Last year, as i was in the pantry searching for vegan ingredients, i stumbled upon Dave's mom's stash of chocolate vagina pops. I can only speculate, but i imagine Ponce De Leon felt this way when he found Florida. "Holy shit, Claudine!" i yelled. "LOOOOOOOK!" There were several of them, and i imagine they were left over from her acting stint in The Vagina Monologues starring opposite Babs DeLay, our town's most famous lesbian (who once told Dave his wife was one 'seriously sexy woman'. Thanks, Babs!). Whatever their origin, it was a spectacular holiday find.
I miss my family terribly this time of year, but this year it was simply too much to haul the kids home 8 months pregnant. Don't get me wrong, i love Dave's family, all of them, but they are insane. Luckily, my mom was able to come out last week and we got most everything done for Christmas early. So i thought i was done and ready to chill a bit until yesterday when my father-in-law let me know that he had bought nothing for his wife and would like me to take care of this. I was thinking along the lines of a sweater from Coldwater Creek or some other old people store, or perhaps some nice jewelry. But since her two daughters who know her best are both in town, i decided to turn to them for a better idea. I was in no way prepared for their answer.
"We were thinking a Camelbak water backpack and a 'special treat' from the back room of Cahoots," replied Annie. Cahoots is a novelty store with a back room filed with giant dildos, penis vases, and 'anal training kits'.
-"I just threw up in my mouth," i responded.
-"I know, it's gross, but she would really love it," she said.
-"Holy Christ. I'm so glad my parents have never had sex. Um, ok, i'll come pick you up around three?"
In the car, Annie explained that since her dad's prostate surgery last year, there have been 'issues' in the bedroom. I had already become privy to this unsettling visual, thanks to Dave's mom's giant yap. According to Annie, she's telling everyone who will listen about the impotence issues, and how much it sucks for her. "Jesus Christ," said my husband. "Fucking eww. Like what are they, a hundred? Why do they need to hump anyway? My poor dad..."
But in Annie and Claudine's opinion, a dildo for mom was just the ticket. Maybe this would shut her up, they suggested. "If someone gets you a dildo for Christmas, it's time to shut up about it," Annie said. Agreed. On to Cahoots.
The only thing more ridiculous than two pregnant ladies in the dildo store is two pregnant ladies in the dildo store shopping for their mother/mother-in-law. The first thing to catch my eye was the pregnant blow-up fuck doll. "She's Got A Bun In The Oven And She's Ready For Another!" declared the box excitedly. Oh my gross. There was also a midget doll and a "Fatty Patty" doll, whose package touts "NOW THAT'S A BIG BITCH!" Another doll was simply called "John" and had "no holes or openings". He is, as one website claims, 'Suitable for propping up in the cubicle of a co-worker you suspect is homosexual.' Good to know. And there was a dirty old man inflatable doll, which we bought, because "Isn't he the cutest?" asked the clerk. Yes. So cute. Not fucking disgusting at all.
On to the actual dildos. What gets me about sex shops and dildos is the juvenile nature of so many of them. They're like My Little Ponies or something. Clit stimulators posing as little pink and purple plastic butterflies, vibrators that look like rainbow unicorns. Is this Toys R' Us? Just because you're female, you're supposed to want to fuck dolphins and rabbits? Weird. And if you're a man, you are supposed to be a rapist, pretty goth, and definitely Krazy 'Bout Anus. And don't forget to know your cock ring size. Because with a strict no-return policy, i'm pretty sure you can't try them on.
Now, buying a dildo for someone else's genitals, particularly senior citizen genitals, is a conundrum on top of a conundrum. Bigger? Smaller? Less scary? Batteries or not? Are you puking yet? The one thing that was for sure was that the El Baron Latino and the Latin King were out. Since taking in Annie's Mexican stepson this winter, hispanics of any kind (even barons and kings) are not high on the list for the mother-in-law, and i suspected this would cause more anger than arousal. Plus you just can't go too lifelike when selecting a sex toy for your mother. Wrinkled balls are just out of the question.
After a phone consultation with Claudine, we decided on the Rabbit. We'd heard good things about it, and at $120, it couldn't be bad, right? I still couldn't believe this was happening in the first place, and the expense was pretty mind-blowing. Plus, we hadn't run this by Dave's dad yet, the benefactor for this entire ridiculous spree. I mean, this is supposed to be a gift from him. This was my main concern about the whole endeavor: how would he feel about this? My guess was 'pretty goddamned bummed out'. Like, what better Christmas news than this: "Hey!! Your wife won't stop bitching about your temporary, post-surgical sexual ineptitude, so your daughters got her this big fat crazy vibrator from you! Ho ho fucking ho!!!"
And my guess was right. When we returned to their house with said Rabbit and showed Dave's dad, i told Annie that she was on her own with this part, but i was so curious to see his face that i followed into the bedroom where she revealed the Rabbit. His face went from confused to disappointed to a mix of shock/sorrow/amusement. Then, to my utter horror, he said, shaking the Rabbit at me like a finger scolding a child,
-"Now whose idea was this? Rachel, was this your idea?"
-"Are you KIDDING me, Will? No WAY."
Annie was laughing and told him it was his daughters who had come up with the plan, and then spent a long time trying to convince him and explain that this giant vibrating monstrosity would be best for mom, and really for everyone. I left the room at that point and went to recover and rub my forehead in the family room. When Annie finally emerged, she said that "He wasn't into it, but it may just take some time." Christmas is the day after tomorrow. I'll keep you posted as to how this whole debacle turns out. If it's a disaster, i guess one of us could try it out. Or we could Ebay it. Or how about both? "Up for auction: One gently used mom dildo, $50."
So it turned out as well as could be expected, i think. Christmas was lovely. Claudine made a killer vegan coffee cake, the kids all had a twinkle in their eye, some very thoughtful gifts were exchanged, everyone got Shakira perfume from K-Mart for some reason....and my mother-in-law was THRILLED about her dildo. Christmas truly had arrived.
We agreed the gift would best be given by the girls, and not Will. So after the initial bout of gift exchange was over, the sisters and i took Linda into her home office/self-glorification room to reveal the Rabbit, and she squealed with delight like a kid with a new Lego set, or someone who is age-appropriate for receiving a vibrator, perhaps. She told us she'd been meaning to get one for herself, as per the advice of all her girlfriends, but hadn't gotten around to it. She cooed about "how hard it was", and said "Yesssssss!" when we told her it did indeed vibrate--and then some.
-"I'll let you know how it goes!" she told us excitedly.
-"Um, or don't," said Claudine.
-"Yeah", said Annie, "that was kinda the point. Like, maybe you can stop talking about it now."
Evidently oblivious to our request for reticence, she continued on, telling us that her husband actually had a sex toy of his own already, but "wasn't using it much". At this point, Beau walked in, and we all screamed maniacally at him to leave the room.
-"What?" he asked. "What are you guys doing?"
-"NOTHING!! OUT OUT OUT!" we shrieked in unison.
-"Okay! God..." said Beau, backing away slowly in fear and confusion.
According to my husband, back in the living room, Claudine's daughter Katie was busy interrogating her dad, Pete, about the whole situation. She is 12 and very smart--hopefully not smart enough to figure this one out. Pete has an awesomely deadpan demeanor that must have made this hilarious to watch.
-"What is it? TELL ME."
-"NO, Katie. Do not go in there."
-"Because i said so."
-"What is it ? Just tell me."
-"No. I'll tell you when you're 21."
And so forth. If you ask me, 16 is too young to drive, and 21 is too young to find out about your grandma's dildo. But at least by then she can numb the pain and stop the shaking with a few shots of whiskey, an army blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
Shortly later, Linda emerged from her office to embrace her husband in the kitchen, effusive about her gift. "Now we can use our sex toys together!" she gushed, hugging him. He looked reserved and slightly embarrassed, but smiled nonetheless.
"Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse," said Annie. "There it is."