somewhere between the boy's locker room, biology class, and awkward "becoming a woman" conversations with your mother, was the general sense of unease at a friend's recent birthday "party". think tupperware and candles, just without the "keep your cereal fresh" containers, or "stink up your house with buttercream-vanilla-mocha-cookie 12 hour burning wicks".
in recent years i have attended a "southern living" party. however, as i do not bake elaborate apple pies, or make floral centrepieces for mahogany dining room tables that i do not own, this was mostly an opportunity to remind myself that stepford wifedom was not on my radar (wooly twin sets would make me itch).
meanwhile, back at the "fantasy fest", naivete was rampant for the self acknowledged "prudes" of the group (that would be me). fortunately frequent communions of wine resulted in a relaxation of ego boundaries, where sharing and education was able to take place.
my mother never told me about this stuff...