“So, what time is your doctor’s appointment?” I asked my client as we were walking to lunch.
“Ummm…I need to get out of here by 3:15,” he responded in a voice that sat somewhere between timid, embarrassed and apprehensive. Picking up on that, I had no choice but to pounce.
“Going to see Dr. Glove? Dr. Fingers? Dr. Moooooooonnnnn River (for you Fletch fans)?” He just smiled and we continued walking. Uncharacteristically, I dropped the subject. (Maybe it’s because with 40 now truly upon me – three weeks from Saturday, I know that I’ll be seeing Dr. Fingers really, really soon.)
Derrick (not his real name, but close enough) has been a client, associate and nearly friend for, damn, 10 years. (Where the hell did THAT time go?) We’ve never really hung out socially, but I genuinely like him. A great guy with an insanely difficult job, four kids and a mental library of great stories about sports personalities that never make the papers. He’s funny. He’s ironic. And, though I know he’s not Jewish, he’s neurotic enough for me to offer him honorary membership into the Tribe.
Because we’ve been associates bordering on friends for so long, it’s not unusual for a “business lunch” to quickly turn to issues far less “business-y.” So, it was no surprise when, after ordering our burgers (turkey for me), he said to me, and my partner Jon, “Actually, the reason I’m going to the doctor is to get snipped.” After that, I’m not actually sure if the food took a really long time to get served or if the conversation was just too intriguing to care.
Not having this procedure, I couldn’t weigh in with personal stories. (By the way, men would never call a vasectomy anything more than “a procedure” and certainly not “surgery.” We wouldn’t ever have “surgery” in that region – unless it’s a reduction, of course.) But, I could tell Dar…errrr…Derrick (yes, that’s the name we’ve picked, Derrick) about my friend who had it done. “As I understand it – you’re basically resting all weekend with frozen peas on your unit.” He mentioned that his friends who have had the procedure told him the exact same thing.
Since he has four kids, 16, 14, 11 and 8, “the V” makes a great deal of sense, logically. He knows he doesn’t want any other kids. His wife is at an age where such a thing could conceivably (no pun intended) and easily happen. So, snip- snip.
But, it’s just not that easy.
Business partner Jon has explained multiple times on our podcast, Dads on Fire, and also to his wife (which is a conversation that I’d like to witness, actually), that he believes men have an instinct, which is to essentially “spread their seed.” “Simple survival and evolution,” he explains. Therefore, while the logic to get snipped may make sense, at our XY core, it’s another story altogether. Derrick agreed (and we then made the requisite jokes about the fact that the procedure is reversible and he would still be able to have more kids with his next wife if that’s what he/she wanted).
Derrick added that because he is basically on doctor ordered bed rest until Monday morning that Super Bowl weekend was the ideal time to schedule the procedure. “I’ve never really been a big fan of the nine-hour pre-game extravaganza, but this year…I’ll be watching all of it.”
What did he tell his kids? “The older two know what’s going on and they’ve been directed to keep the younger two in check. Plus, I figure on Saturday, I’ll watch the full three-and-a-half hours of the Seven Samurai. That’ll keep them away.”
“I don’t know, dude. Logic or no logic, there’s just something about the idea of this procedure that I can’t quite wrap my brain around,” I sighed.
Then, it hit Jon and me at the same time: Get snipped and receive a full weekend off. No responsibility. Doctor’s orders not to move. Twenty minutes of emotional discomfort for a free weekend of numb nuts, a remote control and whatever the hell I wanted to watch for three days. That’s certainly something I can wrap my brain around.
And, if I do ever have the procedure and I did have that weekend of nothing but TV, I’d go with a weekend of movies that remind of being a guy. It’d be a weekend filled with Fletch, Caddyshack, Stripes, Shawshank Redeption and college hoops. Heaven.
Still don’t know if I could do it, though. Logic or not.