I am serious.
My 20’s are just about up and I still have no idea what’s going on down there.
It started with my mother, who to this day refuses to refer to the human vagina as anything other than “the butterfly”. This led to at times whimsical but more often than anything terrifying confusion throughout my formative years.
For example: do butterflies have butterflies on their butterflies? Is it infinite butterflies? FOREVER??
Also, despite her squeamishness of using The V Word, Mom used to say things like, “Cindy, you forget everything! You’d forget your butterfly in the street if it weren’t attached to you.”**
(I used to have nightmares of businesspeople stepping on my detached and disembodied “butterfly” as they made their way to work. Then it would get caught in an updraft and land, daintily, on a box of chocolates in Tom Hank’s lap).
Grade school and middle school proved to be informative, if not enlightening.
Here, the female genitalia were variously referred to as:
1) The Beaver
2) (Your) Pussy
3) The Pink Taco
4) The Black Hole
5) The Muff
(If you think it’s just not possible for kids in grade school and up – but ESPECIALLY grade school – to use these words with gleeful relish, abandon and intent, you are adorable and I shall put you in my pocket. Pressed tight against my inner thigh. Right next to my Muff. Nice and warm).
We began learning about the “sex organs” and “the reproductive system” sometime around the 7th grade. But the only things health class taught us girls (separated as we were from the boys) was that the vagina (“THE VAGINA”) – not to mention our other requisite lady parts – is best viewed from the inside-out and, much like Homer Simpson, nicely in profile.
High school was worse. It was pretty much a rehash of 7th grade health class, but with one critical difference. We got to see that ONE slide (black-and-white and badly drawn) with a full-on, full frontal vagina. You know the one. But it appeared and it disappeared so swiftly and effortlessly I’m fairly certain it was actually some kind of fantastical mirage.
We spent the rest of our time putting condoms on bananas.
There are means, I suppose, to figure this Thing out for myself. But it has been a logistical nightmare.
PLAN A: Get A Friend
FLAW: Secondary, indirect knowledge.
PLAN B: Build A Vagina Viewer
I could set a series of mirrors at 45-degree angles inside a tube of some sort. In addition to detecting enemy subs, I’d be able get a feel for the basic surface conditions surrounding me. Or rather, those I’m surrounding.
Failing that, I could get some wood and screws and use the powers of light and dark to project an image for myself to trace and study. Camera obscura vagina.
FLAW: Requires basic knowledge of arts and crafts.
PLAN C: Cameraphone.
FLAW: The likelihood of these pictures ending up on the Internet is something in the area of 100%, so no. Also, it’s hard to get the right lighting on shots like that, you know? So many floodlights…
What the hell is it like down there?
I can only guess.
**Translated from very loud Vietnamese. But she said this in English too. A lot.