There he was, minding his own business, trying to play a game of Scrabble on Facebook, when The Common Man was contacted by a friend he hadn't talked to in a couple years. Back in the heady days of his youth, The Common Man and this friend had been poker buddies, and The Common Man still, probably, owes him five bucks or something. Figuring his friend was reconnecting in order to collect, The Common Man did the honorable thing and responded.
No, it seems the friend had forgotten about the bad debt, and was simply interested in saying "hey" and talking about where life had taken the two of them. This friend, it seems, is expecting his second child with his lovely wife and, while he's excited about the upcoming addition, is also somewhat frightened. Apparently both children have been a surprise to the happy couple, and this friend is actively considering the radical solution of a vasectomy to insure that no other little surprises befall them.
And, so, that's basically where the conversation ends up. After all, what do you say to an old buddy who shows up out of the blue and tells you he's considering a vasectomy? After a few more minutes of banter and exposition (with The Common Man telling his life story), The Common Man and his friend parted online ways and vowed to stay in better touch in the future (as old friends who randomly reconnect invariably do).
At this point, though, The Common Man is a little taken aback. He's had to face his own mortality a few times this year. Tearing up his knee, feeling various new aches and pains (what's that dull ache in The Common Man's knuckles as he types?), and turning 30 have conspired to make The Common Man acutely aware of the passage of time and his gradual push toward the old. Now, on top of that, The Common Man is surprised to learn about the first of his contemporaries to (soon) have themselves snipped. To actively decide to have no more kids and to take steps to make it happen. As The Common Man and The Uncommon Wife move forward, they both feel strongly that they'd like to have more than just The Boy, and can't imagine deciding, at this juncture, that they're ready to start the process of stopping being a parent. It's simply unfathomable to them. But there it is, a smart and thoughtful friend from out of the blue has shattered The Common Man's perception of life and of time and has informed him that, indeed, it's ok to start thinking about getting the Big V someday and has caused him to contemplate its interaction.
The Common Man, for all his manliness, simply is not sure how he would handle that kind of decision, when the day comes. Frankly, The Common Man values his intactness and is unsure he wants to lose that. And the prospect of asking someone to take away his potency seems simply unbecoming of a real man. Indeed, if he were to lose said potency carrying several elderly people out of a burning rest home, he would probably be ok with it. But choosing to lose an essential part of his manhood? That seems like the wrong choice when he has plenty of other options for making sure that life springs forth not from his loins.
Also, scalpels near that part of the male anatomy is the one fear that's ok for real men to wince at and run from. Especially since the procedure is typically done with a local anesthetic and you are awake throughout. No thanks.