I think women think about this moment more often than men. Men talk about it using crass four-lettered terms — more a complaint than the shock and detail that women use when describing losing our innocence.

For me, it started at a movie theatre. He’d called and asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him that evening, and I made a joke about his lack of flowers and chocolate when asking me out. He cleverly joked back that men don’t ask women out with flowers and candy because if we say no, he’s now wasted money. The flowers and chocolate come when he picks me up, he clarified. I argued that offering flowers/candy sweetens the deal so that if he asks us out with such enticements, we’re more likely to say yes. Ah, but what if we women are just using the guy for free stuff? Then we’d take the flowers/candy and still say no. It was all a moot point, really, because when he showed up, he did so empty-handed. But he did pay for dinner — a peanut butter smoothie for him, a chicken wrap for me. And he paid for the movie like a gentleman. And like a gentleman, he also let me pick the movie, so I selected a romantic comedy I’d been wanting to see. At some point during the early part of the movie I leaned on the arm rest that separated us and my left shoulder nudged his right bicep. I looked up at him. He looked down, grinned and lifted his right arm out of the way. I was happy moments later to feel that arm rest around my shoulders and I watched the rest of his movie in his half-embrace.

On the way back home, I knew what was coming. I’d seen it coming for months, and was keenly attuned to how quickly it grew the closer to home the car got. I literally watched it get higher and bigger. And you know what sucked? I didn’t even want it. As much as I knew that (*rolling eyes*) I “needed” it, I didn’t really welcome it. Isn’t it strange how a car door slam echoes, how loudly the footfalls on hard asphalt punctuate the time…

I remember looking and thinking, “That’s gonna hurt.” Those were my exact soundless words. “That’s gonna hurt.” You’d think it would hurt going in during insertion, you’d think it would hurt during all the pumping, but you know when it REALLY hurt? When it was over. It was huge. $56 big ones for 13 gallons at $4.29 a gallon. Holy crap.

Welcome to adulthood. This is the real world today. We’re being raped by our gas companies.