Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ma'amed at the Monologues

Last night I went to see The Vagina Monologues at Spouse's alma mater. I'd seen it a few years prior during law school and had hemmed and hawed about whether or not to go, and it turned out to blow my mind. I'd remembered how very serious the serious parts were, but had totally forgotten how funny it was, and how hot it could get.

One of the coolest things was that the cast was really diverse, in most aspects. Maybe not in terms of age, but it was a college production. But there were lots of different shapes and sizes and colors in the cast, and even the audience was a lot more gender-balanced than I'd expected.

When my grandmother was still in the hospital, she and I and my mom watched an Oprah that was supposedly meant to help women get their mojo back, or to find it for the first time, or whatever, and they went through the ENTIRE HOUR without saying the word "clitoris." I don't they even referred to it obliquely. And of course they kept pointing people to the show website, where I imagine they could be more frank, but my God, it was making me mad. I know that it's daytime television but if we can watch commercials about erectile dysfunction and priapism during Katie Couric's evening news, then by golly, "clit" should be fair game at 4 p.m.

And in the Monologues, of course, they go there. Over and over again.

When I moved back South I acquired a habit of saying "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" while on the phone with authority figures, and sometimes it slips out when talking to Mom, and she utterly loathes it, and before last night I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. My brother and I didn't learn to say it at home, because my parents weren't native Southerners, but many folks around here just grow up using it.

Last night most of the cast was out in the lobby after the show, before the second act (belly dancers!), and I complimented everyone I saw. On the way to the ladies' room I realized I was going to pass the incredible, elfin youngster who played the sex worker who serves only women (whose monologue involves lots of moaning by the rest of the cast). So I said to her, in what I hoped was an effervescent, non-threatening way, "Ohmigod, you were fan-freakin'-tastic--are you studying theatre?"

She smiled sheepishly, charmingly, and to my great chagrin, replied "Yes, ma'am."

And I got it. Big time. I may have slightly hipster glasses but I do not pass for a college student, or maybe even a grad student, anymore. Even with my gray hair covered. Yeee-owch.

I scolded my reflection in the full-length ladies' room mirror, thinking that had I dressed less frumpily, had my hair been less flat on top, or most cruelly, if I wasn't morbidly obese, I might not have been ma'amed. I don't know if any of that is really true, but I am on the lookout for better-fitting trousers, that's for sure.

And I hope never to say it to my mom ever again.

Afterwards we went to an adorable non-chain pizza place I had never been to before, and which is crazily, colorfully decorated. The front windows are covered with door beads and the walls are deep dark purple. There are painted hubcaps and lots of framed posters, including a Keith Haring. From the ceiling tiles hang Christmas ornament balls painted in pastels and festooned with curled ribbons that hang down, three feet long. All the tables and chairs are painted different ways, and the bathroom is almost entirely decoupaged with kids' coloring pages. My Coke was huge and came in a colorful plastic tumbler--they have shelves full of them--and for napkins we were each handed an actual washcloth, warm from the dryer, all different colors. Mine was nicely striped and appeared to be from Target's College 2008 line. It was completely eclectic and nuts, and I was all, "This is what I want my house to look like." Like fun people live here.

Thank God for female friends who get me out of my shell and off of my couch.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely think that if Oprah can scream about her vah-jay-jay on screen, then someone should be able to say clitoris. Also, I am SO SICK of ED commercials!!! I'm watching Mike Rowe with the kids, there it is. Mythbusters, there it is. I swear I even saw one on the Cartoon Network the other day. And you know, which is worse - men wanting it and not being able to get it up, or women NOT wanting it and *wishing* their husbands couldn't get it up!!?!?!?