The recent actions in Santa Barbara, according to media reports, were perpetrated by a frustrated college student who was unsuccessful with women. His problems, apparently, started at a fairly young age. The killings prompted recollections of my own childhood interactions with the opposite sex. These were, I can happily report, overwhelmingly positive.
From a very young age I was attracted to girls. Fortunately it was reciprocated. Today there are too many girls to remember by name. There were a couple of girls in my neighbourhood, including the cute heiress of a family of well-known New York supermarket moghuls. My recent Interwebz research indicates her current looks hardly justify my early interest, more proof (as if more were needed) that the ageing process is much harsher for women than it is for men.
In what was apparently my earliest sexual harassment case, in 3rd grade I was reported to the teacher for kissing the girls, which resulted in my father sitting me down and having a talk. He explained, as best as I can recall, that girls do not appreciate being kissed without being asked first. It struck me as nonsense, for much of my experience with them up to then involved them initiating contact with me.
As expected, this didn't put much of a damper on my girl-chasing activities. In fact the girls were all too eager to kiss me and show me their goods, which resulted in my being made quite aware at an early age of the peculiarities of the female anatomy. In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut in the 4th grade, at the risk of sounding vulgar, fingering was the done thing.
I do remember, however, the names--and other details--of a couple of teenage babysitters, as well as those of a beautiful young exiled Persian nanny. Which are topics for a future column.