...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

V is for well, this is kind of awkward...

I was at work yesterday at the bookstore, throwing down the kind of high quality customer service that helps me pocket an enviable 25 cent raises every review period, when I spied a pair of young boys scanning the shelves. With lightening speed, I closed in on them and offered my assistance. The older boy, who fell somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12, asked for several titles, and my quest to find them began. While checking inventory and searching the children's department, I made the kind of small talk that results in the usual grunts and monosyllabic declarations I've come to expect from young boys, but I didn't let that discourage me. Eye on the 25 cent prize, friends! Armed with several books, I turned back to the boy to hand them to him when I noticed a large white bumper sticker-style sticker with a heart and large red letters slapped across his chest.

"Huh," I thought, my eyes quickly flitting over the sticker. "This young boy's love for Virginia is so great he felt it necessary to share that with the world by means of a large sticker on the front of his shirt."

Now, I know Virginia is for lovers, but this seemed an unusual declaration for such a young boy, so I took another quick peek.

"Oh! Angina! It appears this young boy 'hearts' angina!"

If Virginia confused me, you can imagine how odd I thought it was that a boy between the ages of 10 and 12 would be a fan of a chest pain that may be a symptom of coronary heart disease, but what do I know. I'm old enough to actually
HAVE an angina, so I'm probably not hip to all the cool happenin' scenes kids are into these days.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I stepped closer to the boy to better hear him spell a word in the title of a book I'd never heard of and was able to get a closer look at his giant bumper sticker. Suddenly, I felt like I was in a classic episode of
The Electric Company with Morgan Freeman. Do you remember the silhouette blends they'd do on that show to teach the parts of speech? No? Well, here's a reminder for you.

As my eyes locked upon the sticker, one half of my brain said
"va," the other half said "gina" and the two came together to say "vagina."




The kid's giant sticker slapped upon the front of his shirt didn't read "I 'heart' Virginia!" nor did it read "I 'heart' Angina!" It declared for all the world that this young boy who fell somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12, hearts vagina.

"I 'heart' Vagina!"

Exclamation point!


Listen, I'm no Nellie Olsen. I'm nobody's idea of a prude. Truth be told, I, too, heart vagina. So, so much! In fact, I might possibly be one of vagina's biggest fans! Why, if vagina had a fan club, I'd sign up for the exclusive membership just so I could have the official t-shirt, autographed photo, and special members-only holiday message I'd listen to while penning some sweet vagina fan fiction I'd keep tucked away in my Trapper Keeper. Here's the rub, though. I'd probably only wear that t-shirt when I was at home. Alone. I'd not even wear it out to grab a gallon of milk if all my other clothes were filthy, and I definitely wouldn't let me sons, who fall between the ages of 8 and 12, borrow it. Ever. And if I had daughters, they'd not leave the house wearing a sticker that declared their love for vagina's more extroverted friend, the penis. Seriously, would any of us? Because that's what I've been wondering all day since encountering this kid.

"No worries!"
you might be saying. "You're not this kid's mother, so don't dwell on it!" Good point. In fact, I could take a cue from the kid's mother, who, oh, yes, was also present and was sucked back toward the boys and I by the vacuum created in the atmosphere when my jaw dropped to the ground after reading the sticker. I looked to her. Then I looked to the sticker. Then I looked back to her, and back to the sticker, my mind racing with silent 'mom speak,' hoping she'd pick up on my silent question. "Hey, do you realize your kid has a love letter to the secret garden pinned to his chest?" and she'd say something, like "Oh, that? I know, but kids, huh! What are you going to do?"

She apparently had no issue with her son's declaration of love, and that's fine, really. Parenting is hard enough without taking on all the battles, but I wonder what you'd think. Everyone I've mentioned this to today expressed a variety of opinions. My own 12 year old son told me he didn't think it was cool, which means I don't have to worry about him stealing my imaginary fan club t-shirt (it's one of those sweet baseball-style ones, too, with the word 'vagina' spelled out in glittery rainbow decal letters, by the way), but how about you?



Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

Today's youth: Always stating the obvious.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger jennyonthespot said...

If I wasn't rendered type-less... I'd leave a comment.

*jaw on floor* or maybe that's *fingers paralyzed*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger Logical Libby said...

Maybe he was being punished for saying something misogynistic.

Most likely though he's just a douchebag.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

You know, it's just one of those things where, if you've got to blare it out to the public world, I question your actual knowledge of the situation. Which, basically, says you're a 12-year-old smartass who thinks he's being all 'edgy', but is just being a jackass. . . 'Cuz he's 12, and that's how 12-year-old boys roll, if their dads aren't around to tell 'em not to be such a jackass. . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt Juicebox said...

Hmmmm, now I'm wondering where I can get an "I heart Penis" sticker to wear when I'm around 10 year old boys, because I'm nothing if not appropriate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger The Invisible Seductress said...

Oh my!!

that's really all I can say....

But I'll say it again for emphasis..


Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's just as wrong as 8 & 9 year old girls wearing midriff baring shirts (for increased mobility!) doing pelvic thrusts like a $2 hooker in their "dance routing"

WTF are some parents thinking these days?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I'm still absorbing the imagery of the mom being sucked in by the vacuum created by your jaw dropping. That's an elegant turn of phrase. Mind if I steal it?

If you get enough people who agree with you, do we all get a fan club T like the one you described?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:03:00 PM  
Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Maybe we're supposed to be happy they're not using a derrogatory slang word??
And they say sexism's a thing of the past.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Leandra said...

First of all, I'd join the Vagina fan club, too, but they can keep the autographed photo, thankyouverymuch. What would it sign with? That question alone disturbs me no end.

And no. Not only no but hell no. Not even when he was 18. Even if he was damn gynecologist I wouldn't let him wear that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

Oh.My.GAWD. Wot?! Craziness. No way, and hopefully my 9yo son doesn't even have an acquaintance with vagina. Certainly not well enough to love it or not. Around here, w/ 2 little sisters we still say bottom! And hearting bottom on a shirt would just make all of them giggle. But you, and vagina's fan club? LOL

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

On "Take your kids to work day" at my hubs's company, a kid wore a t-shirt that said, "Green shirts are for pimps." Yes, of course his shirt was green, so he clearly was a pimp, in which case, I'm not sure why he was at work to learn about work when he already has a respectable job.

My husband has a shirt that says "I [heart] boobs." On the back, it says, "If you don't check them, I will." We sold them to raise money for Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk. I wouldn't let my youngsters wear it though. And I sure as hell wouldn't let my sons wear a vagina shirt. What they do off at college is one thing, but right now, they are 13, 10 and 6, so NO VAGINA SHIRTS!

Oh, and even when they are in college, I wouldn't be caught dead with them while they are wearing such a shirt.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

I wouldn't be happy if I had a son who did that. I'm not a prude I just think it crosses a line but then again, i gave birth to a card carrying vagina so thankfully I won't have to worry

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

It's one thing for a college kid to be wearing that to a frat party. It's a whole 'nother thing for a 12 YO to be wearing that with his mom. Disturbing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 6:37:00 AM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

WHAT THE...?!?!?!!?

I am befuddled by this. Was the sticker from the Vagina Monologues show she just took her son to, or... humph.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 6:43:00 AM  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

I would like to read the sweet vagina fan fiction. Now does that mean the Vag is sweet? Or is the writing sweet?


Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Divine Chaos said...

there's no way I'd let my kid wear a shirt declaring his love for va-jay-jay .. if I had a son, that is. I wouldn't let my daughter wear an "I <3 penis" shirt either, and I do have a daughter. It's hard enough to make them keep all their parts under wraps as it is, why would I want my kid advertising a love for parts of the anatomy that I want safely covered up, locked down, and permanently limp in her presence until she is much, much older. Maybe that woman just wanted grandkids .. in a hurry. I'm betting she'll get one soonish!

Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

If you ever see that kid again, or his t-shirt, could you please steal it for me? Right off his back! This would solve two problems.

1) My want of a t-shirt like that to wear when I go to pick up the spawnlets from their Christian school.


2) It'll stop the kid wearing it because holy hell if I was his mother he'd have been grounded for a month for even trying to leave the house dressed like that.


Friday, May 21, 2010 1:19:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

part of me wants to jump all over this kid's parents and let them know their son is giving twats everywhere a really bad name. however, i know that when i was 12 and when my kids were 12 we each took turns sneaking forbidden things out of the house. i.e. he may have been appropriately attired when he left the house and hiding that shirt in a book bag or under another one. still doesn't excuse his behavior but i'd be curious to know if his parents knew at all and if they did then i'd have to smack em upside the head.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...


What books was he requesting?

Frankly, I'm still at the stage where I'm not correcting my boys when they refer to it as a bajana, so perhaps I have my own hang ups, but I would have to say no, humiliation would ensue if I found my boys sporting one of those t-shirts/ bumper stickers sometime in the next decade. I mean please. Show a little respect!

Sunday, May 23, 2010 3:15:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I wonder where one obtains such a sticker?

Sunday, May 23, 2010 9:42:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

I'm clutching my pearls & reaching for the smelling salts as I read this. I may even require a fainting couch. I mean, really ... on a 10-to-12 year old?!?

Monday, May 24, 2010 9:34:00 AM  
Blogger Pgoodness said...

Hmmm... Well, certainly 12 is too young to know that. And he probably didn't use his own money to buy it.

Meh, I have no opinion on that kid...but one of mine? Hellz no!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger A Vapid Blonde said...

I too heart Vagina...so much so I even own my very own vagina.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:03:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Maybe his mother just came from her annual gyne exam and had a pap smear. Her doctor had these "I "heart" vaginas" stickers piled up on the counter and the kid swiped one. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

That's just bizarre. I can't even take the stance of offended or blase because I'm just too confused.

Sunday, May 30, 2010 7:40:00 AM  

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