July 21st, 2008

The “V” word…

by Terri Libenson

I have a feeling I’ll be getting some feedback this week. Why, you ask? Welllll, maybe because I’m publishing a series of strips all about Rob’s…yes, vasectomy. Why would I do that, you (again) ask? Because as invasive and painful as this procedure is, it’s relevant, topical, and…c’mon, admit it…humorous (assuming you’re not one of the unlucky ones who’ve had some nasty post-surgical side effects).

I actually wrote a preliminary version of this series a year and a half ago. I didn’t want to publish it until I felt comfortable. But the more prevalent the topic became (I couldn’t wave a stick without hitting a friend or neighbor who’ve proclaimed to have had it done), the more I thought, why not? It’s become so mainstream to talk about and is often a subject openly discussed among parents in the 30-40-something set.

My husband and I agreed from the onset we only wanted two kids. So he had it done a few years ago amidst – surprisingly — my reservations. I was very superstitious about it, the prevailing thought being: what if he has it done and then through some kind of Karmic retribution, something happens to one of the kids? I eventually got over myself and hubby got snipped. Later, I thought those underlying fears were something to explore in the strip. I channeled similar reservations into Jill’s character, adding some irreverent humor along the way.

VazArt

Originally, I was going to include the child characters asking their parents questions about Rob’s surgery. After all, my own kids were obviously around when my husband had it done; believe me, they couldn’t stop asking questions (it’s hard not to when  dad is lying around with a bag of frozen peas on his crotch). We had opted to be honest with them without mentioning the grisly details: “Daddy had an operation so we can’t have any more kids.” I think my “independent” older daughter was thrilled…no more sibs to annoy her. Anyway, I tried my hand at a couple of kid-related strips in this series, but they just didn’t measure up to the others. So they were…ahem…cut.

I hope you enjoy this series, which ends Saturday. Commentary (good or bad) can be directed here. Personal vaz anecdotes are welcome.

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