The A plus number one thing about ER nurses? Nothing is off limits. We put it out there, literally and figuratively. We hold up droopy testicles, floppy old titties, yucky pannuses and whatever else is in our way to get where we need to be. And then we talk about it. Oh Sweet Baby Jesus, do we talk.
That told, this entry practically writes itself.
The scene: 4 a.m. in the almost vacated ER. Only the row of four psychiatric admissions sleeping off their ativan remain, snoring while their "sitters" do word searches or study their nursing school textbooks (Godspeed, children). Four nurses, a tech and a doctor pretending not to listen to us are gathered at the nurse's station, drinking our coffee and finally, finally, finally, getting to sit down.
Dawn is the one to fire up the conversation. She begins with, "You guys". On cue, we all roll our chairs a little closer, knowing that this will be a good one. Once we are huddled appropriately in a gossip circle she begins: "I handed my patient a specimen cup tonight and asked her to give us a urine sample. She looked at me like I was on crack and said 'Girl, ya'll think I can fit my big pussy in that little bitty jar? You crazy.'" Dawn, having excellent critical thinking skills but lacking a poker face, excused herself to fall apart in the utility room before returning with a much larger "urine hat" to place in the toilet. After obtaining the sample, Dawn returned to Big Pussy Lady's room to find the urine hat washed, dried and in the patient's belongings bag. The patient said, "Now that little bathtub can help a girl wash her pussy right". With that, Dawn returned to the utility room, attempting to prevent her own pee from running down her scrub pants as she laughed.
Big Pussy? Who the hell says that? (Tony Soprano excluded). BIG Pussy. Even I, adoring of bluntness and having an occasional lack of moral fiber, finds Big Pussy a little bit over the top.
Big Pussy Lady led us into a conversation about vaginas. Having never attended the Vagina Monologues but having a fair amount of experiences with my own and a couple thousand more vaginas, (work vaginas - not the lesbian fantasy stuff that keeps house in Bill's brain) I think I have a pretty fair grasp of all things Private. Most of us do, actually, whether you view them on a daily basis or are limited to occasional deviant vagina exposure. It's a good thing to know your body, respect what it can do, care for it properly and of course let it take you to new heights.
But what do you call it? I ask you, blog worthy friends, what do you call your vagina?
Herein lies the entertainment section of our story.
Dawn turned, as she often does in times of desperation and cheating on trivia questions, to her iPhone. I see her typing U-r-b-a-n D-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y as fast as her little fingers can touch screen. I hear her sigh as she weeds out the obvious. I grab a pen and paper as she rattles off the following:
Peach. Flowerpot. Pink Cadillac. Beef Curtains. Midge. Apricot Slit. Promised Land. Red Gash. Pink Taco. Honey Pot. Cherry Pop. And finally, Poontang.
"Now,with Poontang here," Dawn announces as we sit with rapt attention, "we are going to get schooled". The gossip circle tightens a bit more, and she begins:
Did you know that Poontang is a Filipino term for vagina? Did you also know that Poontang has subspecies? I bet not. But here for you, ladies and Joe, I unfold the levels of Poontang. (Unintended pun).
Poontini: the vagina of a baby.
Poonini: the vagina of a young girl. 3-19 years old.
Poontang: the vagina of someone in their prime. Specifically ages 20-35.
Then, the kicker:
Poonono: An old vagina with a fairly large muff. Ages 35-110.
Poonono. I am a Poonono. I am aghast. And then, I erupt. "THIRTY FIVE TO ONE HUNDRED AND TEN? Thirty five. To. One hundred and ten. So I am lumped into this broad, large muffed category with Nana, Betty White and Paula Deen? Blasphemy! At least you could use the politically correct, Southern charm oozing term "Mysteries", which any elegant woman would be proud to say in public!" For God's sake, a Poo-NO-NO?
At which the doctor who is pretending not to listen to us appears to have a spasm at his desk. At which none of us get up to help him.
My monumental offense at the word has inevitably earned me a new nickname. Mrs. Poonono is typing at you this very instant.
Dawn is dubbed Midge, as it is a term for one with red, um, hair. Dawn being short, Irish and mahogany haired (on top) is a perfect little Midge.
Carolina born Faith is christened Precious, since her Grandma taught her that all things Precious were housed between her legs and she was not to let any boy "get at her Precious".
Which leaves our tech; Joe.
Joe is a boy, and a very cool one at that. He can girl talk with the best of us. Joe offers up that his sister was the owner of a "Woo Woo", his wife had "Privates" before he "made them public" and that this whole bottom of the barrel conversation reminded him of when he was a paramedic and ran on a woman whose husband met them at the door to announce that he probably "broke her cummer" after she had a seizure during sex.
Hail Joe, proud new recruit of the Midnight Nurses Vagina Club. Long may you bikini wax.
So that's the latest entry into the Vagina Diaries. (Pun totally intended). This story is a blast to share. When I want to make someone laugh (and learn yet another name for vagina) I tell them about Big Pussy Lady. Props to Big Pussy Lady. We thank you for blazing the trail of vagina hygeine, for opening our minds to Filipino slang terminology, and for making me laugh far too loudly in the middle of Meijer when I bought this:
Because if you are going to clean Precious, it should be done fast and effortlessly.
Party on, clean vaginas of the world.