Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I have a bunch of kids. That is if you consider four a “bunch”. I realize that by our parents standards (there were nine kids in my Mom’s family) that may not seem like many kids but trust me, in 2002, four is a bunch. After Ellie was born, folks would ask with a giggle “is she your last?” Kim and I would smile and answer politely, “no, Caroline was our last”. Ellie was a wonderful surprise that could never be topped so…

We decided to quit.

As madly in love as I am with my little family, I want my wife back. When I did the math to figure out how long it would be before it was “just us” again, I realized it would be far too late to matter. With this in mind, I was in complete agreement when my wife suggested a vasectomy (actually, what she suggested was that there would be no more sex until I got “cut”). We made the appointment and looked forward to the new “freedom” we could soon enjoy.

I received a set of pamphlets detailing the procedure and read each one until I felt prepared and unafraid…

I am a foolish man.

On “V-Day” I rose early and showered and shaved. Now when I say “shaved” I mean shaved. This is much harder than you might imagine and it took me nearly 20 minutes. Once I was satisfied that I looked like a 10 year old boy, I dressed and jumped in the van. I reminded myself of the Far Side cartoon in which the dog is sticking his head out the station wagon window bragging to the other dogs on how he is going to get “tutored”.

After a pleasant drive to town, my wife dropped me off at the clinic and left to run a few errands. She had already asked the nurse how long I would be and planned to maximize her time in town. I was first on the schedule and so I was taken to a room to watch a video explaining the procedure yet again. Still, no fear. Then the Doc took me into a small operating room and left while I dropped trou.

He came back in a few minutes and started to work. After admiring the thoroughness of my prep work, he made a couple of injections. I was told that this would be the worst part and so I relaxed after the initial sting. They lied. While making some idle chit-chat, the Doc informed me that he was about to clamp the area of the vas deferens to be cut. No biggie… When the clamp tightened, I levitated 4 inches off the table and my normally rich and textured voice was reduced to a breathy squeak. You might think that the pain was momentary. You would be wrong. Imagine the worst pain you have ever felt in your genitals and then imagine that pain constant…without ceasing…for 3 or 4 minutes. Finally the clamp was removed and my ass dropped back to the table. “Whew! Glad that’s over… What do you mean the other side?”

Finally we were done and I limped to the lobby. Remember my wife’s errands ? She was told to count on 2 hours. I was finished in 15 minutes.

The cell phone was on vibrate and Kim had it in her purse so it took about 30 minutes to get her to answer the phone and another 20 minutes to get to the clinic. As she had not finished her errands, I sat in the car at Kroger while she grocery shopped. She sent one of the kids out with a package of frozen peas for my crotch and I read until she got back with a lovely bottle of vicadin.

I spent the rest of the weekend with frozen produce in my pants watching the Sopranos, a Woody Allen movie, and Tomb Raider (my sadistic wife’s idea of a joke). It actually all ended up pretty nice. I’d almost do it again just to get to watch TV for 72 hours straight. I am glad I did it, I guess. I am anxious to watch the kids I have grow up and then laugh without mercy as they navigate the waters that sometimes seem to drown me.

The up side is all the grandkids I expect to see every Thanksgiving when I am old. I can just hear them now, giggling at a cute, portly old fella with wild gray hair and a gold hoop in his ear. Maybe one of them will even try and play along as I pick a tune by some ancient songwriter like Steve Earle or Guy Clark. I might even play 'em some tunes I made up myself.

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