I didn't expect to share a picture of my husband's genitals with a
group of strangers at a bar the other night. But, you know how it is.
college roommate e-mailed a bunch of us to say she'd be in town, and
could we please come see her and meet her new husband over a few beers.
Hubby agreed to stay home with Zev on the condition that I snap a
picture of his package with my cell phone and show it to Damon, a
school chum we haven't seen in a dozen years.
This seemed like a reasonable trade-off, so, without asking questions, I shot the picture and headed out the door.
first two things I ever thought about Damon when I met him as a college
freshman were 1. "He has long, sexy hair," and 2. "He's wearing nothing
but a towel."
My first impression of his now-wife Jackie was
that she was easily one of the most beautiful and soothing women I had
ever met. And when I met my roommate, Liz, I remember feeling like a
couple of 5-year-olds let loose in a combination candy/toy store. We
even ran to registration together, holding hands like kindergarteners.
impressions are important. And they're often right on the money. It's
something I know well but didn't really think about until after I
introduced myself to Liz's husband with a
friendly, "Hi, I'm Mayrav, and this is my husband's penis."
"I have heard a lot about you, and
you have far exceeded expectations," Eric said. I was relieved. Eric
seemed amused and warm, friendly and drunk. A few other people, though,
were thrown off.
One gentleman said, "I'm not going to shake your hand. I've seen where it's been."
would have been embarrassed for having made a bad first impression
except that I long ago realized that if two people don't click right
off the bat, they never will. The non-hand-shaker is probably a
wonderful person, but I'm willing to bet that even with the most mild
of introductions we'd run out of things to talk about in 10 minutes.
a lesson I learned not long after meeting Liz. We were at a dorm
meeting where the R.A.s made their introductions and went over the
rules. I raised my hand and asked whether there was a policy
prohibiting, say, a boy from spending the night. Everyone – every
single person in attendance – was thinking the same question. I just
happened to be the one who asked it.
I was too naïve to
realize my question was going to make an impression, and I was more
than a little embarrassed after the meeting. But it turned out to be an
amazing litmus test: Almost to a person, those who were grateful that
I'd asked ended up being my friends, while those who hoped/worried that
I was some sort of marauding libertine did not.
And the other
night – just as it was in college – the lines were immediately drawn:
People who didn't appreciate a good genitalia joke stayed on one side
of the bar, and those of us who wanted to laugh, drink and reminisce
stayed on the other.
Late in the evening, the talk eventually
circled back to Hubby's organ, and Damon finally explained why he had
been so keen to show it off. When Damon first got to college, before he
had met or spoken to a single soul, future Hubby walked into Damon's
dorm room, declaring without introduction, "I'm going to take a picture
of my penis and send it home to my family."
"Those were the first words anyone said to me in school," Damon said, sounding a bit wistful.
was the perfect introduction to set the tone for a new, important
chapter in an 18-year-old boy's life: shocking for shocking's sake;
funny, gross and bold but meaningless. The kind of salutation that he'd
It was strange. It was unsolicited. But Hubby's penis made a great first impression.