[In 2010, a woman named Ingrid Paulicivic sued her OBGYN following a hysterectomy. It seems that her surgeon had, during the procedure, branded Ms. Paulicivic’s first name onto her uterus in inch high letters, using an “electrocautery device.” It was reported that the Laguna Beach doctor carved “Ingrid” on the organ because he “did not want to get it confused with others.” I posted about this story on Facebook, which naturally generated a bit of chatter, mostly among my women friends. My friend Emily and I began considering how we would like our uteruses (uteri?) to be branded, should the opportunity present itself. After some real fun, we settled on “Sassy” for my uterus, and “Ninja” for hers. On February 24, 2014, I will have the same surgery that Ingrid had. I asked my surgeon if she would please carve the word “Sassy” into my uterus. She declined, but did agree to note in my patient chart that my uterus shall be referred to in all future conversations as “Sassy”. What follows is akin to divorce papers, I suppose, that I will soon serve upon Sassy.]
It’s time. We need to say goodbye and end what we’ve had together. I thought we’d last a lifetime, you and me, but sometimes things just stop working, and it’s no one’s fault, really. That’s the way it was between us, Sassy. When I first knew you, it was like you’d always been a part of me. We had one of those typical pubescent girl relationships. Everything would be fine, we’d be moving through the days together, best of friends, and then suddenly, inexplicably, you’d be the mean girl. It hurt so much, Sassy, but I always forgave you, and in a few days, we’d be humming along again as though nothing had happened. It was, at times, a tiresome cycle. Back then, I needed you, and recognized that our messy, uncomfortable periods were just missteps in our always delicate dance.
We shared a lot of truly great years together, Sassy, and though I was taught to be humble, I will tell anyone who will listen that this world is a better place because of you and me. Look what we created together. We brought two vibrant, creative, funny, smart children into this world. I wanted more, but you were done. That may have been the beginning of the end for us.
We began to grow apart. I tried to accept the pain you caused me, but years of endurance wears one down. I didn’t think you could hurt me more than you already had, but like a child learning to dive, you kept demanding my undivided attention. I thought I’d seen it all, but you dialed it up, didn’t you girl? The tumor was probably the turning point: the last straw. I can’t believe I didn’t see the neon signs pointing me toward what you were really up to while I wasn’t looking. Sometimes we see only what we want to see. I defended you to my friends, Sassy. I said that the hurt you were causing me was just a phase, and that it is normal for these sorts of things to get worse before they get better. I suffered in silence, hiding from my loved ones, my work, and my life, believing (or maybe only hoping) that if I accepted the pain as the natural evolution of things, and gave you what you were demanding, then you would feel better, quiet down, and we could go back to living together in a sort of noiseless truce. So I spent days in bed with you, Sassy, just as you insisted, paying attention to nothing and no one else. But it was never enough, was it? Looking back, I recognize all the signs that deep down, something caustic and irreversible was growing between us. In my heart, or in my gut, I knew that it was something more than just two old irritable crones getting snippy with one another after too many shared years.
It’s time, Sassy. I’ve found the courage and I’m evicting you (and your baggage) from my world. There’s really nothing that we can give each other anymore, and you know it. The things you once expected from me and maybe even took for granted, I can no longer provide. Your urgent and extreme expressions of resentment are cutting me to the core. It is better this way. It will hurt a lot at first, I know. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to function for awhile. We’ll move on, though — I know I will, at least — and time will heal the wounds. So this letter is my goodbye and love letter to you, Sassy. I am immeasurably stronger and better for having had you in my life. I will be grateful, to you always, for the two precious miracles we made. It’s time to part now, though, and we both know it. Pack your shit and get the fuck out. But leave Thing One and Thing Two. Those are mine.