A Post About Tampons, Vaginas and Episiotomies
My two male readers? Alex and Jeff? Bye bye. Seriously. Alex, you're too young to be reading this post where I will be discussing the mysteries of the Lady Garden, and Jeff you've already seen and heard everything there is to know about the subject. Come back later and I'll be talking about t.v. shows and money. Love you.
Okay, are they gone? Good. Ladies, I'm here today to talk about tampons, vaginas and episiotomies. Not all together, although they could certainly be paired with one another like a fine steak and a good red wine. I have three separate musings and wanted to cram all of them into one post. Because I don't have much blogging time anymore and because I don't want to gross out my two male readers more than I already have.
I don't remember exactly when I graduated from Regular size tampons to Super size. Nor do I remember the exact date of that time I picked up a box of Super Plus Kotex tampons, shrugged and said to myself, "Why not?" I do know that I am tired of getting my period. I'm 46, I have four kids and the closest I've come to having sex in the past 6 months was the fondling I got from the TSA agent at the Amsterdam airport (and she was HOT). Yes, you read that right, there was no sexy time with John McCain in the Netherlands. We'll discuss that later.
Anyhoo. As a mother, I can't help but feel some pride for my aging female anatomy and its unflagging optimism every month. I'm a big fan of the underdogs, you know. The plucky survivors who don't give up. I can practically hear it cheering every month, through the layers of pudge on my abdomen, "ALRIGHT, LADIES! IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN! YOU NEVER KNOW!!! LINING, YOU THICKEN! EGGS, YOU GET ROLLING!". I don't have the heart to tell them that unless there's some freaky dreamworld osmosis pregnancy involving me and Louis C.K, all of this hard work every month is a waste.
So the fact that my tampons are the size of wiffle-ball bats wasn't much of a concern to me until a friend of mine recently asked if I had one she could borrow. No, not a wiffle-ball bat, a tampon. Now, I always have a tampon with me, except for the times when I really need one. Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, and pull out what I thought was my wallet but in reality is a tampon the size of a crib mattress? Check. Stranded in the Wisconsin woods at my friends cabin, bleeding like a stuck pig and attracting every bear within a five-mile radius? No, no check. And no tampon.
But I had one with me the day my friend needed one. I'd like to be all proud and cool and say that when I handed her the tampon, which may as well have said "Big Bertha" on the wrapper and I saw her eyes widen with shock and horror, that I didn't feel self-conscious. And really, it didn't faze me too badly. Because I am at that age where I no longer give a shit about pretty much anything. But when she confided to me the next day that she had felt slightly violated by the enormous Kotex, I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Because sometimes even these cotton-bales-on-a-string don't do the job. I'm too old to have an entire drawer dedicated to "Crime Scene Underwear", aren't I? Which leads me to the second leg of this disgusting post:
If my body was real estate, my bikini area would be "that creepy old house on the corner with the overgrown lawn" that the kids stay away from because it's rumored to be haunted. You know, the one with a pile of junk mail by the front door, and maybe a rusted out car up on cinderblocks in the backyard.
I don't use my vagina for much anymore these days, except for holding approximately $10 worth of tampons every month. It's such a shame, to waste that kind of space. But what can you do? I have a sequel to my What's Sex Got To Do With It post coming up, wherein I will talk about why the old girl hasn't seen much action lately. Part of it has to do with the fact that I am so tired and exhausted that the thought of how much WORK it would be to actually have sex is daunting. Part of it is that I just don't have any interest in playing any sort of sexy reindeer games right now. Add to that the fact that there aren't exactly throngs of men pounding on the front door, demanding to have sex with me POST HASTE and there you have it.
So not much is said or written about the fact that after a certain age, the vagina no longer serves much purpose, aside from the aforementioned tampon holding. And, I suppose, for most of you married ladies, and some of you single ones, there is sex. But for women like me, single moms who are raising children and working our asses off in order to raise those kids, the vagina is a lot like that slicer/dicer thing I bought from Pampered Chef a trillion years ago: it was "hells bells coolio" when I first got it..I used that gadget constantly, man. Chopped onions and herbs and eggs with it. Kept it clean and within reach at all times. Now? Honestly I cannot tell you where my slicer/dicer is. I think it's in one of those cupboards where you keep things that you've actually held over the garbage or donation bag, but stopped because "someday I might use it again".
There. My lady bits are now the Slicer/Dicer of my anatomy. And you know damn well that right after I hit publish on this sucker I'm going to go search the high shelves in the kitchen and pull out the slicer/dicer for old times sake. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the lady bits.
I never had one. I've given birth four times, and only once did the baby come out of my Presto BabyShooter. That was Molly, and as my smallest baby (8.2 lbs) my doctor assumed she'd come out easy peasy. Wrong. Apparently either she had sharp elbows or one of her horns (all kids have them, you know) popped out in utero and therefore my entire reproductive system was sliced open as she came out. I believe the old sailor term for what happened to my body was called "ripped open from stem to stern". I wrote about it, in horrifyingly graphic terms, in Molly's birthday post. So, in hindsight, the two things I feared most about delivering vaginally (episiotomy and pooping in a bed) would have been way more fun than almost dying and ending up with a surgically reconstructed cootchie. But I did get a kick-ass daughter out of it, so yay me.
I always thought that giving birth via c-section three times would give me a ticket out of the "giant vagina club" but I found out that passing an eight pound razor blade makes you pretty much the president.
Anyways, I thought about episiotomies this morning, when I found myself performing one in my kitchen. Ha! Did I get your attention there? No worries, I haven't started an OB/GYN practice using the knowledge I've gleaned from watching Grey's Anatomy and Teen Mom. No, this was a procedure I performed on a pair of jeans.
William is going through the knees of his jeans at a fast rate these days...here's a tip: if your son asks for a "shinny hockey set" for Christmas, be prepared to re-supplement his pants collection at a heartbreakingly rapid pace. Thankfully he's still at the age where he doesn't care what he wears, so we are frequent shoppers at Target's Boys Denim Collection. Which is where we were last night, picking out yet another pair of size 14 skinny fit jeans. All is good and fine, right?
Cut to (pardon the pun) this morning. I'm in the kitchen, hunched over the coffee maker when William walks in, new jeans in hand. "Mom. The button hole is too small on these jeans." He handed them over to me, and without even thinking about it I grabbed my kitchen shears and made the button hole on the jeans wide enough to let the big button through. I almost said to him, "Haha..look I just gave your jeans an episiotomy!" but in that split second of time I pictured my son in the delivery room where his wife is having their first baby and him hearing the word "episiotomy" for the second time in his life and decided against it.
I may not use my private parts anymore but thankfully, I sometimes use my brain.
Thus ends my tale of all things vaginal. You can expect your appetite to return by day's end.