What a Young Girl Ought to Know, by Mary Wood-Allen, Part Four

Twilight Talk VI. “Question where babies come from answered.” Right. Well, it wasn’t the stork. That’s just an urban legend. Well, according to Snopes (or rather, Family Guy) it’s not completely true. The stork doesn’t bring you the baby; he helps you MAKE the baby.

So, the mother has an ovary, right? And inside that ovary is an egg, that you could only see with a magnifying glass. (I think she is confusing this with a “microscope,” but that’s not altogether important). It gets fertilized (no mention yet how this happens), and then stays in the mother’s body where “it lies warm and safe from danger,” except if your father is fond of giving beatings, “and the mother knows it is there,” unless she got way too drunk, “and loves it before she has seen it,” unless she secretly does not want it or it was put there against her will. But none of these ideas had been “invented” yet.


And you are so very small. Can you imagine it? You might think you could have been lost, but God is looking out for you, little one. I guess no one ever miscarried in those days. Or if so, it was a demon seed, and not under God’s provenance.


The umbilical cord and how it helps to nourish the fetus is compared to an apple dumpling, somehow. I suppose all these food references are meant to be comforting, reassuring and familiar, for after all, that was women’s sphere, and they knew it intimately. I, however, find it a little creepy.


Of course, you would not come into being without your father, and his “germ of life.” He sneezed upon your mother’s stomach, and thus, the door to the tiny waiting room within was opened, and you proceeded to wait for nine months before you could be let out from your consultation. How rude, particularly since it was dark and had no magazines to speak of.


“We cannot understand all the mystery of life,” Dr. Wood-Allen reminds us, which I suppose is code for, “If you want to know how father’s germs get inside your mother, well, you’ll find out when you’re married. Always remember this: stare at the ceiling and count the water spots. It’s the perfect way to relax and float away from the unspeakable actions being done to your lower extremities.”

1 Comment

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One response to “What a Young Girl Ought to Know, by Mary Wood-Allen, Part Four

  1. Pingback: What a Young Boy Ought to Know, by Sylvanus Stall (Part Three) | Riffling Pages

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