[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
a post sure to draw more than a few comments about meatballs
last month, my office held its annual holiday party. i had just gotten my first [but definitely not my last] drink of the evening and greeted a co-worker when i choked on my vodka-cranberry.
“i’m a big fan of your blog,” he said.
now, it is entirely possible that i choked because i was drinking smirnoff.
but i happen to think that i choked because i was...uh...caught off guard.
yes, i am that stupid. i guess i still had some delusion that i had a certain degree of anonymity in my “real” life. or that i was managing my anonymity by knowing who in my “real” life reads this site.
turns out that pretty much the entire fifth floor of my office [shout out to the fifth floor, down there in their loft offices!!!] reads my site. which, you know, is, um, totally cool.
but, to them i say this: do not read past this point in today’s post.
seriously. it will be much more comfortable in the cafeteria for everyone if you don't.
my best friend and i were a bit strapped for cash during the holidays, so we decided to postpone our gifts to one another until after everything had died down. our hope, of course, was that someone would have given us cash as a gift, thereby giving us a few spare dollars to buy something for each other.
in the end, we decided that we both had more than enough expensive candles and bath products to last us right through 2005, so we opted for something different.
“let’s just treat ourselves to a nice evening out. you know, get some drinks and some dinner. some place nice.”
“that sounds perfect.”
so, friday, we met for drinks and dinner. we had just finished our second round when we realized we had quite a bit of time to kill before heading over to the restaurant.
“what should we do?”
“we could have another drink. that’s always a good choice.”
“i don’t want to get too liquored up before dinner. they have one of my favorite bottles of wine on the wine list, so i want to get that with dinner, and these were pretty strong, so….”
“so, what do you wanna do? shop?”
“well, the truth is...i probably don’t need to buy anything right now.”
“i know, i know...but, it’s time i faced the truth: i have more clothing than any forty women need.”
“forty is lowballing it.”
“just couldn’t let it lie, could you?”
“okay, so, then, what? kramerbooks?”
“and more unread books than any fifty women need.”
“well, since you’re being difficult, you pick it.”
there are all sorts of things i could have said. places we could have gone. we were in dupont circle, for crying out loud. so, i’m not entirely sure what made me choose to say: “let’s walk up to the pleasure place.”
there are lots of great things about having a best friend. someone whose shoulder you can cry on when your heart is broken. someone who will honestly tell you if those pants make your ass look huge. someone who supports you in your irrational anger, and then, at just the right moment, tells you that you’re being a freak and you need to get over it. and yet another one of those great things about having a best friend is being able to say “cool. i’ve been meaning to pick up a new vibrator...and maybe some ben wa* balls,” without any fear of recrimination.
“sweet. let’s get the check and get out of here.”
we made our way up the street and then down the steps that lead to the store. we discussed the attributes of various potions and lotions.
“i don’t like that one. it smells like flowers. that would creep me out.”
“creep you out?”
“i don’t want a flower smell...you know...in that general vicinity. that’s weird to me. i like the other ones. this cherry almond one is a standby for me. good stuff."
“so, it’s okay if your general vicinity smells like food, but not like flowers.”
we moved on to the other accoutrements found at the pleasure place.
“wow! check out this patent pleather nurse’s outfit!”
“hmmmm...i don’t know. i don’t like the way the arms are cut. i think it would make my arms look flabby. i swear, i have got to get back to the gym.”
“me too, look at this...yuck.”
“what about this?” she said, holding up what looked like a bunch of strings hanging from a hanger. “this would look hot on you.”
“first of all: who am i wearing that for?! second: not my color.”
leave it to a couple of women to think that a man, when faced with a living breathing woman standing in front of him in a patent pleather nurse’s uniform with red crosses on the nippular places would think about her arms. or that the fishnet body stocking she's wearing would be more flattering in a different color.
“all right, let’s see what we have here....”
“this one is pretty.”
“did you say ‘this one is pretty?’”
“yeah. it’s purple!”
“it’s purple. what sort of reason is that to buy it, ‘it’s purple?’ it’s not a sweater, it’s a vibrator. look at that...it has a cord. you don’t want one with a cord. who wants one with a cord? you don’t want to have to worry about a cord. that is just a hassle.”
“i just said it was purple. i like purple. did i ever tell you that there was a time when i was young when i would only wear purple clothes?”
“aw, that’s so cute.”
“yeah...my grandmothers made most of my stuff then because there weren’t a whole lot of purple clothes out there. oh my god, that is the hugest butt plug I have ever seen. It’s ginormous!”
“what am i supposed to do with that?”
“well, there aren’t any pictures on the box, but i’m pretty sure you’re supposed to....”
“ha ha. what about this one?”
she held up a box that had “the rabid rabbit” scrawled across the top of it.
“i’m not sure i want anything that uses the word ‘rabid,' uh...in my general vicinity. call me crazy. rabies? not sexy.”
“well, i had one like this, and it was awesome. only it was a beaver instead of a rabbit,” she said as she handed me the box. “check it out.”
“you ‘had’ one like it? what happened to it?”
“my boyfriend kept it.”
“yeah, when we broke up he kept it.”
“that is wrong. wrong on about sixteen levels. what kind of man keeps a woman’s vibrator?! i mean, what is he going to do with that? one certainly hopes he’s not going to…you know…recycle. so, then, what? that is just spite. you know, that had to be all the reassurance you needed, right there, that this was not a guy you wanted to stay with. keeping a woman’s vibrator. that pretty much says it all about what kind of person he is. good riddance.”
“this one looks just like it, only it’s the rampant rabbit. no rabies. so, what do you think?”
“i’m almost sure this is the one they had on sex and the city. samantha wore it out and then mourned its death.”
“and you say it’s good. although....”
“i don’t get the pearls. plus...yeah, i don’t know...this is weird.”
“he has a face.”
“the rabbit. he has a face. and he’s smiling. and he has little...arms. seriously, i don’t know about that. i don’t really think it’s necessary for the rabbit to have a little smiley face. and it’s definitely not necessary to give it creepy little arms. it’s not a pet.”
“maybe you should give him a name since he has a face. you know, something generically manly and not foo-foo-bunny cute. nothing like thumper or anything like that. how about...frank?”
“sure. why not?”
“frank the rabbit?”
“i don’t know....”
“frank the rabbit is the giant psychotic creepy rabbit who is the harbinger of the end of the world or something equally bad in donnie darko. frank the rabbit scared the shit out of me!”
“never saw that movie.”
“oh, that movie is awesome. you totally have to see it. jake gyllenhaal is in it. he’s kind of hot....”
“there you go, you could name him jake. that’s manly. and not some giant scary rabbit.”
“okay, i still don’t get the pearls.”
“have you given any thought to the idea that maybe, just maybe, you are overthinking your purchase? hmm? so, you stand here and ponder the far-reaching ramifications of whether you should get the rabid rabbit or the rampant rabbit or the whatever and i’m going to go look for some ben wa balls.”
“i thought i saw some over there.”
“no, just anal beads.”
“oh. well all i know is there were some purple ones that were really pretty.”
and as we stepped out onto the bustling street, we were immediately stopped by a couple who appeared to be in their sixties.
"excuse us, we're visiting from out of town, and we're looking for a restaurant called siesto, or sieste," the man asked.
too late, i noticed his wife was looking down. i was too busy paying attention to her husband's question to think quickly enough to turn my bag to the side. my shopping bag. with "the pleasure place" written across it in giant letters.
"uh...well, i'm not sure. you might mean sette, which is right there," i said, gesturing with one hand, while trying to gracefully slip my bag to the side. "or you might mean sesto senso, which is several blocks south, on this side of the street."
her eyes had left my bag and were now focused on the window behind my friend. in the window is a silver male mannequin lounging on his side with his legs spread. he's sporting a red feather boa.
and a red strap on.
"well, okay, thank you," he said. "we'll check the closest first."
"good luck," i said.
they started off down the street, and i grabbed my friend's arm, about to burst into laughter when the woman turned around and headed back toward us.
"excuse me," she said. "did you girls just come out of that shop?"
i looked at my friend. suddenly i felt like i was about to be in serious trouble.
"yes," i said, feeling my face grow warm.
"well...do you know if they have any pasta shaped like penises?"
i thought i was going to collapse on the sidewalk.
"yes, as a matter of fact, i believe they do."
"thank you, girls."
and, just like that, she turned and walked back toward her husband, waiting on the corner.
we looked at one another, our mouths hanging open. then we locked arms and laughed as we walked toward dinner.
"all i know is that i'm so relieved," my friend said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
"relieved?" i asked.
"yeah, relieved. thank god we didn't have to break her heart and tell her that they're out of ben wa balls."
*edited because apparently it isn't spelled with an "h." i guess my mind was somewhere other than spellcheck...not that "ben wah" -- or "ben wa" for that matter -- is in the spellcheck dictionary. anyway...edited.
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