On Labor Day of 2012, Gail and I had breakfast and went mattress shopping. That, however, was not enough to make us look like lovers, so we stopped into our local sex store (or “novelty store” as the Midwest insists it be called), just for fun. Now, I don’t say “just for fun”, because I’m blushing. I say it, because the one we went to is super trashy, even for what it is. We both much prefer the other one nearby if we’re actually buying anything. This one was strictly giggle-worthy.
Fortunately, we were able to make our jokes and comments without worrying about offending other patrons, as the store was deserted. We laughed over the poorly airbrushed photos: “Where is the rest of her leg?!?!” We recounted the time Gail declared that you’d have to be hit pretty hard with a paddle to brand the word “BITCH” into your skin… just before slapping her arm with it to prove her point and realizing that she was, indeed, getting a “BITCH”-shaped welt. We make these trips a few times a year and this was a pretty standard one. Until…
Me: “‘… and then he touched me down there.’ Seriously. That would make for a great children’s audio book. Read by children for children.”
Gail: grimacing and laughing “Ugh.”
Shopwench: “He didn’t call it that.”
Me: “What?” I was confused since neither of us was talking to her.
Shopwench: “He never called it ‘down there.'”
Me and Gail: in unison “Uh… yeah he did.”
Me: “Like all the time.”
Shopwench: “No. He didn’t. He called it her ‘sex’, but he never called it ‘down there.’ I’ve read all three books.” She said proudly.
Me: “Um… yeah. So have I. He calls it that several times. I know, because we make fun of it all the time.” What can I say? I felt like taunting her.
Shopwench: “Well, no, he doesn’t, but that book has been amazing. That book has saved so many marriages. I’ve had women come in here in tears, because that book has done so much for them.”
Me: “Um… okay. I read it. I liked it well enough to get through it. I preferred Bared to You…”
Shopwench: cuts me off “Yeah. I’ve read it. Fifty Shades was better. I could’ve done without the three kids and shit, but it was a great book.”
Me: waving a white flag “Um… yeah. I didn’t really care for the two kids at the end. I thought that was unnecessary.”
Shopwench: “No. That book has done so much good. You have no idea.” Yeah… I was just agreeing with your last statement.
Okay, lady, first of all, you are getting awfully offended for someone who is presently standing in front of a vibrating rubber butt. Secondly, it’s just a book. The only reason for you to take this much offense to some light criticism of it, that wasn’t even directed toward you,is if you fucking wrote it. Third, we are your customers. We didn’t ask for your damned opinion and keeping that to yourself is sort of your job title, when you’re selling Fleshlights. I said nothing critical about people who were into bondage, shoving marbles into their lady parts, getting sexy hit, or reading erotic novels. I quoted a poorly written one that I’d obviously read, myself. That’s it. If anyone on this planet is in a field that requires a sense of humor, it’s the gal selling remote control vibrating panties. For all you know, I could’ve bought out your entire stock of wooden and suction cupped dildos, had I received pleasant customer service.
Most importantly, “saved so many marriages”?!?!?! HOW? I mean, sure, it’s nice that these women are realizing it’s okay to be strung up like a super sexy deer, if that’s what gets them going; but if your marriage is truly in jeopardy, it’s not because of a lackluster sex life.
Marriage takes trust, committment and not stealing hundred dollar bills out of my wallet. Cough: I have issues: Cough. Some satin scarves on the bedpost might spice things up, but they haven’t saved shit. Furthermore, you’ve had women come in “in tears” over Fifty Shades of Grey? Were they sporting black eyes? Did you call the police?!?!?! Gail went to the YWCA charity ball supporting battered women and told me that every story of abuse she heard, from men letting the air out of a woman’s tires so she couldn’t leave, to monitoring their cell phones, reminded her of “that awful book you made me read.” So, while most women are adults and can put that alpha male shit into perspective and realize it’s only sexy in a fantasy, if one were bawling and mumbling about Fifty Shades, I’d be inclined to suggest a nice shelter.
We left the store shortly after this encounter with Gail calling me “honey”, because she thought it would be funny, and I bought my next vibrator elsewhere. In the meantime, this has become a marvelous inside joke that can’t be explained to anyone who asks.