substantial. I was still battling my inner body issues and didn't feel worthy of anyone's love if I couldn't love myself first.

I had no problem talking about sex, or admitting my "oo, I'd tap that" crushes with friends (Josh Duhamel...ammiright?) I wasn't shy or uncomfortable girl-chatting like the rest of them, but usually avoided or lied when the true question came up around others. I don't consider myself naive or socially behind and most people wouldn't know this about me until now. I'd like to think that I'm not the person who has "VIRGIN" hanging on a neon sign above her head. I've read 50 Shades of Grey and whoah, I'll read it again before going to see the movie. I'm not ashamed by sexual desire. It's carnal and necessary, but for me, it wasn't my time.  

Now, after 3 years of working in Manhattan, dating has been, well, odd. I tried my annual rounds with online dating in the hopes of "meeting fun new people with potential". Cue snaggle-toothed, college drop out trying to make out with me on a subway platform in front of a family of four. No way! Or the guy who complained about his job for 4 hours of the longest basketball game ever. I don't think so. I've joined a kickball team of couples, a local choir of "older folk" and spend most of my day at work with women. I'm really killin' in the NY dating scene. Here's to the promise of speed dating (or at least happy hour)! 

(Pause) 

Are you shocked yet? Have you stopped reading? I hope not because this is the part where I get "real". Am I glad I've waited this long? That I can't answer. Would I publish this post in the hopes that tomorrow I have an inbox full of "dick pics"? Definitely not. Do I think you have to be in love to have sex? No, but I'd like to be. It's taken me 25 years, and 9 months to be open and honest, loving myself for who I am and who I have been, and I'd like to hope that there is someone out there who respects that. 

Now, this isn't something that I just throw on the table casually. "Oh, I'd like to order a grande latte for the virgin here!" It's something I take much caution in bringing up because everyone has their own beliefs on it. Whatever you choose to do that works for you, do it. I will recall a conversation I had with a woman whom I respect about the topic. Being open and truthful, I pleaded my case. Her response was basically, "Just do it! Rip it off like a bandaid. Get it over with!" Somehow I refuse to let Nike's slogan be the theme of my first time having sex. I was shocked. I have a hard time thinking that this is something I'd tell my future daughter if she came to me for advice. I've waited this long, what's a bit longer just to feel like I'm not disappointing anyone else. On the contrary to this response, close friends have expressed their pride in my decision and honestly, I'm proud. I'm proud that I haven't jumped on the one-night "let's get drunk and see what happens" train. I'm not waiting until I'm married, I'm not waiting until God or Jesus or the man with the beard in the sky tells me I can, and I'm certainly not waiting until anyone but myself feels like it's the right time. 

As I said earlier, you may not agree with this. Hell, you may have stopped reading paragraphs ago. That's fine. I don't need your approval. I'm not sharing this with you to get pity, encouragement or change your idea of who I am. If you know me, you've already come to your conclusion. I'm not ashamed of who I am and every day I will continue to be a better version of me. One day, I'll meet the right guy who will understand and love me for every decision I've made and will play out every Christian Grey fantasy... I mean, our relationship will be ours to enjoy as we please. No, I will not call or text when it happens.