It's Your Birthday, Stop Playing with Your Vagina

by C.Cimmone

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            I didn’t write Santa a letter explaining “all I want for Christmas is to become a home wrecker”—that’s just how the cards fell; and in my case, I wasn’t playing with a full deck. I grew up in a house that welcomed paper-printed “dirty jokes” and poker games with naked lady playing cards as equally as it did clean linens and coupons. I was unaware that “dirty jokes” consisted of loose genitals and endless good times. Had I known what all the fuss was about, I may not have felt guilty about my inability to stop humping the corner of my bed.

            My father was no pedophile and my mother was no Aphrodite. Sex Ed and his sidekick, Jesus, took a back seat to Red Foxx, Richard Pryor, Three’s Company, and John Wayne, respectfully. Understandably, I followed Darlene’s suit when she asked Roseanne what a period was. Three nights later, I found myself sitting at our dimly lit dining room table at my mother’s request. The BANG of a stale encyclopedia on the hardwood didn’t wake my snoring father; and my mother lit a new Doral Full-Flavor after she pointed to a poorly illustrated vag and too many Times New Roman paragraphs. “Read HERE,” she pointed, huffing and puffing on her cigarette, hoping I would seize at any moment just to save her the trouble of answering any “where does the dick go” questions.

            I hated to read just as much as I hated to brush my teeth, so I faked this tutoring session in the same fashion I sat my toothbrush on the counter and ran water down the bathroom sink while I instead examined my pointy new nipples and pubic sprouts twice a day. My mother felt she had done her duty with the late night public service announcement and I was still clueless about the moist duties of my genitalia. I still assumed I was with child, and when the time was right, I was certain a baby would excavate itself out of my body and SPLASH into the toilet following a spicy Mexican dinner and significant pushing. Every stomach virus pushed me into psychological turmoil—my mother would dig for outdated Pepto in the kitchen as I brainstormed “how to discard a fetus” in between violent stomach spasms and fecal examinations behind the locked bathroom door.

            Fortunately, I never had to bury a baby under my parents’ floorboards and I learned how to deal with psychological inadequacies with my own form of genital therapy. I didn’t feel guilty about bumping, grinding, and erotically smearing my vag over all four posts of my Holly Hobby canopy bed as Paula Abdul sang “he’s a cold-hearted snake—look into his eyes…” in the background; but I did, however, feel a bit of shame when my mother would mumble, “I’m going to bed,” through the 3-inch crack of my bedroom door and I would feverishly wedge my hands into my rumbling undercarriage.

            My late-night rituals trumped Full House and Family Matters and my jealousy over a friend’s recent molestation brewed. She didn’t appreciate my detailed questions and I sifted through the list of my cousins as she wiped tears from her cheeks and leaked snot all over her pretty red skirt. I didn’t regularly wear skirts, but I figured this habit would be a perfect start and my foot would be in the door at the next family reunion.

            And just as abruptly as the hand that made it up blondie’s red skirt, the unsavory news made its way to the school bus that family members—or anyone else for that matter—who tampered with your goods was at the root of all that was sacrilegious. Her cousin was in jail and she endured the hot rides on the school bus wearing faded Guess jeans. She snarled at me from the back of the bus as I sat, defeated, in my ruffled red skirt.

            I didn’t completely understand why the diddling of my bean was so ill-advised; if anything, I had considered it “friendly-fire” until blondie wrote home about her new found shame which revolved around her suicidal mother and sugar-snapped bean. Legally, I was the only soldier who could do any diddling and with everything I was hearing about genitals and law enforcement, I figured I had best revert back to Full House. Uncle Jesse was quite the charmer, but he didn’t know where I lived or anything about my history of skirt wearing.

            With every school year that passed, I counseled with my stuffed animals on the travesty. Rainbow Brite had the gay idea to write Santa a detailed request to break my addiction and we all agreed the Tooth Fairy didn’t grant wishes (that we were aware of). I was left with the stark realization that my only true opportunity to give my crotch a break from the limelight was to utilize the mother of all wishes: the birthday wish.

The birthday wish was sacred—everyone knew that—and if I wanted to rid myself of the stains and scars of all of my late-night fondling, I had to give up wanting a puppy and ask Happy Birthday Cake, himself, for a genital reset button.

            And with each birthday, I wished my wishes away and hoped for the throbbing in my Y to suddenly cease to exist—and I would reciprocate the birthday favor and stop wearing skirts to family gatherings and start watching John Wayne and football until I was sound asleep with hands tucked neatly by my ears.

            But anybody who’s anybody knows that hormones and blood-flow can’t be avoided. Hair grows, sweat drips and the word “DICK” gets inscribed into the side of desks. Bras are unhooked and tampons create the need for purses and private stalls. Stuffed animals are replaced with love letters and diaries. Parents lose their punch and cars are found better to be parked than driven. Most things are inevitable when it comes to time, and you learn the sad truth that Santa never really cared about you—you should now put your faith in “God.” Birthdays are about getting older and regretful and those wishes you depended on—well, they aren’t yours for the taking.

            So much for birthday candles.



C.Cimmone, a native Texan and deviant reader, credits her literary abilities to singers, songwriters, and comics. After a college advisor suggested, "You should consider changing your major - writing is never going to get you anywhere," she signed up for a BS in psychology and an open mic call at an Austin comedy club. C.Cimmone's short stories won a few books in college and a recent paper publication, who all sleep in her bookcase alongside jokes smeared on sticky notes, a rock collection, and a picture of a pug named after Jerry Seinfeld.