On my own

On my own

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So my wife had some minor surgery two weeks ago.

"Oh, you know, girl things," she'd say if anyone asked about the surgery.

Which, loosely translated, meant she was getting her vagina fixed.

I've never been able to understand why women feel the need to call vaginas "girl things" when everybody knows there's only one "girl thing" worthy of being called a "girl thing."

And that would be that thing down there thing.

It does make you wonder, though. Since they always call their vagina "girl things," is it possible there's more than one and they're just not telling us?

Why don't they just say, "Frankly, my vagina's in a bad way so I've given this strange man permission to examine my vagina while I'm in an unconscious state and hopefully he'll fix up all the problems so my vagina will be in good working order again. That way my husband can also examine my vagina while I'm in an unconscious state. Or watching TV over his shoulder."

Why don't they say that? 

It's not like they're keeping any secrets by saying "girl things" instead of "vaginal issues." 

Because when you hear "girl things," nobody thinks you're talking about an inner ear infection.


WOMAN: I'm having some surgery.

OTHER PERSON: What's wrong?

WOMAN: Oh, you know. Girl Things.

OTHER PERSON: Well, good luck with those knuckles. I'll be thinking of you.

No other part of her body is called a "girl thing." Even though the whole thing is a girl thing.

If she had to have knee surgery, she'd say, "I'm having knee surgery." 

If she had her vision corrected, she'd say, "I'm having lasix surgery." 

If she had breast implants, she's say…well, who cares what she'd say. 

At any rate, my wife had to have some minor surgery last week.

Girl Things, y'know.

The thing is, nobody told me I was purchasing the defective wife model #45210, so in lieu of a trade-in wife, I continue to opt for repairing the old equipment.

In fact, at a party last week someone said to me that my wife still looked as good as she did 10 years ago. So naturally, I walked up to her, kicked her in the back of the leg and said, "Yup, 'ol Betsy's got a few more years under her belt, I reckon'."

This is probably the sixth or seventh time she's had surgery since we've been married. 

Me? As best as I can tell, my "guy thing" problems are not correctable through any sort of surgical procedure. At least none that I'm aware of.

On the day of her "girl things" fix-up, I sat in the pre-op room with my wife, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law waiting for her to be taken into surgery. 

As she sat with an IV in her arm, she looked at me and said, "Just once, once, I'd like to be sitting over on that side and watch your ass get wheeled in there and hear about you getting cut open. You bastard."

Bitter. Cranky. Somewhat defective. Sweet Jesus, tell me I didn't hit the mother lode.

Nevertheless, I squeezed her hand tightly and looked her in the eye.

I thought about how much I loved her. 

I remembered how important she is to me.

And I wondered when they were going to take her away so I could get something to eat.

Finally, the surgical assistant arrived. Before she left, I gave her a kiss and said, "Bye."

"Y'know Buddy, that's a bad thing to say to somebody who's about to be wheeled into an operating room," said the guy who wheeled her into the operating room.

Of course, I didn't mean it that way. 

I didn't mean goodbye. I meant, "See you later."

Like, after lunch.

After an hour of watching my father-in-law eat, and my mother-in-law trying to calculate whether the 20 cent off coupon for the 16-ounce box of raisins at the grocery store located 1.2 miles from her house is a better value that the 15 cent off coupon on the 24-ounce box of raisins at the grocery located .6 miles from her house, we went back up to the waiting room where a nurse eventually came out and called, "The Strauss family?"

This, friends, is what's commonly referred to as Waiting Room Bliss. 

For as you rise from your seat, you can feel the dagger-filled looks of others…waiting… praying for their name to be called. 

Clearly, you feel an air of superiority because your sick person was done before their sick person. And who doesn't want to do a quick lap around the room shouting, "Enjoy that three-month-old Newsweek, losers. I'm so outta here!"

"Everything's fine," said the nurse.

"Not really," I said. "Have you tried her spaghetti sauce?"

"Would you like to see her in the recovery room?" said the nurse with no sense of humor.

"Of course I want to see her, " I said. Even though I was thinking, "This is going to be another one of those three-hour-stand-around-staring-at-her jobs, isn't it?"

I went inside the recovery room and off in the corner, there she was. My dear, sweet wife, resting comfortably. 

"How are you?" I asked.

"I feel pretty good," she said. "I think I'm still out of it a little bit with the anesthesia. But I feel okay."

"That's great," I said. "Hey, are you done with those graham crackers?" 

After about four or five minutes of rubbing her hand and telling her how much I love her, I was a little bored, so I asked the nurse if my in-laws could come in and see their daughter. 

My father-in-law sat down and immediately started looking around the room.

"I ate the graham crackers," I said.

Eventually, the nurse came over to give us the post-operation instructions.

"No lifting heavy machinery," said the nurse.

Great, I thought. She's gotten out of vacuuming and dead-lift squatting. Again.

"You can resume your normal diet when you feel up to eating," said the nurse.

Great, I thought. Now I've got to hide the Hershey's syrup. Again.

"Also, no sexual relations for a week," said the nurse.

At this point, I expected all the women in the room to pop a bottle of champagne and toast my wife in a raucous celebration of her freedom. 

Instead, my wife turned her head to look at me.

Half-filled with anesthesia, my wife turned her head to look at me.

Surrounded by her mother, her father, and a nurse with no sense of humor, my wife turned her head half-filled with anesthesia and looked at me.

"Well," she said, "it looks like you better get that hand ready, mister."

They say great athletes play at a different speed.

They say the great ones possess an innate ability to adapt to the pace of the game. And see it at a different level of motion than everyone else.

Time and again, the great ones say that the game just seems to slow down for them. 

For them, everything seems simpler and easier. Because they're playing in a different stratosphere.

I can attest to this, because I find it to be true in the game that I excel at. 

The game of masturbation.

It's a game I dominate and continue to set new groundbreaking standards on nearly a weekly basis.

"Well," she said, "it looks like you better get that hand ready, mister."

When those words were spoken, it was as if everything around me slowed down. And my focus...my energy...became affixed to those carefully chosen words. 

"Well," she said, "it looks like you better get that hand ready, mister."

Suddenly, it was as if my life had purpose. 

It was as if God had granted me a chance to return to my youth and hone those skills that I had come so close to perfecting.

For an entire week, I was 15 again. 

Okay, for an entire week, I was 15-41 again.

I was single. 

I was…The Bachelor.

And my final two choices were my left hand or my right hand.

"Right hand…will you accept this rose. I mean, Jergens?"

The way I saw it, for all intents and purposes, my wife had just verbally voided our marriage contract. 

At least the cherish part. Because for the next week, the only thing I was going to cherish was Cinemax.

For seven full days, I was free and clear to do as I saw fit.

So long as it was between me. And me.

The thing is, she didn't really know what she said when she said it.

But the other thing is, I didn't care. She said it and I had three witnesses. 

Well, two witnesses and a guy looking for graham crackers.

For an entire week, I didn't have to worry about anyone other than me.

I didn't have to touch anyone else. I didn't have to beg. I didn't have to grovel. I didn't have to cuddle. 

I didn't have to do any of those things that I normally have to resort to get done what I could normally get done without anyone's help anyway.

I was given an open invitation to do whatever I wanted for an entire week with myself. Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere. 

Suddenly, the thought of not having sex was now as exciting as the thought of having sex used to be.

"Well," she said, "it looks like you better get that hand ready, mister."

Well, okay honey. If you insist.

Saturday 8:30 AM:

"Hey this is good coffee, left hand. Y'know, right hand, I just realized you have nothing to do right now. I think I can fix that."

Saturday 12:52 PM:

WIFE: What are you doing?

ME: What do you think?

Sunday 1:45 PM:

"Hey right hand, did you notice that cheerleader in the Coors commercial stares at me every single time?

Monday 6:50 AM:

"Time to get up, left hand. Jesus. Whoa. Where in the hell did that come from? Can't be walking around with that all day, now can we?"

Tuesday 4:25 PM:

"You're not going to make me brush my teeth are you? You're the best, right hand!"

Wednesday 7:24 AM:

"Hey honey. Could you not buy that soap with the little grains anymore? It's kind of rough."

Thursday 9:45 PM:

"Gosh, this Marie Claire is a good magazine, isn't it, hand?"

The weird thing was, by Thursday afternoon, I was kind of tired of myself. 

Honestly, I had been looking at my hand all week and it just wasn't doing anything for me anymore.

I don't really know what happened, actually. I mean, early in the week, my hand was all so fresh and new. I'd look at my hand and I'd think it was hot. Now it was just another hand. And other hands started looking good to me.

By Thursday, it was more like, "Jesus Christ, righty, can't you dress up for me? A little black glove or something? Anything? For chrissakes, would it kill you to act like you care even a little bit?"

Yup. Just like every passionate relationship, the thrill was gone.

On Friday, I called my wife during the day and said, "Hey honey, it's been a week. Not that I'm counting or anything. Maybe tonight we can try and…y'know."

"Why do men always think about sex?" she asked.

"It's a guy thing," I said.

At which point I realized that a guy thing and a girl thing were both about the same thing.

Her thing.

"Whatever," she said. "Hey, what's on TV tonight?"

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