Garlic and Lady Parts

I’m thinking about buying stock in Panera. Who is the genius behind this place? It’s bread and free wifi—how could life get any better than that? I love spending the morning at Panera. I get my favorite cinnamon crunch bagel with hazel nut cream cheese, find a cozy table, set up my computer, and pretend to write. I never get any actual writing done because my brain ends up on overload listening to all the great conversations going on around me.

If I go to Panera on Tuesdays there’s a group of little old ladies who like to argue about who’s the sexiest widower at their assisted living community. Currently they’re all hung up on a man named Bob and judging by the way they giggle, Bob is something else. If I go on Wednesdays, there’s a few old men who have some serious prostate troubles they discuss in depth. Obviously, I prefer Tuesdays but I keep going back on Wednesdays to see if any of those men are named Bob.

On one particular Wednesday morning, as I was waiting to see if I could catch a glimpse of the now legendary Bob, my attention was drawn to two loud-talking women at the table next to mine. One of the women looked to be about eight months pregnant and extremely tired and the other woman was doling out some priceless advice.

“You don’t need antibiotics! No, instead of antibiotics just get some yogurt and put it directly into your vagina,” the woman said with all the authority that comes with putting the words yogurt and vagina into the same sentence.

The pregnant woman seemed intrigued, as was the entire morning crowd at Panera.

“Of course I prefer to use garlic. It has the same bacteria-killing qualities and all you have to do is get a clove of garlic and insert it into your vagina,” she said and took a sip of her coffee.

I have never in my life heard anyone so comfortable with the word vagina. I, myself, avoid use of that word at all costs, substituting cute, anatomically confusing words such as hooha and business. But to just toss around the word vagina, this was a new earmark of boldness. I thought to myself, This woman is a pioneer with her fearless talk of vaginas!

I sat there quietly chanting, “Vagina, vagina, vagina,” trying to channel the power of the vagina that this woman had been able to harness. But as much as I respected her use of the anatomically correct word, I couldn’t get over the fact that she just said she puts garlic and yogurt into her vagina.

I imagined this woman standing in the kitchen, pondering what to cook for dinner. Her husband walks in and suggests spaghetti. “Spaghetti? No, we’re out of garlic—it’s the 15th of the month, you know that’s my “Garlic in the Vagina Day,” she says with irritation. Because, let’s face it, a garlic clove in your vagina has got to be irritating.

Now I have no idea whether or not garlic and yogurt can heal an ailing vagina, but it did get me thinking about how I have spent my life just wasting precious, vaginal space. What else could we be putting into our vaginas? I looked excitedly around the table—a bagel, my phone, Chapstick. On second thought, maybe I’m not cut out for the daring world of vagina innovations.

No, I think I’ll leave the vaginal trailblazing up to women who fully embrace the subtle and symbiotic relationship between garlic and vaginas.

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