Vaginas Are Cool: I’m Glad I Have One

Not to worry, my friends.  “From the Heart” is not lowering its standards or discretion (sentence to follow completely contradicts this statement).  I had my annual trip to the gynecologist this week, and I got to see my favorite nurse practitioner.  Everything was fine–I love her–but at the end of the visit, she gave me a bunch of samples of some kind of cream that women find beneficial “as they get older.”  Okay, I have a 5-year-old.  I’m young!  I’m hip!  Fine, yes, I have teenagers as well, but I did NOT LIKE the way my favorite nurse practitioner kept making this inclusive hand gesture when she said things like, “after age 35,” and “for women who are getting older…”   I mean, I’m sorry, the woman has a PERM for God’s sake, and has to be at least 10 years older than I am.

Now, on the other hand, as I was lying there, naked except for brown socks I had grabbed out of Martin’s drawer that morning (SOOO SEXY), I did have to accept that I AM middle-aged.  As Katherine Hepburn said to Henry Fonda in “On Golden Pond,” “You’re old, not middle-aged, you old coot!  People don’t live to be 150!”

But here’s the thing that makes vaginas cool, no matter what the age, and I mean NO MATTER what the age:  vaginas have women attached to them.  (Granted, I have not done my transgendered statistical research on this, but I’m going to assume that it’s safe to say that 95% of vaginas have women attached to them, and to the 5% who want to be women, WELCOME ABOARD ladies!).

Here are the things that people with vaginas have helped me to do (things that people without vaginas would have had NO chance of helping me to do):

  • Understand how to be a mom.
  • Forgive myself when being a mom brought me to my knees.
  • Help me get back up and keep going.
  • Believe in my heart that working and being a mom was okay.
  • Know that dealing with postpartum depression was not only necessary but powerful and something to be proud of, as a mom and a woman.
  • Understand that wearing red shoes is never a mistake.
  • Accepting that mourning the end of things like the last baby you’ll have, finishing breast-feeding, sending the last kid to kindergarten is TOTALLY normal, even when everyone around you is dancing with glee.
  • Know, from the bottom of my heart, that women who don’t have kids are NEVER less than women who do.
  • Know that true female friends can save your life, in so many more ways than I can list here.  As my Mom is fond of saying, “Women need other women in their stories.”   Yes, yes, and a thousand times YES.
  • Realize the truth in what my friend Ann says, there is no use putting out your umbrella until is actually raining.

Here’s today’s invitation:  please, please, PLEASE write in and tell me what you’ve learned from the important women in your lives.  I would be SO grateful, and you would be doing all our readers a wonderful service!

I love you all!  Rock on ladies!!!!   A poem from the rocking-est all of all the rocking-est ladies!  Be inspired, my loves!  Be brave!   Write to all of us, because everything you share makes all of us better!


Phenomenal Woman
Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
 don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

4 thoughts on “Vaginas Are Cool: I’m Glad I Have One

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  1. I am working with amazing women, the average age is 82 years old. They never cease to amaze me. In the following examples, I do not use real names: Pauline is 97 years old and uses FaceBook in our library: she recites Blake and Wordsworth off the top of her head. May is in her eighties and swims an hour daily in our pool. The really neat women are progressive women who study Tai Chai, Buddhism, and Judaism as well as great literature (they have a book club) and history lectures held in this building: an independent living center. They also attend senior college classes and go to the symphony. Two paint very well – I mean really, really well and they continue to write for fun. Ellie is 94 and discusses current national as w ell as local politics with me; she told me the other day after coming in from and extravagent shopping trip, “My life is perfect except I miss sex.” These women who seem comfortable finnacially (but who knows?-many owned their own businesses) bust my stereotypes when they share with me some very sad and trying situations in their lives from seeing their husbands shot to being raped. I am very honored to be their student as well as share their confidences. One woman hid in the Austrian Woods escaping from the Nazis during WWII. They encourage me on a poem I am writing and like my late mother, they tell me I am beautiful and very smart; they ask after my children and my boyfriend. They help me deal with the loss of my mother. And although I am now a grandmother, they tell me, “Oh, you are just a kid.” Their kindness to one another touches me deeply such as when they learned that one of their neighbors has cancer again, and it does not look good. I hear her laughing over wine with them at the Social Hour even though I know that this is the day she learned of her prognosis. Two women lived here who were coherent after 102 and 104 years respectivley. They tell me that I have happy years ahead of me and fill me with hope. These women are truly phenomenal women, they are wise elders and they are the reason I work here and inspire me daily.


  2. I’ve tried posting twice but the site doesn’t seem to like my iPhone! There is a sense of comfort that comes from sharing time with my female friends that I don’t experience in mixed groups or in the company of men. Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit with two of my favorite women and could almost feel my blood pressure go down. But the events of this week have also reminded me that people without vagina’s are capable of the most exquisitely tender loving care. This week we were forced to make the decision to put our beloved black lab, Buddy, to sleep. Care and nurturance of buddy over the past few months has fallen almost exclusively to my husband, Paul. And over those months, he provided around the clock care – cleaning up pee and poop, changing bedding, washing soiled linens and diapers, lifting, comforting, and taking walks at a snails pace to build strength. All performed with more patience and tenderness than the best of my mothering of my two children. And when he was gone, I was privleged to be present as the tears came — grief that flowed more deeply and freely than my own choked sobs. My point, I suppose is this ….
    While I don’t denigrate the capacity of the vagined gender to demonstrate love, support, wisdom, and compassion, it’s not my experience that these qualities are restricted to women.


    1. Joyce,

      Thanks for your persistence in replying! And thank you too for the reminder, and incredibly touching story, that any of us can exhibit tenderness, patience, and care.



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