A wise man once (last week) asked me to explain something to him without using any vowels. A bit daunted, I found the task impossible and instead opted to point at a body part and back away. Yet days later, still inspired by this man’s intellectually stimulating challenge, I considered trying to write this article without using the word “vagina.” But to do so, much like speaking sans vowels, just wouldn’t have sufficed to get my point across. It would have resulted in me spending hours polling my AIM buddies for slang terms, then sniggering to myself over the ones I collected and being, ever after, slightly uncomfortable with Taco Bell, and beaver dams, and Australia. And it would have discounted one of playwright Eve Ensler’s primary concerns: “I say ‘vagina,’” she says, “because I want people to respond.” (No, I did not conduct a personal interview; my best friend—whose name is Google—has mad contacts.) So I’ll say it too. Cool. According to Ensler, “we live in a penis world.” Haha! It just sounds so funny. My perverted delight notwithstanding, however, her theory is validated and upheld by a little intro-level etymology: the word “vagina” is actually derived from a word meaning “sheath for a sword.”
Having somehow earned a reputation as a competent cultural editorialist, I’m now supposed to be writing a preview of “The Vagina Monologues,” going on this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (February 12-14) at 8pm in Frist Theater. The bad news is that I didn’t get to do any previewing of the show, or even much interviewing of the vaginal monologists. The good news is that last year, to distract myself from the loneliness of Valentine’s Day, I went to the production with a similarly single friend who hadn’t yet started dating the random dude across the hall. Yeah, good news! But then there’s more bad news, which is that I don’t actually remember much of the show. This is not because it was anything but riveting, though; it must be made clear that I left the theater that night to go and brutally rape a bag of Fritos in my friend’s bed, and that I woke up the next morning in a Holder stairwell with my mousepad stuck to my forehead. The point is that the measures I took to drown my sorrow at not having a Valentine may have possibly rendered me less than, uh, cognizant during the show (and afterwards). And now more good news: I do remember a little, and my friend Google (not the same friend as she of the awesomely slutty Fritos and the random-dude boyfriend) has come through again with some stuff to supplement my hazy memories. I remember that the show is cool. It consists of a series of monologues (no!) about vaginas (weird!) based on interviews Ensler has conducted with women all over the world. The monologues tell stories and talk about cool stuff like “if you vagina could talk, what would it say?” And “if your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?” And “if your vagina had a pony, what would the pony be named? Would your vagina’s pony eat carrots, or pony food, or regular hay?” OK, I made up that last question, but it still would’ve been cool. And the other questions are totally legit. I also remember that the show is kind of erotic. Arousing, even. I’ll readily acknowledge that this recollected reaction could have possibly been a side-effect of the aforementioned singledom, or perhaps of the Spanish Fly. But come on, how much of us think we’re getting enough? They do that whole orgasm scene—I doubt I was the only one in that theater feeling a little frisky. Ahhh, great show.
A friend (yes, that’s right, a third one; who knew I was so popular?) informed me today that her twelve months of involuntary celibacy have left her re-virginized and that she will consequently be throwing a party to celebrate, or maybe she said lament, this fact. I love it—this is basically a vagina party, right? I’m envisioning a new trend in theme parties, like Vagina Night at Cap, or maybe Saint A’s could do “Hymen” for their next rush party theme. A penis world, huh? Yeah, a penis world, my foot. A penis world, my—[reader, please finish the line, and maybe snigger to yourself a little.]