I like it when you do that…
It doesn’t tickle?
No, I’m not ticklish.
No, when I was 8 years old or so, I decided not to be ticklish anymore.
Is that even possible?
Yep. I did it, so it must be possible.
Is that a challenge?
Not at all. I am confident in my unticklishness at this point.
I may still have to test that statement.
I would expect no less. I am ready for the test at any time.
I’ve never heard of anyone getting over being ticklish before.
It wasn’t easy.
How did it work?
I had to get someone to tickle me, and resist giving in to the ticklish feeling. Over and over. Eventually I just stopped being ticklish.
That sounds fun.
It wasn’t. I hated being tickled.
Who did you get to tickle you?
I don’t remember. That’s weird. It seems like I should remember that.
Some random stranger off the street?
No, it must have been a neighbor or a friend or something.
A boy or a girl?
Seems like it would have to have been a boy. But I really don’t remember. It could have been one of my friends, I guess.
If you’re expecting to be tickled, it would be fairly easy not to give in.
Yeah. The surprise tickles were harder to overcome. It took quite a while. Maybe a year. I think it was when I was in the third grade.
Did it ever get to a point where you liked being tickled?
No. Eventually it was just neutral. Sometimes people, well, always boys, wouldn’t believe me. They’d tickle me. Get annoyed because it didn’t make me squirm.
Did you tell them you weren’t ticklish?
Yep. But they never believed me.
Then what would they do?
When they didn’t get a reaction they would tickle harder and harder until they’d just get angry. I’d get even angrier. At recess one boy straddled me and tickled me until he bruised my ribs. It hurt. He was sorry about that after he let me up again.
He felt bad?
No, I kneed him pretty hard in the nuts.
Then he felt bad?
He felt something. I’ve never liked not having my wishes respected, even if I couldn’t put it into words.
You felt like it was a violation?
I think I must have, though it was an expected and frequent one. Relatives, friends of parents, bullying older boys…I hated for them to have that power over me.
Were you always a such a vengeful little girl?
But you don’t try to hide it?
Why would I? I was eight at the time. I haven’t kicked a guy in the nuts for decades.
You’re very safe with me. At least physically.
You feel very safe, at least physically. I suspect I might be in some emotional peril.
I sure hope so. I know I am.
Would you feel better if I reassured you that the emotional peril is extreme?
Definitely. You know how I love any sort of reassurance.
I am happy to provide as much as you need.
And you even mean that!
Well, anyway, I think the discipline involved in getting over being ticklish might have been good training for things later in life.
Like what? Oh…wait…a few things just became clearer.
I should probably do a thorough check for spots that might still be ticklish.
You have my permission.
Should I wear a cup in case I find a spot you missed?
I think if you just tell me to be very still you should be safe.
Be very, very, very still. And stop laughing.