Well, hello there, big bad wolf.
Search any grown woman and you'll find a scar left by a bad boy. We've all dated at least one of them. The lucky ones smarten up fast and move on, the masochists waste a few years blaming themselves first, and a regrettable few of us actually marry the bastards.
The question is, why? Why are good girls so powerfully drawn to bad boys?
Well, there's the whole opposites-attract thing.
Good girls usually get that way because they were sheltered from the more thrilling teen experiences (I'm thinking booze, weed and sex, but that's probably hilariously tame by today's standards).
This may keep your little princess from being impregnated by the village recidivist, but it also gives the forbidden a tantalizing allure. And all along, our parents are unwittingly priming the pump by reading us bedtime stories that teach us good is boring and bad is thrilling.
Take Little Red Riding Hood, for example. The mounting tension in the whole Wolf-in-the-Bed scene while Red tries to figure out why Grandma has hair on her face is our first introduction to stimulation and foreplay.
You grow up on a diet of those books and it's no wonder nobody gets your heart pumping quite like that first bad boy to cross your path.
We remember that excitement, that thrill. We associate it with love and expect it to have a good ending. After all, "they all lived happily ever after," right? Every damn book they read us promised us that.
Most of us never outgrow it. (Note the veiled erotic longing in this poem at Gypsy-Rose-Lee, for example. That girl's headed for trouble. Wolf trouble.)
So parents, if you have daughters, for the love of Grimm, stop reading them toddler porn. (A good Robert Munsch book never hurt anyone.) If they absolutely rebel and beg you to read Little Red Riding Hood, simply substitute the words "Mr. Rogers" every time the wolf's name comes up. It'll not only save your daughter's innocence, but it'll put BOTH of you to sleep within minutes!
THE (SAFE & VIRGINAL) END
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