When our oldest child was two, he discovered his boy parts. With a smile of glee plastered on his tiny face, he sat in the bathtub and played with his twig and berries. I sighed and told my husband, “This is your area. I’m out.”
My husband cocked his head to the side and replied, “It’s only the start of his life-long love affair.”
I said, “As long as he knows not to fondle himself in public. Make sure he knows that behavior is inappropriate.”
“Consider it handled.”
It’s true. A man’s package is his pride and joy. His tool box of treasure is often elevated to Greek God status, because everyone knows that Hercules had solid gold teste-cles. Men make a spectacle of their testicles. They are nuts about their… well, nuts. They name their schlongs things like “Mr. Winky” and “Russell the Love Muscle”. In fact, men’s adoration of their semen nation is why slang descriptions like “the family jewels”, “wedding tackle”, and “master of ceremonies” run rampant in our society. This is also why I was not surprised that my husband was quite nervous the day he left for his vasectomy consultation. We had decided that two spawn was our limit. The time had come to debilitate the virility of The Sperminator.
He called me as soon as he exited the doctor’s office. I heard his disjointed voice on the other end of the phone. He said, “Well… that was… interesting.”
“How did it go?” I asked.
He answered, “I wasn’t expecting my doctor to bring an intern with him.” There was a long pause on the other end of the line, as if he was carefully considering his words, “She was in her 20’s and gorgeous… and wearing a very short skirt.”
“Oh my!” I said, “That must have been exciting for you!”
He continued, “That’s not all. After we talked about the procedure, I got up to leave. The Doc stopped me. Then he looked me straight in the eyes and said in a low voice, ‘We need to do an exam. Are you okay with that?’ I looked him square in the face, squinted my eyes like Clint Eastwood and said, ‘Yes.’”
Embarrassed for him, I asked, “Did the intern stay in the room?”
“How much of you did they examine?”
“All of it,” my husband said. “He fondled my balls while she watched and learned.”
I stifled a laugh and squeaked out, “I’m sorry.”
He said, “That’s okay. I didn’t think I was going to have to drop my pants in front of a 20 year old girl, but now that I’ve done it, I’ve learned something about myself.”
“Oh yeah? What did you learn?” I inquired.
He answered, “Now that my dignity has been stripped away, I have no fear. My stage fright is gone. I could drop my pants anywhere. ”
Two months later, Cut and Cauterize Day had arrived. My husband was scheduled to be poked, prodded, pulled and yanked to permanent sterility. Yay! Now we could have all of the impromptu coupling that we are too tired to desire! He insisted upon driving himself to the office, telling me he would be fine to drive home. He would simply not take the drugs.
I said, “Get the drugs. Don’t be a hero.”
Yet his mind was made up, there would be no valium in our house. I called my girlfriend and together we lamented the loss of potential mind numbing bliss.
“Seriously. Call me if you need me to drive you home.” I added for emphasis, “Really, it’s not an inconvenience. I am just appreciative of the fact that I will not have to endure another pregnancy, C-section and the infant that accompanies all of that.”
“Noted,” he belched. “FYI, I’m not supposed to do any physical activity for five days.”
“Five WHOLE days? “ I quipped, “Pregnancy invaded my body for nine months, which jacked up my hormones and turned my butt into a barge. It was probably illegal for me to pass the weigh stations on the interstate without stopping. Then after being sawed in half, I sleeplessly nursed a shrieking, angry boob leech until my nipples cracked and bled. Twice. But I’ll try my best to be supportive.”
He said, “Don’t worry about being supportive. I’ll just buy a jockstrap.”
That was a sound decision. I nodded, “Good call.”
My brave warrior kissed me goodbye and drove away to meet his destiny- the scalpel. My husband explained how he walked into the chilly room and dropped his pants. He then stretched out on the table and the doctor attached a rubber band to his one-eyed soldier and clipped it up to his shirt, in a little game I like to call Hangman. My husband insisted that Mr. Johnson was clipped to his collar, but it was a cold room and I know better. For 20 minutes, my husband sat there, blanket-less, with his grenades exposed to the icy air. Lucky for him there were witnesses. Miss Long Legs Short Skirt was not only in attendance, but eager to learn more.
Two hours later, I heard the crunch of his truck tires in the driveway. I expected him to be hunched over and dragging a leg like Igor. Instead, he walked into the house as if nothing happened and settled in on the couch. In a remarkable turn of personality, I was ready to wait on him hand and foot. I held a bag of ice in preparation for the healing of Larry, Darrell and Darrell.
I asked, “Can I get you anything else? A pillow? Advil? Whiskey?”
“I’m fine. It doesn’t even hurt,” he calmly explained.
He repeated himself, “Seriously, it doesn’t hurt.”
I knew the man had some cojones when he chose to marry me, I just didn’t know they were actually made of steel. My man was starting to make Chuck Norris look a Caillou.
He spent a day on the couch with an icepack pressed against his undercarriage, but the sitting around was driving him nuts. The next day, to allow him alone time to rest and heal his assaulted kiwis, I removed the kids from the house for four hours. When I returned, he had repaired the fireplace. The following day, in a pathetic attempt to be admitted into heaven, we went to church. My husband still had not taken one thing for pain, unless you count the liquor.
After the service, we deposited the kids in Sunday school and took some seats in the church hall for an hour of child-free coffee. Forget all the free-trade business; the best coffee is free of whining, toy noises and demands for Popsicles. As we sat and chatted, I felt an unfamiliar feeling. It was urgent affection. But we were in church and he had four more days until he was back in the saddle, so I rewarded him instead with a refill of coffee. I’m an awesome wife like that.
When I returned with a steaming hot cup of Joe, he was sitting on a folding chair in the middle of the church hall with his knees spread wide apart and a blank look on his face. I looked down and noticed his manly hand, which he was using to cradle his huevos.
I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to remind my adult husband of the one thing that I put him in charge of with our sons. “Honey,” I said, “you can’t hold your balls like that in public. Especially in church.”
I shamefully dropped my head into my palms. Oh Jesus, help me. My boys are destined to be the dudes playing pocket pool at a birthday party. The beans and weenies have been officially reassigned to mom. I guess I’ll pick up that sword and run with it.