TALKING MERKINS WITH MOM (OR AM I MY MOTHER’S URBAN DICTIONARY?)
“What’s a MILF?” my mother asked.
I did a double-take. “A what?”
“A MILF.” She pointed to the television program we were watching. “They just joked about starting a club for people whose mothers are MILF’s. So, what is it?”
There were a lot of things I was prepared to do when my parents got older. Driving them to their doctors’ appointments and making sure they took their medications. Installing grab bars to the toilet and bathtub. Purchasing adult diapers. However, I was not prepared for having to translate certain vocabulary.
When I was a teenager, I went to see the movie Body Heatwith my mom and dad. I recall it being a good film but can’t remember much of it, except for having to sit between my parents during some sexy, yet discomfiting, scenes. In the scene where William Hurt crashes a chair through a French door to take a heavy breathing, turned-on Kathleen Turner, I felt my pulse race from both excitement and embarrassment. I was grateful for being in a darkened theater rather than watching it on video in our brightly lit family room six months later. As I got older (and films got racier), I became more immune to watching love scenes in film and television. I thought I’d become more mature.
Now, I know better. Now, I endure a new humiliation. Explaining new, often sexual terms, to my octogenarian mother. When she first asked about MILF, I tried to prevaricate. But she’s known me way too long and wouldn’t cave. So, eventually, I did.
I said, “It’s an acronym standing for Mother I’d like to f—.”
I waited, expecting her to reply like Marie on Everyone loves Raymond would. “I don’t like that, Thea.” But there was nothing.
So, it began with MILF. And it continued with MILF. At least ten times. Because my mother would forget the definition and ask me again. And again.
Soon other words needed explanation.
“What’s a queef?”
“It’s like a vart,” I replied, hoping she would figure out the definition from its sound.
“What’s a vart?”
“A vagina fart.”
‘I’ve never had that.”
“Really? You mean to tell me in all your eighty-four years, you never had the feeling of air down there getting pushed out?”
Lucky her, I thought.
Since then, I have had to explain such words and phrases as rub and tug, butt plugs, and taint. Her latest question: what’s a merkin?
I sigh. “It’s a vaginal hairpiece, Mom.”
“Yeah, like a vagina toupee.”
“Why in the heck would anyone need a vagina toupee?” she asks.
“Well, nowadays, most women leave very little hair down there or they even go completely bare. So, when someone needs a little hair, they fasten these on.”
Mom considers my explanation. “Okay,” she says, “I get why an actress might need one, like doing a nude scene in a historical film. But why would the rest of us shave off everything and then purchase fake hair to glue back on?”
I look at Mom and start to reply. I stop. I try again. Stop again.
I got nothing.