The Graduate

I remember buying my first Playboy. It was the December 1991 issue. I was in the ninth grade. I was in Century City, California at a rehearsal for my older sister’s cotillion. I was wearing a black zip-up hoodie with pockets for both hands. My 16-year-old cousin was my sister’s escort. We had wandered into the hotel’s gift shop during a rehearsal break. I went over to the magazines and spotted Dian Parkinson’s face under the letters P-L-A-Y-B-O-Y. I had to buy it. I grabbed it and went to the lady cashier. She rang me up even though I was underage. I thought, God bless her. My cousin had witnessed the purchase and began to laugh when I turned in his direction. I told him not to tell. As soon as we left the gift shop, I placed the bag against my torso and zipped it up in my hoodie. I walked around the rest of the night with both hands holding up the magazine from my hoodie’s pockets. When I got home, I looked at every last one of its pages. Of course, I spent more time on the pictures than the print. It blew my mind. That was the first of many girlie magazines that I accumulated over the course of about a year. One day, my mother found the stash in my room. She told my father and he lectured me. She approached me about it later and began to cry. I felt like the lowest of the low. It would be another two years before I truly saw the error of my ways. Watching The Graduate (1967) taught me that I should not be wasting time with pictures of Mrs. Robinson while I was waiting for Elaine. It blew my mind.

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