Chastity, patent shoes and phone books: convent advice to live your life by.

"Now girrrrlls" Sister Assumpta Mary would trill, settling herself on her chair.

"Today we're talking about BOYS and the DANGER you are in with them!"

She would write BOYS! DANGER! on the blackboard.  Cue sniggering in the back of the classroom.

"Margaret O'Reilly are you finding something funny, you Duncey Dee?  Come up here to me and we'll soon see what's funny".

"Now" she would continue, having restored classroom order "We're going to talk about dances.  Boys at dances only want ONE THING.  You must be ALERT.  And you must not give it to them. God is watching you".

DANCES! joined boys and danger on the blackboard.


We knew God was watching us and tut tutting over our every move, like Santa Claus does to naughty children.  It didn't stop Assumpta Mary from telling us at least once a month though.


"Patent shoes.  That's the first thing.  Boys can see the reflection of your knickers in them"

We were incredulous, but she was firm.  "They can.  There are to be no patent shoes."

"Phone book.  That's the second thing.  You must always bring a phone book with you to the dances.  If you have to sit on a boys knee you must put the phonebook on his lap first.  Otherwise he could become excited - and THE SIN WOULD BE YOUR FAULT!"

But eventually she would swish out and as soon as Sister left the classroom a crude drawing of a willy would join the words on the blackboard.


I'm not saying who put it there.

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