In the last week, to my great dismay, two women I know have imposed the V word on me. I realize that by admitting a dislike for it, I am inviting an endless barrage of V word comments and messages, but that’s the price of public dissent. I can’t stand to hear the word, even though I don’t really have a good one to offer in exchange. It bothers me so much that I cringe when someone says “ginormous”, a supid word even without the V thing. “Angina”: not good either. The idea of actually sitting through a performance of The V Monologues is too horrible to contemplate. I know I’d have a stroke, or a complete mental breakdown, if not both.
It’s not because I’m squeamish! And I’m not a prude. But I do have a sensitivity to words that those funny Germans even have a word for: sprachgefuhl. It is a gift and a curse, like so many things. So I’m gonna use that as my excuse. God knows I like having a V, it just doesn’t wanna do a monologue. It might be up for a dialogue, but that is off-topic.
When I was around six years old, my sister and I went to visit our cousins, Diane and Carol, who were slightly younger. We taught them the V word, which we thought was pronounced “pagina.” All four of us ran around laughing our heads off. We called each other Mr. and Mrs. Pagina, until the adults made us stop. The reason I remember this so clearly is that my sister and I were banished from our cousins house for the next 10 years! And clearly with good reason: Diane grew up to be a militant lesbian, and Carol ran away to join a hippie commune. The pagina is that powerful!
Okay, so what word would I like instead? That’s a problem. Love Canal would be okay, except I think that’s the name of some place full of carcinogenic toxins or something. Crotch is okay, but maybe not. That sounds like some place that either itches, or you get kicked in it.
I once came into posession of some email correspondence between two people who were married to others. Their letters were hilarious, and wonderful in every way. A favorite quote among my friends is the part where the man recalls making out in one of their offices: when he stroked her thigh (it might have even been her “pantihose”!) he “thought about that little bit of heaven between [your] legs…..”
Ha! I happen to know that he never did gain entry in that LBOH. I think I will have to go with “Honeypot”. It’s silly, it’s affectionate, Winnie the Pooh was down with it, and it reminds me of “Candy” by Terry Southern, still the filthiest book I’ve ever read.