Love Letters from Former Nuns: Where Is Elizabeth Now?

Elizabeth discovered her talent for giving sex talks on a warm July evening spent walking among late-blooming flowers.

Elizabeth regaled Kate with both stories and advice while pausing every so often to make sure that none of the people also enjoying the garden, most of whom were getting on in years, were listening. Of course, given their fellow horticultural admirers’ ages as well as the low volume with which Elizabeth imparted her wisdom, it was unlikely that anyone would be able to eavesdrop. Elizabeth’s intermittent pauses were the only interruptions in her discussion of her sex life with Jonathan, her boyfriend from Seattle.

Please note that Elizabeth did not just tell tawdry stories. She made an honest effort to advise Kate on how to have a healthy sex life. More friends should do that; it’s far less awkward to talk about sex with a peer than with a parent. Kate remembers that she got two sex talks: one when she was in fourth grade when she learned the mechanics of sex, and one when she was eighteen and her mother wanted to ensure her daughter made good decisions with men. We should just enlist friends to give that second sex talk.

The best advice Elizabeth gave was that you will know when you’re ready to have sex. She told Kate not to try to plan it out or make it perfect, but to just go for it when Kate was sure that she was loved, comfortable, and safe. Great advice, iconic advice, sex positive advice. And then Elizabeth told Kate that for her and Jonathan, that moment came on the evening of their first date that almost wasn’t a date.

Between the two friends, Elizabeth is more spontaneous one. Kate was mostly unfazed when Elizabeth told Kate that, after an evening spent watching movies with Jonathan, they had decided to have sex. Kate already knew the answer would be “yes” when she asked, “Was that when you lost your virginity?” The shock came when Elizabeth told Kate that this date was the first time Elizabeth and Jonathan had been alone together.

But who cares that this date encompassed several firsts – first moments alone, first kisses, and Elizabeth’s first time. The most important part of the evening was that Elizabeth felt loved, comfortable, and safe. Well, maybe not loved quite yet, but adored and attractive, sure. Love came later when, after they had been together for a while, the couple got too nervous to express their love in English. So they said “I love you” for the first time in Latin.

This moment remains among the cutest that has ever been confided to Kate.

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