All I Want For Christmas Is My Va-sec-tomy... Wait, Huh?

Last week my wife called me from work around lunch as she normally does in order to acquaint me with the events of her morning: so and so did such and such; I can't believe they want me to do this and that; a large man sat next to me on the bus and passed gas during the entire ride to work and, "Oh, your appointment with the urologist is next Tuesday at one." Her strategy of slipping this little tidbit into the conversation behind news of the Farting Man was slick, but not slick enough to elude my razor-sharp sense of hearing. "I'm sorry. What did you say, dear?"

"Your consultation appointment with the urologist is next Tuesday, and then the procedure is scheduled for that Friday." By the way she said "procedure" you'd have thought it were code for making a hit on someone, which, in a technical sense, I suppose is true; it's just that that someone hasn't been born yet. "He said he could've fit you in on Christmas Eve, but I thought that might be bad timing."

Picturing myself sitting around the tree on Christmas morning, handing presents to the woman I love while readjusting the package of frozen peas tucked under my own package did seem to detract from the festive feel of things. "But ... this is pretty quick don't you think? We just got done talking about this a couple months ago."

"I just figured you'd want to get it done this year since we've met our deductible."

Ah yes. The money angle. Well played my cherry blossom. Well played indeed.

Getting "fixed" (an oxymoron that in this case I consider on par with "military intelligence") had been the option we settled on, and it was only fair. My wife had already tried using a little device known as an IUD. However, we started referring to it as an IED--improvised explosive devise--since it brought her much pain and discomfort and needed to be removed. Of course there was the pill, but there were issues with this method as well.

With these choices exhausted, the burden of birth control now shifted to my lap--literally, and seen as how I'm pushing 40, and already have five kids to deal with, something a little more permanent was in order. Mint-flavored and glow-in-the dark condoms were out; snip, snip, clip, clip was in.

The consultation appointment was informative, but not surprising. I already had a good idea of what to expect. However, this particular doctor offered me an interesting choice: I could go with a plastic locking clip designed specifically for vasectomies, or I could go with the traditional metal clips that are not approved by the FDA because these tiny metal clips were meant to close off thin-walled blood vessels, not the thicker-walled vas tubes. Furthermore, the locking clips are less painful and carry fewer complications. Given these options, the answer was a no-brainer.

Sort of.

Turns out this doctor is the only one in Texas who uses these clips, and as such the insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of the clips themselves which run $250 a piece. Yes, $250 for a piece of plastic roughly the size of a grain of rice and about as complicated as a part from a children's toy. In the doctor's words, he could, "use baler twine and barbed-wire with the normal method, and it would be covered, but you'll have to pay outta pocket if you want the clips. Just call and let us know the day before."

Pain or Christmas presents? What to do? What to do?

Yesterday I called the doctor's office with my decision. "Yes, ma'am, could you let the doctor know I'll be going with the regular method."

"You mean the 'classical?'"

"Classical," that's ...classic. "Uh, yes, I'll be kickin' it ol' school."

Now, maybe I shouldn't be so open about all this? Maybe I should retain some sense of dignity by not sharing my impending plight with the general public? Perhaps. But I don't think it matters anymore thanks to my wife.

Last night was her company Christmas party. Understand that my wife's company is one of those places where the rigid boundaries of conservative corporate culture are solidly entrenched within the dark-paneled corridors connecting impressive offices that tower above downtown Houston. To give you an idea of the company's stature, the owner served as the energy advisor for both John McCain and Barrack Obama simultaneously during the election campaign. It's a place where you don't fool around.

The owner did not attend the party; however, a number of people from the top down did. It was a highly social affair--a lot of "a mix and a mingling," which naturally gets interesting when there's an open bar. It's only a matter of who it gets interesting for.

After, let's say, eleven, maybe twelve margaritas, my wife feels comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone inside of a fifty-yard radius, making sure to include the details of my surgery. As she talked, the news of my "procedure" surfaced after three or four other items, but with more drinks, it suddenly became breaking headline on par with Tiger Woods's recent predicament. She was like Nancy Grace on crack.

"You wanna know what?" she would lead in with. "I got tomorrow off. Wanna know why?" Then my wife would point to my crotch-al area. "We're getting him fixed tomorrow!" While she laughed wickedly, my cheeks warmed yet again encasing my chagrined smile.

Managing directors, department heads, the CEO's wife, and several busboys know the truth: today I will be sterilized, never to populate God's green earth again--assuming I'm not in that one percent failure category.

Yes, at noon today, I will be sitting in a sterile, white room while a large man with thick glasses arranges metal clips, scissors and a cauterizor on a tray in preparation for "the procedure." And soon my jiggle bells, won't jiggle so merrily.

Brought to you by Fatherhood Fridays at Dad-Blogs.

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