I love Google. This is not news to anyone who knows me; a major reason I love having an internet-enabled phone is that I can Google the crap out of stuff even when I’m not near a computer. You can find me tapping out search terms while in the produce section at the store, or sitting through movie previews, or on the toilet in both public restrooms as well as my bathroom at home, where I often hide when I need a few minutes with no one touching me.
So, of course, I couldn’t help but Google “vagina band” tonight.
I’m not top 5, but I make the first page, which is pretty awesome. I fall behind a small handful of for-real vagina bands (as in, “vagina” is in their name – none of them have actual vaginas as members as far as I could tell, though one may possibly be made up of Lego people), and an intriguing Yahoo! Answers entry that asks, “My girlfriend has a silly band stuck in her vagina, what should we do?” Which really begs the question, What shape silly band is it? Because some just aren’t worth saving, you know? We have an endless supply of silly bands here; I use them as ponytail holders. If any one of those turtle or dog shapes decided to make a break for it through some vaginal Bermuda portal, I’d wish it God speed and good riddance. A cartoon character or ballerina, on the other hand, would be worth diving in after. I’m undecided on whether or not I’d bother to rescue Hello Kitty; that particular scenario would get good mileage when sharing “it really happened” stories with friends, and it’s not as funny if it doesn’t end with a trip to the ER. Trust me, I know – my vibrator-and-a-metal-detector story just wouldn’t be the same without the courthouse, and its hundreds of spectators. And the policemen. And their guns.
So when I saw some rumblings about uteruses in the comments of my Vagina banned or Vagina band? post, my fingers were itching. Unfortunately, kid duty stood between me and my Google time. And at some point a few years ago I had the crazy idea that I should teach the big one how to read. This was before I knew what it was like to spend hours answering questions about every single motherfucking billboard the car passes, or to have to quickly slam shut a laptop and find a way to explain that no, you can’t help proofread, because Mommy writes things that are inappropriate. I have some different ideas about the value of reading now. But as it is, she reads, and I wasn’t sure what I’d find, so I decided to wait. I would have sent the kids to go “help” Daddy with whatever project he had going, except that at that precise moment in time Nick was shoulder-deep in learning that some things are small enough to be flushed, but big enough to require the services of a professional plumber. Like this, for instance:
(Don’t email me about how horrid these are, I already know. My kid’s soccer coach hands them out and we’ve let it go because neither of the children actually drink much of it and, well, it’s free, so it’s not like I’m going to get all worked up about the waste. Only, it’s totally not free when it costs $300 to get it removed from your toilet.)
So finally, tonight, I was able to sit down and commune with the Google. Which is how I learned that Michigan is not the only state that prohibits the mention of female anatomy. Turns out, in Florida, you’re not allowed to talk about your uterus.
Holy hell. I was just in Florida last month! I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell anyone about my uterus while I was there but, to be honest, I don’t know for sure. I had children with me, which probably at least implies the existence of a uterus somewhere between Nick and I. I’m guessing most people would rightfully assume that I’m the uterus-bearer, and since I’m the one who packs and make travel arrangements anyway, it once again falls to me to determine whether or not my anatomy can come with us on future travels.
The deal with Florida is this: Unlike Michigan and its mythical vaginas, Florida does at least acknowledge the existence of uteruses. The lawmakers there have simply decided that uteruses are too offensive to discuss in front of mixed company. And they even take the very considerate step of defining who comprises this “mixed” company: the House Pages.
Okay, I actually get it. No one’s more surprised than me, but this makes sense. Hear me out – where I grew up, we have an annual Winter Carnival, where there’s an elected Carnival Court. A King and Queen, Prince and Princess, a court, and pages. My brothers were pages one year, so I got to be up close and personal with them all. And, as adorable as the little pages were, they were also a massive pain in the ass. It really wasn’t their fault; when you put a bunch of 7-ish year old kids together in hot, itchy clothes, in an environment where they’re supposed to be still and quiet, you’re begging for trouble. I can just imagine the ruckus that would have broken out had someone started talking about uteruses in front of those kids. There would have been giggling, and then shushing that was even louder than the giggling, and then hands waving in the air to ask questions that have no answer, like “What would win in a race, a uterus or a frisbee?” Pandemonium. Totally inappropriate for the floor of the House.
I was interested in learning more about Florida’s Page program, so next I Googled for that. Which is how I learned that everything I just said? All the stuff that justifies the banning of the word uterus, and makes that decision make sense? Totally doesn’t apply at all.
Did you know that the Florida House Pages are, like, 16 and 17 years old? SIXTEEN and SEVENTEEN. Seriously. Florida’s lawmakers believe it’s necessary to shield 16 and 17 year olds from the damning knowledge that women have something called a uterus. Do they know what 16 and 17 year olds do in their free time? They lose their silly bands in their girlfriend’s vaginas, that’s what.
Clearly, this is a much bigger problem than just one, quirky state. If there are two states that don’t allow open acknowledgement of female anatomy, who knows what others are waiting for an opportunity to pounce? All they need to make an example is someone like me, who is very likely to concentrate so hard on not being offensive that upon arrival in a new state I’d open my mouth and promptly let loose with “VAGINA UTERUS OVARIES CERVIX NIPPLES CHUPACABRA.”
You don’t have a chupacabra in your anatomy? Silly. I beg to differ. Ask your doctor about it.
I thought about researching and creating a guidebook for women to use when traveling from state to state, but quickly became overwhelmed by the task. So I decided to develop a workaround instead.
After much pondering, I figured it out. What animal’s reproductive cycle is endlessly adorable and never criticized for involving offensive or inappropriate body parts?
Here is our answer. If we simply become marsupial, this solves all of our problems. No pesky mammalian uteruses and vaginas. Everything nice and tidy, tucked away in a discreet pocket. And! When there isn’t a baby in that pocket, we can carry stuff in it. It’s a built-in fanny pack – no more purses sliding off our shoulders! Plus, it will cover any extra roundness in the tummy area!
For real, this is a solution that just gets better the more you think about it. What a relief, huh?