I was recently at a luncheon in Manhattan, one of those socialite and magazine editor gatherings where photographers almost outnumber the wait staff. The party was hosted by a handful of boldfaced names and it was one of those boldfaced-named ladies, also a writer -- let's call her Ms. Incredible -- whom I was most excited to see that day.
Ms. Incredible and I were talking during the pre-lunch 'cocktail' hour when another lady writer -- let's call her Mrs. Brash -- came up and said hello. I introduced myself to Mrs. Brash, who apparently sized me up as someone of limited importance because for the next 10 minutes she talked and talked, cutting me off almost every time I tried to jump into the conversation. I decided to cut my losses, said goodbye to both of the ladies and found my seat, which happened to be on the other side of the room.
Later, when I was recounting the anecdote to my husband, I found myself fumbling for the right words to describe how Mrs. Brash had managed to disrupt and oust me from my own tête-à-tête. "What to call it, what to call it?" I hemmed.
There's a phrase men use when one guy physically or metaphorically blocks another guy from getting close to a (usually attractive) girl at a party or a bar. I won't write the first word because I don't like to be vulgar, at least not in print, but let's just say it starts with a C and ends with a K and some men think it's sexy when a woman says it. The second word is block.
So what's the female version that?
"I got Vagina Blocked! She Vagina Blocked me!" I sputtered to my (now alarmed) husband.
A week or so later I was retelling the story at a dinner party when a male friend offered another option -- Bitch Block. Yet another friend divulged that she refers to those sorts of conversational putsches as Box Blocks. (See I'm not alone!) And although I appreciate the alliterative element of both alternatives, neither conjures up the same visuals as Vagina Block, so I'm sticking with that -- for now.