So I went and saw The Vagina Monologues at Westminster last weekend with my dear friend Bonnie (whose nuptials are taking me to Kailua, Hawaii in a mere 4 days!!!), and was fully awed, inspired, impressed and moved. Really, wow. I didn't expect to like it so much, to laugh so hard, or - especially - to cry so pitifully. I'm not really a cryer. Or someone who feels the sad stories of friends very emotionally. I hear them, I empathize, but more with my mind. As in, I understand that must have brought you considerable pain and sadness, and I'm sorry. But the part of me that really feels, deeply feels, has been in a sort of hibernation since, well, my childhood. (But that's another story.) Lately though, I've been going through a bit of an emotional awakening, which is nice. And, um, emotional. But so, it was a really fantastic experience. And Bonnie bought me a chocolate vagina pop, which is still swimming around in my purse and gets pulled out at awkward moments in the elevator at work when I search and fumble for my key card. (That's another story too. A much, much funnier story. Let's just say that errant vaginas - even chocolate ones - in the land of Mormon have a tendency to create socially awkward moments.)
But I know you're here for the real vaginas. So let's just get on with it, shall we?
So, here's my story about vaginas. Or, well, one vagina. And it's not mine. It is a friend's story, as relayed to me this past Tuesday evening. For the sake of anonymity, let's call her Angie (which is the name most resembling the word 'vagina' I can come up with at present. I am, however, open to suggestions and editing this post at a later date if you can best me. Yes, that's a challenge.)
"Oh my GOD. So, I go to work today and everything's fine for the most part. I mean, I'm busy as hell, but, you know, that's how it is, right?"
As in: that's how it is after you've taken a few days off and come back to a teeming email inbox and raging fires to put out. We all know how this goes. Veritable shitstorm. Angie had taken last Thursday, Friday and Monday off work. By Tuesday, she was in for it.
"So, you know, at some point in the afternoon I go up to the reception desk and am talking to Mary and I SWEAR I can smell something."
I raise an eyebrow. Unlike you, I knew where this was going. Angie had taken Thursday through Monday off work in order to travel 3000 miles across the country to visit her new, long-distance boyfriend. (Who just also happens to be the first boy she ever kissed, 20 years ago.) They reunited via - take a wild guess - facebook. Of course, right?? Anyway, so they reunited, and had a blissful two-week telephonic reunion wherein they mutually decide they are completely in love. So, this is their first real in-the-flesh encounter for over 20 years.
Exciting stuff really.
And you can imagine the weekend that transpired.
Which is why I raised an eyebrow.
"You can SMELL something?" I ask. Just to clarify.
"YES! I can SMELL something! And it smelled like sex! Not like vagina, not like that metallic menstruating vagina smell, but just this musty, briny smell of sex!"
Love it. "Briny" pretty much nails it, yes?
"You know that smell?"
Yes, I know the smell. I assume that was rhetorical, and wait for her to continue.
"So I immediately cut off my conversation with Mary, fairly awkwardly really, and run down the hall to the breakroom to make some tea. I figured if I made some really strong tea it would overpower the vaginal odor emanating from under my skirt. And that way if anyone got close enough, they would just smell the tea and not me."
Does this logic seem flawed to anyone else? I mean, really strong coffee, maybe. And even that's only a maybe. But even the strongest tea I've ever encountered I wasn't able to smell until I stuck my beak down to the rim of the cup.
"So, I'm standing there making my tea, and I see a big thing of that hand-sanitizer stuff on the counter. And suddenly it just occurs to me, this great idea! There have been times after I've smoked a cigarette that I wasn't able to wash my hands, and then rubbed them with hand-sanitizer and it completely eliminated the smell of smoke! I mean, something that can completely rid the smoke smell from your fingers after a cigarette is pretty amazing, right?"
"So, I pump a bunch of globs of that in my hand and make a run for the bathroom. And I get in the stall, and start rubbing it ALL over down there, to odor-eliminate and just freshen things up. And at first, I think this is a fantastic idea. I mean, I bathed before I went to work and if that wasn't enough to rid the love-stench of my weekend, then this was surely the next best solution. I mean, that shit is like 90% alcohol, I figure it will kill whatever bacteria and leftover whatever that's down there."
Now, some of you ladies may have some experience that will inform where this story is headed. Some of you may not. I, for one, have never ended up with a vagina full of hand-sanitizer. There was one night though when I used some homeopathic icy-hot kind of stuff on my inflamed back muscles, and then, HOURS later, having completely forgotten about the earlier application of said ointment, ended up with - you guessed it - an icy-hot vagina.
For the record, not recommended.
"So, I get all slathered up and am just standing there in the stall waiting for it to dry so I can pull my stockings back up, and then OHMYGOD. OH. MY. GOD! It started buuuurning! Everything was absolutely on fire - just inside, where it had barely creeped, all over the outside where I guess there were probably microscopic tears from three days of non-stop, wild, crazy sex. EVERYWHERE it burned! It was awful!"
Not to mention, she shaves.
Say it with me gals: OUCH.
"So I start jumping around, and getting a bunch of toilet paper to wipe it off, but at that point it was dry 'cause you know that shit dries in seconds. And I'm dabbing - I had to keep telling myself, "Don't rub! Just dab! Gentle dabs!" And so I'm dabbing and I'm doing the thing where you cross your thighs as tightly as you possibly can and trying to muffle my moans of pain and biting the back of my hand and praying to GOD that no one comes in the restroom."
At this point the story came to a natural pause as my laughing inhibited all incoming auditory stimuli. This is one of those stories that I wish I could tell in first person, so that you might get the full effect of how absolutely hilarious it was. But then again, I'm actually pretty glad this is not my first-person story. So is my vagina. In fact, it reminds me of the old saying, "A smart man learns from his own mistakes; a wise man learns from the mistakes of others." If nothing else, this episode made Angie smarter, and me a lot wiser. Because I cannot honestly say that I wouldn't have tried the same thing in that situation. I'd like to think I'd have a bit of foresight, what with the old icy-hot experience, but then again, I might not. It had never occurred to me before I heard this story to not rub hand sanitizer on my vagina.
But now I know. Turns out it takes a solid ten minutes for the raging fire of a hand-sanitized vagina to wane.