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wundayatta's avatar

Women: can you remember back to when you were thirteen, and tell me what was on your mind?

Asked by wundayatta (58714points) June 19th, 2009

Perhaps a little background would be nice, such as how old you are now, and how strict your parents were, and how seriously you took school, whatever else you think might put your experience in the proper context.

In particular, I’m interested in what you made of your first interest in boys, whenever that happened. Did you have any perspective on it, or did it take over your every thought? Was it a way of sharing with your friends? Was it serious? Were you able to maintain focus on other things as well, and if so, what?

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26 Answers

Jude's avatar

I came from a (mildly) strict Catholic family. During my early teens I was pretty much a good girl (to appease the parents). School? Meh, wasn’t all that interested, but, I managed to do okay (it wasn’t until mid high school that I took schooling a little more seriously). I was pretty carefree, was always out doing something with my girlfriends (a bit of a tom boy), but, there was one thing that baffled me; why did I have a huge crush on a female camp counselor and a few older girls at my school when all of my other friends were interested in boys..

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am 25 now and don’t really identify with a gender, as you know, but since I normally pass for a woman and have female parts, the question applies as at 13 I definitely played femme a lot more than I do now – I was all about flirting, boyhunting, and learning the violin and Italian – I was all about studying for the various regents exams and getting good grades to go to great high schools – I was all about dance

ubersiren's avatar

Rollerskating, boys, my stupid teachers, piano and my in-school music career, my bff.

autumn43's avatar

I’m $% and when I was 13 all I could think about were my friends, social life and of course, boys. I didn’t WANT to think about the awkwardness of turning into a teenager/woman and the teasing that goes along with that. I also have strawberry blonde hair, so that was a struggle as well because it was different and I didn’t want to be different.

My parents were mildly to moderately strict and having an older brother and two older sisters, I was the middle child (also have a little sister) so I was a pretty good kid. I took piano and was quite good, so that was also a focus.

Friends were hugely important to tell all your secrets/dreams to. It’s also when you find out who your real friends are. We were all worried about going into the high school.

Boys did consume a great deal of my thoughts. They weren’t interested in me at that age – awkward, no confidence, redhead. But that doesn’t stop girls from planning things, and overthinking things and going to dances and being all giggly and have that be the be-all and end-all of each and every social encounter.

I wouldn’t want to be 13 again. Maybe 18. But I can look back fondly at that time in my life. I made it and I even got through it with my daughter, which was one of the greatest trials of my life! But that’s a story for another day….hormones….

dazedandconfused's avatar

Well, I’m eighteen now, and remembering even five years back is a little hazy. At that point, I was really focused on school. I was done with middle school and about to enter our 1300 student high school, so I imagine that was a bit scary.

I mostly focused on my friends, family and school at that time. Boys were of interest, but ‘dating’, thankfully, was not a huge deal at my school during that time. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until fourteen and at that time, I remember chasing off this boy who was sort of creepy in his display of affection for me. I hardly ever talked to him, and before Christmas break he just showed up with a gold necklace. Yes, real gold… I gave it back and told him I was taken already.

My family was pretty strict, and as lame as this makes me sound, I probably spent most nights just hanging out with them watching tv and talking. I wish things were that easy again…. But, at that point, I really didn’t ask for or try to do anything rebellious or questionable. I was definitely on the right path at that time. School was really (and continued to be) important to me. Getting that 4.0 seemed like a huge deal, and I was involved in a lot of after school stuff. I got the bright idea of trying out for cheerleading, mostly just to see if I could make it—- did make it—and realized that I was nothing like those girls, and hated every second :)

Thankfully, sex was just something funny to joke about with girl friends and never even crossed my mind. Boys were cute, and we had crushes, but nothing ever came of them. Stupid girl fights over who said what on their away message, Xanga, or MySpace were issues, and for some reason, things like that still cause drama… Ridiculous.

It seems that it was easier back then, but maybe that’s just because I’ve gone through a ton of stuff recently with graduation, relationships, finishing high school with good grades despite all the shit happening and the fact that I no longer cared, and choosing a college.

casheroo's avatar

I’m 22, not very strict parents. I was a good student, didn’t do anything to lose my parents trust, so I had quite a bit of freedom when it came to hanging out with my girl friends.
At 13, I definitely had an interest in boys but hadn’t even kissed a boy yet. I had crushes, but never acted on it. I was doing my school work, and involved in sports (field hockey).

I don’t recall my first interest in boys. It was probably around 4th grade, when everyone had a “boyfriend” and they’d do quick pecks on the playground. I never did because I didn’t like those boys lol. I do recall being attracted to boys, and TMI I guess masturbation was pretty fun because I recall doing it a lot starting at like, 10. haha.
Girls love to gossip, especially at that age, so if we weren’t out playing or going on adventures, we would be inside talking about boys or comparing our growing breast.
Mfirst kiss was at 14, with my first boyfriend (who I had known since Kindergarten) I didn’t plan on sleeping with him, or doing anything sexual. He had other things in mind. He never pushed or forced me into anything, but I was sexually assaulted by another boy so at the time my 14 year old boyfriend couldn’t cope (I think he couldn’t grasp the fact that I hadn’t consented.) So, my situation may be different, because I became promiscuous as a result of my assault.

jonsblond's avatar

I’m 38 and the youngest of six children, five girls and one boy. My parents were not very strict with me and let me run around the neighborhood with my friends. We were the house that everyone came to.

At 13 I was busy playing saxophone, swimming, riding my bicycle, watching movies with my best friend and rollerskating. I really didn’t become interested in boys until I turned 14. I had a huge crush on Anthony. I was first chair alto sax and he was second. I was extremely shy and could not get the courage to talk with this boy outside of band class. I was really big on writing notes and I would have my best friend hand them to Anthony for me. I think he eventually ended up having a crush on her instead of me. ): Thoughts of boys consumed much of my time, I must admit.

Likeradar's avatar

I’m 29 and have crazy-in-the-good-way parents who are/were my best friends but had no problem acting like parents when they need to. As long as I stayed in line, they weren’t very strict.

At 13, I was very social. I was very concerned about my friends and who said what and where I fit in and all that stereotypical drama. That age was the start of my long line of being the side-kick to a “bad-girl” best friend… all the fun benefits without getting into all the trouble! I was also obsessed with the Beatles.

I had a boyfriend (I use that term very lightly), and I had a few boyfriends leading up to him. We did all sorts of romantic~ things like watch The Simpsons together over the phone. I liked boys, but in the sense that they were fun and nice and most importantly by far, funny. To me a boyfriend was just like a best friend you could expect more from. I was pretty insecure, and having boys like me gave me a ridiculously lame sense of value.
I was a late bloomer, physically and mentally- at 13 I was still a child and couldn’t relate at all to my friends’ boy-craziness. I played along a little to fit in, but I just didn’t see the point in what my friends talked about. In fact, my boyfriend tried to kiss me many times, and I just couldn’t. I mean, EW! :) I ended up dumping him because he was too immature. Yup. I did that.

atlantis's avatar

When I was thirteen, I was wondering what I would do with my life, (still figuring that out…) and then I would worry about how to get over peer pressure (success!) and ofcourse who could forget; how am I going to keep having fun. Not changed that much.

Clair's avatar

At thirteen, I was having sex and smoking lots of pot. Spending a lot of time with my little sister. (Which I may sound like I was trouble at the time, but I wouldn’t dare try to get my little sister involved. I was never inappropriate around her.) Very focused on my future and getting my career in order. Doing well in school. Very into my art. And friends with everybody. My parents were strict but I always got around. I was the one nobody suspected and I could put on a mask in a second if need be. Although I was much more respectful then other people that age, I still had SO much to learn, as all teenagers. It was actually kind of a fun time, but being a kid sucks in most ways. I wouldn’t go back. I just miss that freedom of not having bills and responsibilities.

cak's avatar

13, I was hanging with friends, dealing with school and trying to avoid my sister. (at the time, I thought she had terminal PMS) We were living in South Florida, I had a great group of friends. I also babysat, a lot. It was the same year I decided to really start questioning things at my CCD classes, and decided not to be confirmed in the Catholic Church.

I liked boys, but wasn’t obsessed, by any means. I was starting to not want to be completely under my parent’s thumb – they floated between strict to moderately strict – depending on how things were going in the house.

It was when I got very interested in politics, I was in Civics and took a fantastic trip tot he state’s capital with the class. I had a group of very close friends, we had decided that we would all become attorneys and fight for more rights.

Music, dances, movies, sleepovers, some gossip and friends ruled my existence. Getting lost somewhere between childhood and being a teenager was there, too. Odd year, but fun. The next two years are when boys started kicking in, 13…not so much.

Supacase's avatar

I am 35 now and had very lax rules at home. I was a good student and responsible kid, but I was shy and not very outgoing. I thought about my weight, boys and fitting in socially.

elijah's avatar

I’m 32 now, my parents were 33 when I was 13. Here’s what I thought about:
boys, my hair, am I cool, is this outfit ok, school work, being in the popular crowd, am I pretty, does he like me, why doesn’t he like me, when will my boobs grow, writing notes, talking on the phone, how to kiss, crushes, my mom doesn’t understand, my dad doesn’t understand, my teachers don’t understand, I’m embarrassed of my family, I want to wear makeup, going to the mall, my mom won’t buy me the right sneakers, getting invited to parties, act like I don’t care, the cool kids smoke, I don’t want to be a nerd, why can’t I do whatever I want, leave me alone, pay attention to me, <rolls eyes> go to the mall just to walk around, go to movies, ride my bike past that boys house 15 times, am I fat, my parents are soooo old, I need to be a cheerleader, college? etc etc etc.

tinyfaery's avatar

I am now 35. I had a rough childhood, with an abusive father and a negligent mother, so my 13 is probably not a typical 13. I had a 16 year old boyfriend at 13, and mostly I thought about him because I actually felt cared for and appreciated. At the time I was still dancing (ballet mostly, but also modern and jazz) and performing, so that occupied a lot of my time, as well. At 13 I became “alternative” and began to care about how cool my clothes were, and I begged for creepers and/or a pair of Doc’s.

But let me tell you about 14: at 14, I ran away from home and stayed away about 1 year; I tried pot for the first time; I got drunk for the first time, and I lost my virginity. What a year.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I was a freshman in high school and ran cross country and track which didn’t give me any time to have the kind of fun I saw others engaging in like cutting school for river/lake parties or sneaking off to house parties in the evenings. I looked all of 9yrs old so no new kids bothered to want to be my friend and my friends from Jr. High were as restricted and/or sheltered as I was. We pretty much spent the first year observing, pining away and seething and strategizing for what we wanted the next year to be.

aprilsimnel's avatar

My first interest in boys was at 11, not 13, and they were all boys I had had classes with for a couple of years. It seemed like I had a new crush every semester. I never did anything about them because I knew that I was poor and unpopular. I was also physically undeveloped until I was in my late teens, so boys didn’t pay attention to me and I didn’t expect them to.

But I was also focused on trying to avoid beatings at home (unfortunately), finding out about bands and music, writing stories, singing in choirs at school and church, learning how to sew, figuring out how to fix my hair (it’s a mop), baking, reading a lot of books and watching a lot of Monty Python and Doctor Who. I also had a huge crush on Michael Palin, even back then. It was just a natural thing for me to look at some male I considered attractive and think “Oooh! He’s cute!” I’ve never not liked boys.

Even if I had gotten some guy’s attention, I wouldn’t have dared let them close enough to me to meet my family, and my guardian was equally adamant that no boy came near me. I think she was terrified I’d go off the deep end with having a lot of sex and ending up pregnant in high school like she did.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m 24 now – at 13 I was much more stereotypical. I was a lot more outgoing, talkative and I definitely had an interest in boys. I started “dating” a neighbor at 12, and he was 14 – he was my first kiss. I made out with him at 13, but that’s as far as it went. I was still scared of the idea of things going further. 13 was about the time I started getting extremely self-conscious because I started going through puberty at 12 and it hit me fast. I went from being shorter than average with no boobs, to taller than average with bigger boobs than any other girl my age. I grew faster than everyone around me and I was very aware of it.

That was also a very turbulent time in my family life and no, I wasn’t that into school. I wanted to go and took an interest in it, simply because that’s where I got to see most of my friends. My parents were very irresponsible and never really enforced going to school. My dad was an alcoholic at the time and my mom was just coming out of having a drug problem.

All in all, I was a good kid. I didn’t drink for the first time until my 15th birthday, and I think I tried pot for the first time a year or so after that. What little rules my parents made, I tried to follow because they were understandable, even from my young perspective.

When I was around 14 I developed an eating disorder, but it was only for a very short period of time. By the time my mom had decided to read a journal of mine and found out about it, I had already realized how stupid I was being and had stopped. All in all, around that age, my body-image was definitely my biggest concern.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m 24 now. At 13 my home life was pretty chaotic. My parents were in the process of getting divorced and my mom vacillated between being unreasonably controlling and completely negligent. It was a weird time in life. Echoing what’s been said, I would say my main thoughts were about school, my social life/standing, and boys, but they were this weird foreign species that made no sense to me. (I guess some things never change.)

Blondesjon's avatar

I prayed a lot. I remember once that I was really into this young man named Phil. . .

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I can’t wait until two o’clock God. That’s when our dance starts. Do you think I’ll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he’s very handsome. And I’d love to dance with him… just once or twice. Thank you God.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I’m 20 now. When I was thirteen, I thought I was THE SHIT. I was in 7th grade, I was “dating” Ted Zimmerman, wearing way too much lipgloss, going to the mall and trying to figure out what the fuck was happening.

I’m so glad I’m nothing like what my 13 year old self wanted me to and thought I would be like when I turned 20.

generalspecific's avatar

I’m currently 18..but 13 was for sure a weird time. I was pretty music obsessed along with my friends.. had no fashion sense, wore baggy band tees and jeans. My parents were also having some problems during that age, lots of fighting and whatnot. I was in love with this boy who I had known since the 2nd grade but then my best friend dated him and then my other best friend dated him, it was just ridiculous. I was so heartbroken and emo. I thought I was just gonna love him forever and ever and we were meant to be blah blah blah. Now he’s a highschool drop out loser and sometimes I let him sell me drugs… ha. And I am just way way glad that 13 is over with, definitely a shitty age.

cyndyh's avatar

I’m 44. My first real interest in boys was around 10. I developed early and that makes you aware early. By 13 I was still only thinking in terms of “does he like me like me or just like me?” I was interested in “going steady” with someone which meant you called them your boyfriend and they called you their girl friend for all of a few weeks. You kissed. You’d maybe see each other at the mall or at the tennis courts or track or at co-ed chaperoned parties. It didn’t mean anything more than that.

I had a few friends who took things too far too young. My 12 year old next door neighbor was dating an 18 year old with her parents’ blessing. They were idiots. There was a girl in the neighborhood who at 12 regularly had sex in her boyfriend’s car in broad daylight while neighborhood boys circled the car on their bikes to see what they could. Another was telling me way too much about losing her virginity at 13 with some guy she met at camp. Yikes! I wasn’t ready for all that!

I did well in school. I had stopped obsessing about gymnastics by then and was running in the mornings. I rode my bike a lot still. I played flute in a church group. My parents were somewhat strict. I was starting to think of them as idiots, but they still weren’t as stupid as a lot of the other parents I’d met somehow.

It wasn’t until around 15 when I thought I was in love and had to be on the phone for hours on end. That’s about when I started to be trouble. :^>

veganpeanutbutter's avatar

I certainly wasn’t interested in boys, and certainly am not interested in them now. :)

jeanna's avatar

I’m 29. At age 13, I had already had a “serious” boyfriend for over a year when I was 10 so I was definitely interested in boys. I masturbated all the time, but sex was not something I desired. I did the whole drawing boys names with hearts around them…and fantasizing about marriage. However, I never used the word “love” with anything until much later.

As for school, I was a nerd. I loved it. I made good grades with little to no effort, and I made friends easily. I was a good girl.

Clair's avatar

@jeanna Glad to hear someone else here has semi promiscuous memories of thirteen. For a second there, I thought I was the only one here that wasn’t drawing rainbows and dreaming of unicorns.

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