Behaving Versus Being Careful

You know you’re an adult when your mother goes from saying things like now you behave, when talking of boys, to now you be careful, when mentioning man friends.  Perhaps I need to define the phrases you behave and be careful to those of you with mothers who say what they mean or say nothing at all….

You Behave has historically meant: don’t have sex.  And if you do, for god’s sake, don’t get pregnant.

Be Careful means: you’re old enough to do what you want now but please don’t contract any silly diseases while you’re doing it and also, for god’s sake, don’t get pregnant!

I prefer this new, do what you like, attitude.  I essentially have my mother’s blessing because I’m old enough and god knows I deserve to have a little fun.  Since when did my parents become so progressive?  But is it fun I’m having?  Well, yes and no.  It is fun and does take my mind off things, but it’s also absolutely befuddling.  I’m not in a relationship and don’t know how not to be in one.  How do you do this casual, just dating thing?  How do you not?  Not get serious, no loyalty, no emotional attachment.  How do you remain detached and open and unguarded at the same time?  I’m open, vulnerable, and form bonds quickly, naturally.  And also, is it another relationship I want?  Just because that is familiar territory, I know the lay of the land there, am comfortable with that, is that the same as want or need?  Just how does one navigate this nether world?

It is not dissimilar to writing a thesis statement.  Funny thing to compare it to perhaps, but it reminds me of university days nevertheless.  Not graduate school, but my time as an English major.  My professors were always banging on about writing a thesis statement, and make it quick, somewhere in the first paragraph.  And I could never do it.  I always had to write the entire paper first before I found out just what I was trying to say or prove and then would have to go back and insert a thesis statement into the paper.  Since I currently don’t know just where I stand, where I’m going, or what exactly it is I want, I think I just need to go with it and write the damn paper first.  I’ll add a thesis statement later…after I figure it out.