The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons: Donna Hanover and Oprah Winfrey

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The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons by Maggie Cutler  


The Vagina Donna-logues

All week I try to find the chat room guy who calls himself Nino but can’t scare him up. I tell myself that email sex is too much like cheating on Max, which I’m determined to avoid, if only for a chance to feel morally superior to him. But still, I’m annoyed: How come men are never around when you need to reject them?


I know Oprah would sympathize, so at The News Bar, I start flipping through her new magazine, named O (or, as Max calls it, Zero) but then I see tabloid cover story — Donna Hanover, wife of NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, is going to star in Eve Ensler’s off-Broadway hit, The Vagina Monologues. Before you know it, I’m home on the couch, imagining Oprah and Donna and me all sitting around discussing our vaginas.


I’m crazy about mine, I offer, but the wildly fab way it feels and the weird way it looks seem to me to have no connection. Oprah agrees and Donna differs. Hers, she claims, feels exactly the way it looks, by which, Oprah and I assume, she means a lot blonder, fuzzier and sweeter than ours.


I find it hard to believe that Donna’s vagina feels all that soft and cuddly to her, and say so. “Donna,” I persist gently, “you married one of the nastiest men alive. A hard-assed autocrat with a soft spot for police injustice and First Amendment violations. I know your man stopped wearing his wedding ring and the two of you are on the outs these days, but do you really expect us to believe that your vagina felt like a fluffy, pastel-colored angora thing when you were fucking Rudoph Giuliani? I don’t think so!”


In short, I conclude, I suspect that we will find darker roots circling Donna’s love-kit than her hair colorist wants us to imagine. Oprah agrees and we demand to see the culprit with our own four eyes.


Shyly stepping out of her camera-ready clothes, Donna arranges her pale self on my red couch. She is a vision of culturally approved loveliness, professionally massaged to perfection and just over-the-hill enough to be interesting. With a nod I defer to Oprah to go first because she is not only “O” for Older than I, but many “O”s richer.


Donna parts her long, smooth legs, Oprah peers in eagerly, and I hear a little laugh.


I can’t believe Oprah is laughing at someone’s genitals, I think to myself, appalled. No wonder she can’t get a man to commit! But when Oprah looks up, the “O” of her lips expresses amazement, not mirth.


“Come here.” She whispers, urgently. “This you got to see!”


When I obey, it’s my turn to gawk. Donna’s pussy is not only fair-haired, it’s chuckling, softly.


“What are you gaping at?” it wonders. “Can’t yours talk?”


“Not in colloquial English,” I hedge, as if language was the issue.


“Well, I’m a tattler,” Donna’s vagina continues proudly. “Anything she is not allowed to say, I announce to the world!”


“So that’s why Rudy keeps you upstairs at Gracie Mansion when there are political doin’s,” marvels Oprah, then asks cautiously, “Were you always like this, honey, or is this something a woman can learn?”


I can tell Oprah is contemplating a whole new multimedia self-improvement craze, complete with vagina workout videos, CDs, books and a vagina sing-along program on her “O” (for Oxygen) network.


Donna’s blond pussy just smiles smugly, as if to say, “You? Teach your quiet little clam to speak? Not on your life.”


Oprah and I exchange a spiritually debased glower. At that moment, we’d like to silence this chatty little twat with a dildo the size of Manhattan. I can’t believe we’re feeling so envy-green and mean.


“Wait!” I ask it, suddenly remembering something. “Didn’t Eve Ensler work for Hillary Clinton’s New York State Senate campaign? Does that mean you’re not voting for your husband?”


“Hillary’s no Eleanor Roosevelt,” confides Donna’s pink little chatterbox. “But at least she doesn’t go around slandering victims of police violence, so, if Donna’s theatrical career hasn’t already ruined Rudy with the Right, I’m pulling the lever for Hilly in November.”


“You go, sistergirl!” shouts Oprah, and kisses that smiling thing. I kneel and do likewise. And I’ll be darned if the little scamp doesn’t kiss us back.


There follows a festival of kisses, a general tongue-lashing, but in the friendliest and most cuddly of hip-wiggling modes. In various combinations and degrees of motility, our numerous mouths conjoin and converse on all sorts of self-helping topics, from the politics of labial friction to the essence of personal fulfillment, until finally, like a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign for female survival in the face of male perfidy we cry out, one right after the other: “O!” “O!” “O!”


When Max returns that evening he finds me in a newly serene and elevated state of mind. Zero thanks to him.