Teach Your Parents Well / by Courtney Mehlhaff

This weekend, a friend was telling me that she's frequently out of the loop when it comes to knowing certain slang terms. While her husband claimed that he found this endearingly innocent, my friend lamented that she sometimes embarrasses herself by being behind the times. Case in point: she once loudly announced in mixed company that she didn't understand what "twat" meant.

To help her out, her husband and I ran down a list of euphemisms that she should be familiar with. I'm not sure whether that speaks volumes to our worldliness or to our trashy viewing habits/acquaintances, but in the end, I think it's knowledge worth having.

A couple years ago, my mom emailed me a similar question. This was back in the early days of the conservative trainwreck known as the Tea Party, before they had legitimized their batshit craziness and were commonly referred to as "tea baggers."

My mom had heard on TV that "tea bagging" was actually a sexual term, and she wanted to make sure she didn't use it improperly. Inexplicably, her first fact-finding mission sent her directly to me.

What I wanted to write back was "Mom, this is what the internet is for." Because it is. The Web exists largely to spare us the indignity of asking for enlightenment about potentially embarrassing things. However, I had a small panic attack when I imagined the search results that might populate if my mother googled "tea bagging." There might be pop-ups. There might be videos.

When I was a kid, my parents managed to avoid having "the talk" with me by leaving an educational book about sex outside my bedroom door. So I did what any loving daughter would. I sent her the link to the Wikipedia page.