The Boy was going for a haircut. Pre-vacation, a couple weeks before school starts, a haircut is like putting on war paint. With school supply swords and a good high and tight trim, a near-five year old can drop into the jungles of southeast Asia and survive. Sliding into Montessori should be a breeze. The wife was taking Dos along for the ride and a quick trim on his Christopher Lloyd circa “Back to thee Future” mop. As they readied themselves to leave, I felt some pride. There were my boys, the fruit of my loins, the generations of Otis to come.
Then I paused. I was forgetting something.
“So,” said the over-tired, over-stressed, over-stimulated wife from her spot over the clothes dryer, “when are you going to make that appointment?”
Ah, yes. That appointment.
I’ll be honest. I’d promised to make said appointment with the doctor in June.
“Just as soon as we were sure everything came out okay?” my wife reminded me, and not a little impatiently.
Really, I was all gung-ho about the vasectomy, as odd as that sounds. I figured the wife had gone through the gestating and birthing of two kids, not to mention the recovery and subsequent gym pain that comes from working off the baby weight. The least I could do was go through a minor surgery that might make me sore for a couple of days and give me a really good excuse to sit around and do nothing but play online poker.
“Plus,” I said a few months ago to my friend John over a beer, “they’ll knock me out, couple snips, and I’ll wake up with some really good pain meds.”
I hadn’t finished my sentence before John started shaking his head. “No general anesthesia,” he said. “It’s a local.”
A local? I was floored. For such a procedure, I was sure I’d be off in happy land while somebody messed around with my stuff. I said aloud, “They’re going to stick a needle in my…?”
“Yeah,” he said. “But it’s not that bad.”
I’ve had needles stuck in my mouth, hand, arm, and ass, and every time it was worse than “not that bad.” Never once had I considered the idea of my boys getting stuck with anything and it being anything but out-of-this-world horrible. I sat at the bar for a few more seconds and thought about how chilly it gets in doctors’ offices, how the stress of the situation and the lower than normal temperature might…well, might make that area a little less pliable than it needed to be.
John laughed. “Don’t worry about that. They have this warming gel they rub on…”
I drifted off while he was trying to reassure me. I pictured myself–already a randy and barely controlled animal–sitting with my pants down and some 25-year-old doctor’s assistant rubbing warming gel on my junk. Unless she looked like Abe Vigoda, I feared for the worst. I remembered the recent KY Jelly commercial and thought, “They actually make a marital aid that does the same thing!” That was when I privately–and with no small amount of shame–decided in my head, “Oh, hell no.”
Now, I never really thought the wife would go back on the Pill or would offer to undergo any more medical procedures. This decision was made long ago and I am, for better or worse, a man of my word. So, I knew there was no backing out, per se. However, I thought there was a chance I could delay the procedure for a length of time such that my wife would forget, get that reproducing feeling again, or go blissfully through menopause.
That’s when I entered into a bet with my brother that I may or may not write about at some point soon. Suffice it to say, the bet requires me to be active and fit for the foreseeable future. The last thing I needed was to be sitting around with a package of frozen peas on my crotch. I thought, at the very least vis a vis the vasectomy, I had delayed the possibility of shrinkage turned embarrassing non-shrinkage and the inevitable pressure and pop of a 2009 male sterilization.
And so this afternoon, when the wife brought up the appointment I was supposed to make for June, I said quite confidently, “I don’t think I want to do it until after the first of the year.”
Without missing a beat, my wife turned from the clothes dryer and looked me directly in the eye.
She said, “Then neither do I.”