I clearly remember my wife telling me that getting a vasectomy was the most masculine thing I could do. Of course, she also said that about buying our mini van.
Wanting to be fully prepared for the ordeal I had read online about an HMO instructional video; but found that it didn’t exactly feature an ‘ordinary’ looking Joe. According to my source he sort-of resembles Sly Stallone in the early Rambo years. As the movie opens Sly and his young, attractive, patently fertile wife sit on the couch holding hands while looking over some literature and discussing the matter in a loving and mutually respectful manner. They look deeply into each other’s eyes over the rims of their General Foods International coffees and, when appropriate, one nods, tugs an earlobe or picks their nose in a thoughtful and emotionally mature manner. After carefully weighing all the pros and cons they conclude that, yes, a vasectomy was indeed the right decision for them.
After this decision the dramatic reenactment shifts to a steamy bathroom: our hairy-chested Italian Stallion dropping his towel in a breathtaking full-frontal-nudity-in-the-mirror shot! Sly has himself all lathered up with Peppermint & Aloe Edge Gel for Tough Beards and reaches for a Gillette Super Mach 5 with the rubber grip, swivel head, and mentholated lubricating strip.
Frankly, I was not prepared to watch anything featuring a scrotal shaving sequence. The very thought that my wife might insist on watching the video with me had me nearly committed to a lifetime of condoms as thick as Playtex rubber gloves! I was not at all comfortable with the idea of glancing over to see her famished gaze – likely accompanied with Pavlovian panting and salivating – fixed upon another man’s loins. Especially a buff and virile gentleman with big hands and feet (if you know what I mean).
I suppose I should have felt a little relief knowing that at least the video didn’t include any dancing cartoon hotdogs or meatballs being chased by a playful Mr. Scissors. Regardless, I didn’t get the video.
Once I felt my research was complete I made an appointment for a preliminary visit. This consultation is necessary because most insurance companies require that you wait thirty days before committing to the actual procedure. Not mine! With a hearty laugh the Medica associate practically rubber-stamped the doctor snipping me at his earliest convenience – which I tried not to take too personally. The session with the doctor mostly consists of him discussing the procedure at length while you sign a small pile of disclaimers waving any right to litigate should they accidentally remove your genitals or sew them on someplace else as a joke.
By and by, the day arrived to shave my boys. I know this will make me sound un-hip and old-fashioned but I had never even considered shaving that particular area until it was required for my vasectomy. Honestly, it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be; considering the lack of surface tension and the density of decades-old foliage. I do, however, strongly recommend the luxury of warm wet towels and thick, rich lather. But skip the Old Spice ’cause it stings like a son-of-a-gun!
Then, come that magic morning, after a quick wash (trust me, you’ll want to be fresh as a daisy for your date with the butcher man) and a supportive peck on the cheek from my wife, I toddled blithely into the hospital whistling a brave and happy tune.
The operating room was nice and tidy and I changed into a summery frock-like piece of apparel that made me feel unexpectedly shy and girlish (and a little chilly). The nurse generously pulled a fresh sheet of waxed paper over the operating table and informed me that the doctor would have an assistant with him today. I was somewhat relieved to hear the assistant’s name was Ruth – assuredly an 80-some year old far sighted granny.
To my great shock and horror Ruth was a perky, pre-med college student. The doctor must have sensed my embarrassment because, in what I assume was an attempt to boost my confidence, he loudly declared that it was necessary to tape a certain appendage out of harm’s way; then proceeded to pull enough medical tape from the dispenser to secure my left leg to the operating table. Initially, I kept telling myself Ruth would just go and fetch stuff for the doctor; but that was not the case. I heard, “put pressure here, Ruth” and “hold that, Ruth” so often that I was convinced I’d never truly appreciated the mixed effects of Novocain and Valium in my entire life.
Indeed, the local anesthesia worked quite nicely (after the initial emotional hurdle of having a needle stuck into my nether-regions). Aside from an odd bit of tugging I never felt a thing. Plus, in the position they had placed me, I couldn’t see anything – which was really nice!
Suddenly, as quick as it began, it was done.
I gingerly slid off the table and back into my street clothes. For this, Ruth averted her eyes – which was weird. The Doctor congratulated me, offered a firm handshake (and a prescription for 800 mg of Ibuprofen), and I was on my way tender as a broncobuster.
Yes, the rumor is true – frozen peas work really well. Let’s not kid ourselves, they’re no wonder drug (they won’t make you feel as frisky and well-adjusted as a Kentucky Derby gelding); but they’re certainly better at contouring than a Thermos brand freezer-pak. My wife, ever the comedian, brought me a bag of California Blend. Not wanting to be wasteful – I’m sure the veggies were still fine – we had my parents over for dinner the following week and just didn’t tell them…