“A man aint no kind of man at all unless his blood lives on in his children and his children’s children.” ~Dad Mentu
At 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, I walked in to the waiting room at my local Urology center for a vasectomy. This was my second attempt to have the procedure done.
Several months ago I went in for a vasectomy, but was sent home because I was “too young” and “didn’t have children yet.” I found out that though this is not a law in Texas, it’s an “extremely common practice” according to the med staff at the Urology center and the med staff at work.
Today I showed up at a different Urology center with my beautiful wife and my two adorable girls. The 6 year old blonde has my eyes, but the 4 year old brunette looks so much like me that my own sisters insist she’s mine. I stood there wearing my wedding band, while Lindsay admired the 3 carat near-flawless diamond in a platinum setting that adorned her finger again for the first time in nearly three years. As she twisted it back and forth on her finger and gazed off into nothingness, I quietly read to the girls so she could take stroll down memory lane.
We were one hell of a power couple; everything a pretend SWPL conservative protestant suburban family should be. I was the doting father who couldn’t get enough of his baby girls, and the work ID badge on my belt said “that’s right, I do pretty good for myself.” She was the blonde corporate strategist with a charming smile, a perfect rack that still somehow managed to be accented in a conservative white button-down shirt, a knee-length pinstriped pencil skirt, and cherry red 6-inch heels that proclaimed “I’m all business” and “spank me” at the same time. The girls were in matching school uniforms, and their long naturally wavy hair and gigantic green eyes brought the entire nursing staff to a stop.
After my initial five-minute consultation with the Urologist where he met Lindsay and the girls who call me daddy, I was promptly led to the examination room. Since I had manned up and fulfilled my societal obligations by marrying and producing attractive offspring, the good doctor didn’t have a problem performing my procedure – though he did ask me twice why I didn’t want to try for a son.
Lindsay left, because it “hurt too much to see me get this done.” I haven’t slept with her in nearly a year, because I honestly believed she was trying to get pregnant. The only reason I even speak to her is because she looks good on my arm at work parties, and she’s one of the few women I’ve met who can hold an intelligent conversation with my boss while still being sexy and feminine. I’ve met tons of women who could do one or the other, but not both.
I sat there in the examination room for a good 30 minutes or more just staring at the massive needle the tech had readied to be shoved into my sack. I had plenty of time to think, plenty of time to change my mind, and plenty of time to come right back to the same old conclusion: this is something I needed to do. I sat there thinking for what seemed like an eternity.
Where the hell is the doctor? I want to get this over and done.
My mind continued to race with thoughts about what I was about to do and the profound effect it would have on the rest of my life. An hour from now, I would be guaranteeing that my side of the Mentu bloodline would end with me. I am my father’s only son, and rotten feminist culture or not, this was a big step.
I thought about Big Dog and Little Pup; my eldest sister’s two young men in training. A few months back I sat on the side of the river that flows through Dad Mentu’s property, teaching 7 year old Big Dog how to fly fish while 4 year old Little Pup stood there gazing at me like I was the smartest and most interesting man in the world. No wonder men desire to have sons – there’s nothing more satisfying than taking up the cross of passing manhood on to the next generation. It’s an honor, a burden, and a source of joy that cannot be matched – and they’re not even my sons.
My eldest sister and her hubby took advantage of me being there to leave the boys behind and go on a date. My youngest sister was on her way over with her husband and their newborn baby girl who I would meet for the first time. Dad Mentu was on the deck grilling the wild game steaks he had harvested with his own hands, while mom was working on the side dishes in the kitchen with her favorite gospel song playing on well-worn vinyl. From the riverbank just about 30 yards from the back of the house, I could hear Granddad’s voice blending in harmony with the old quartet, and mom was singing along with all her heart just as she has done for as long as I can remember: ♫ Hold my hand all the way, every hour, every day; from here to the great unknown. Take my hand, let me stand where no one stands alone. ♫
All we have to remember Granddad by are a handful of pirated YouTube videos from gospel music shows in the 1950’s, a few LPs, an old “In Concert” poster that still hangs in the church hall, and a million stories that always seem to become a little more grandiose each time they’re told.
Granddad would be disappointed in me for being here in this examination room.
Mom yelled “Boys! Come and eat!” but Big Dog and Little Pup didn’t budge. I said “let’s go guys” but Big Dog said “They’re not serious yet, Uncle Mentu. Trust me, I know how this works.”
About 5 minutes later, mom yelled from the back porch “If this gets cold, I’m whipping all of you! Even you, Mentu. You’re still my little boy, and you’re not too old for a butt-whoopin!”
Big Dog dropped his pole on the ground, grabbed Little Pup’s hand, and said “We gotta go quick, Uncle Mentu. They’re serious this time.”
I thought it was interesting that although it was only mom calling us, Big Dog referred to her as “they.” Mom and Dad Mentu are a team, and when one of them speaks, they do so with collective authority. Even the youngest of the Mentu clan recognizes and respects this.
When we got back to the house, Dad was sitting at the head of the table. He said to Big Dog “You told me that if I let you go fishing with Uncle Mentu, you’d come running when Grandma called out suppertime.”
“We did, Granddad.”
“Don’t lie to me boy. She had to call you twice. What lesson did you forget about lying?”
“A man’s word is his bond.”
Dad Mentu made Big Dog stand up, walk over to my mother, and apologize. Mom hugged him and forgave him, then shot a little soft-hearted sympathetic “don’t be too hard on him” frown at my dad who pretended not to notice. Dad then made Big Dog apologize to Little Pup for failing to set a good example.
Little Pup is too young to understand, but that wasn’t the point.
If I ever had sons, I would want them to be raised just like I was. I’d want them to benefit from the perfect balance and undeniable synergy created when masculine and feminine strength unite for the good of their children and grandchildren. There’s no 50/50 anything in my parent’s house; mom and dad are one singular force to be reckoned with. My sisters and I tried for 18 years to break up their monopoly on power, but we were always unsuccessful.
Where the hell is that damn doctor?
I thought about my girls; Lindsay’s two precious daughters who call me daddy. I knew that at that very moment, they were driving back home in rush hour traffic while Lindsay blasted Britney Spears and Lady Gaga through the car stereo. The girls know all the words and dance moves by heart, and it sickens me.
It’s ok though, because Lindsay doesn’t let them listen to the “really bad stuff.”
I’m told that Lindsay is one of the good ones. She’s the attractive, sweet, educated, agreeable, successful woman with a Christian background who everyone promises the lonely beta he’ll meet some day if he’ll “just be himself”, remain patient and “look hard enough in the right places.”
I was patient. I looked hard enough. I found her. I’ve found two or three others just like her down through the years. I’ll find others. But the one thing these women all have in common besides being the “perfect woman” by today’s standards is that they think my family is “weird” and “too old fashioned.”
Where the hell is that damn doctor? If I have to walk out in the hallway in this gown and look for him, I’m not going to be happy.
I realized that I can (and have) found women who would probably make a decent wife, but I have yet to come across a woman who I would want to be the mother of my children. I have never met a woman in my age range who thinks it’s anything but odd that a 7 year old would use phrases like “A man’s word is his bond”, and they all (to some extent) criticize mom and dad Mentu and my sisters for being too strict with the kids and subjecting them to the horrors of a Patriarchal household. It seems that fishing with your Uncle, obeying your elders, learning life lessons about manhood at a young age, and taking responsibility for teaching your younger brother to do the same is just too weird of a concept these days. Throw in the fact that my mom takes a break from doing the dishes to serve my dad sweet tea while he’s in his recliner playing Mario Kart with the grandkids, and Lord God almighty the family atmosphere of the Mentu household is just too misogynistic and backward for modern women to handle. It’s as if they instinctively hate it without knowing why.
I know why.
If that doctor doesn’t show up soon, I’m using my cell phone to call the front desk. This is ridiculous.
I thought about the Manosphere. In my opinion, pro-marriage and Christian bloggers in these parts talk far too much about how to find a good wife, and not nearly enough about how to find a good mother. After a long and exhaustive search, I have finally given up. I actually gave up about three years ago, to be perfectly honest. Women who might make decent wives pop up every now and then, but women in the 21 to 31 year old age range who would make good mothers have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. It’s not as if they’ve rejected the idea; they’re not even aware that the concept exists.
The doctor finally walked in and interrupted my thoughts. Thank God.
I had two texts from Lindsay saying “are you sure about this?” and “baby, please don’t do this” but I didn’t respond.
The doctor and I chatted for a few minutes, and he walked me through the process. I signed off on one last form stating that though the procedure may be able to be reversed, the reversal success rate was only 84%, so the procedure is medically considered to be permanent. I nodded my head in agreement, but didn’t say a word.
I thought about what my own Big Dog and Little Pup would look like, and how I felt when my youngest sister introduced me to my two-week old niece for the very first time. I thought about how nothing would make dad Mentu happier than to play golf in the back yard with his only son’s little boy. I thought about how mom Mentu forces a smile and fights back tears when she tells me she loves me and understands why I don’t see myself ever having children. I thought about Granddad and how he held on to life until two days after I was born so that he could “tell King Jesus all about his first grandson.” I thought about how much I truly love Lindsay and my girls, and how I honestly wish I had never met them.
“Mr. Mentu? Are you ready?”
“I’m ready, Doc. Let’s do this.”
“Are you sure? You look a little out of it.”
“I’m fine. Let’s just get this over with so I can go home and crawl into bed.”
“Is your wife going to drive you home?”
I leaned back, closed my eyes, and relaxed while the doctor prepped me for the procedure that would forever change the course of my life. It was the first time in my life I have ever experienced regret without having doubt. I hardened my heart, steadied my resolve, and made peace with what was about to happen.