I lie on the examining table, my legs in the stirrups. I mindfully turn my thoughts from my anxious, how much longer must I stare at the ceiling frame of mind to a calmer, I am focusing on my cleansing yoga breaths attitude.
My gynecologist—friendly by nature—limits her initial remarks to the standard instruction, “Scoot farther down;” the usual warning, “This is going to feel cold;” and the murmured comment, “Your fibroid is still small.” She always reserves her more personal, in-depth remarks for our face-to-face discussions, as opposed to those that take place in our current face-to-vagina position. So I am startled by her enthusiastic observation from down below: “WOW! Your vagina looks surprisingly young!”
Hmm… at my (shhh) post-menopausal age, hearing the words “your” and “young” in the same sentence has to be a good thing, right? Of course, it would be preferable to hear “young” uttered by my dermatologist as he studies my dewy complexion with his lighted magnifying glasses, or by my ophthalmologist as he gazes into my sparkling (albeit dilated) brown eyes with his slit lamp, instead of by my gynecologist as she inserts a jellied speculum into my lady parts. But, hey, I’ll take it! (My spiritual practice, such as it is, tells me to find joy where I can.) And this newly-bestowed compliment does, in fact, boost my mood.
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By the time my husband arrives home, I am eager to share my delicious, sexy secret. I tease him with “Guess what?” and seductively provide him with the answer…
“The gynecologist says I have a very young-looking vagina!”
Confusion and surprise fight for control of my husband’s face. He mutters “I… um,” as he tilts his head slightly. Why am I not seeing my own pleasure reflected back at me?
Instead, he speaks uncharacteristically slowly, as if trying to piece some larger truth together: “So… that means a vagina can look old?! But how would that look?!”
As I open my mouth to respond, he holds up his hand and in a panicked tone, chokes out: “Wait. No. Don’t tell me.”
This original piece by was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © Dangubic via istockphoto.com.