Oh those helycon University days! I had a close group of girlfriends. We were all pretty innocent. We were all from one island or another (well actually, one was Maori, and was actually male, but still). This wasn't planned, we just all somehow gravitated towards each other, finding a similar sense of humour and a deep unspoken understanding. I don't make friends that easily. This always seems to surprise people. I'm not one for false modesty. I know that I'm outgoing and I talk a hundred miles per hour (the latter being no cause for boasting in any event). I'm a daughter of a diplomat, a social butterfly, flitting and flirting through any social occasion, confident in any company. Still I don't make friends easily. I'm always happiest with a few close, long-held, dear friends.
But these girls quickly inveigled their ways into my heart. I have so many stories for each one. But in consideration of your time and busy schedules will only retell a couple. When I got off the plane, bright in a puletasi (because that's what you dress your 17-year-old in when she's going off on scholarship, the brightest blue and red puletasi you can find so noone can miss her- or the fact that she got a scholarship). Yes I was a FOB- 'fresh off da blane', literally, and about to struggle with my suitcases (bursting with more bright puletasis). There were no trolleys to be had for love or money. Obviously they had been snapped up by those on earlier and bigger flights. I was wrestling with my luggage while looking around dispairingly for a trolley (or a hunky man with big muscles- at that stage of my life I was very used to men coming to the rescue- this is not a testament to my good looks, but rather to the fact I have three brothers). Soon a gorgeous athletic girl zipped up next to me, grinned and slung my suitcases up on her trolley. I looked on in awe as she pushed the precariously balanced load. Our hostel rooms only contained a single bed, a huge desk and a cupboard, with very little space for anything else. But my dad was going to be stopping over for a couple of days. Another girl turned up at my hostel room door armed with blankets, canned tuna and tupperware full of mixed lollies. How could I harden my heart to girls like these?
We shared what little money we had. Some of us were on scholarship and some on NZ student allowance. It was fortunate that these two sources of income came in on alternate weeks. It meant one of us was sure to have some funds by Thursday of each week. This bounty normally lasted till about Saturday. We were young and we were away from our parents for the first time. Drinking and dancing to that song 'Freeeedoooom, freeeedom, he' was not unheard of.
Yes inevitably we spent an inordinate amount of time at the university pub. We played a game called 'I never' sometimes, because it was a little bit naughty and a little bit fun. To play each person got to make a statement-'I never cheated on an exam','I never ate a packet of tim tams in one go', 'I never kissed four people in one night', and if you had, if the statement was true for you, you acknowledged it by skulling. Then we would all accuse each other of cheating and collapse lauging. The questions would quickly turn to relationships and sex. Especially if we played with boys. It was like the uni 'spin the bottle' (which I was always a bit too goody-two-shoes to play in school). I especially loved this game because, as a virgin, I was at a distinct advantage. I could sip sensibly and make outraegous 'I never' statements secure in the knowledge I wouldn't have to skull.
So it was one of those evenings when we were in the pub rather than studying. There was a group of boys there. A group of boys that several of us liked to flirt with. Naturally we started playing 'I never'. 'I never imagined Maria naked' I announced grinning cheekily at my friend Maria. All the boys skulled. And on it went. We were all getting sloshed. 'I never masturbated' slurred one of the boys. And all the boys skulled. Of course. And one of my girlfriends. Probably the most innocent amongst us. We all collapsed laughing again. More merriment ensued. It was a great night. The next day my lovely innocent friend said to all of us, 'I can't believe none of you have ever...'. I laughed, 'Of course we have hon, we just didn't admit it'. More collapsing laughing. My innocent lovely friend was outraged at our deception.
I recount this story because I have watched in horror from afar, as a girl, younger even than what we were then, a child, made a silly mistake. When I say silly mistake I don't mean masturbating. That's only natural, at least for 99.99% of us (even if only 10% of us, maybe less, ever innocently admit it). But capturing it and sending it to a creep, was obviously a mistake. I'm sure that poor kid knows that now. I realise enough has been writen about this. So I recount my own story of youth. Of inebriation and innocence. My own story of friendship, foolishness and fun (where all names have been changed to protect those likely to hunt me down and kill me otherwise). To put forward a personal perspective.
As a postnote, I am horrified that this child pornography has been posted, forwarded and watched. My personal perspective is that each of these actions should be prosecutable. There should be laws to protect children (even from themselves) and to make people think twice (whatever the motivation) before pressing play.