A week before Valentine’s Day, one of my friends urged me to
come to a lingerie party she was hosting in her home.
A week before Valentine’s Day, one of my friends urged me to come to a lingerie party she was hosting in her home.
“No way,” I said. “Shopping for lingerie is in the same category as trying on bathing suits or wearing underwear made from rubber bands. Let me know when you’re pushing air-tight plastic containers again.”
“Come on, it might put some romance back into your life,” she insisted. “Besides, you might find something perfect for Valentine’s Day.”
The mere thought of lingerie on my body made me cringe, but I couldn’t resist the chance to spend time with a group of people who weren’t going to be leaving their jackets on the floor of the hallway, or rolling their eyes every time I said something about the importance of doing homework or flossing.
I showed up early to browse through the merchandise. After scanning the table twice, I realized there weren’t any garments I recognized.
“What’s that?” I pointed to a pair of panties with no backside.
“This is a thong,” the presenter said. “They are great because when you wear them you can’t see any panty lines under your clothes.”
I stared in disbelief. After having two kids, the only kinds of thongs I ever wear belong on my feet. I moved down the table and carefully lifted a red garment with black lace that looked like two round doilies basted loosely together.
“That’s from our ‘Exotic Romance collection,’ ” the presenter said. “It’s our biggest seller.”
“I’ll take it!” I figured it was a bargain because I could put it under knick-knacks in the living room, or use it as coasters.
“Wait until you see the teddies,” my friend said.
I knew she meant the intimate kind with snaps, and not stuffed bears, but I wasn’t prepared for her to hand me a garment that was the same size as a bathing suit for a Chihuahua.
“I don’t think that’s my size.”
“Sure it is,” she insisted. “Try it on.”
As I went into the bathroom, eyeing the teddy suspiciously, I wondered what would happen if I got hurt. What if it was so tight it cut off the oxygen supply to my brain and I couldn’t call for help? What if no one noticed I was missing until a guest wandered into the bathroom to try on a chemise and garter set, and found me on the floor, strangled by a teddy?
When it was finally snapped up, I knew everything would be OK as long as I didn’t try to stand upright or take a deep breath. Woozy, I disentangled myself from the teddy and quickly got dressed so I could go find something more my style, but I knew there was no hope – I was trapped inside the body of a mother.
The other guests arrived, and I sat down to watch the presentation. When it was over, I still hadn’t found anything right for me, so I grabbed my purse and headed towards the door.
“Don’t you want a special nightie for Valentine’s Day?” my friend said.
“Sure,” I said. “Do you have something washable, preferably flannel, since it gets kind of cold at our house? And I’d like it to have deep pockets, deep enough to hold extra tissue and cold medicine for when the kids get sick, and maybe a flashlight if the power ever goes out, and maybe I even squeeze in snacks to bring from the refrigerator when the family’s gathered around the TV.”
The other guests were silent. I quickly thanked my friend and turned to leave. As I reached the door, I pretended not to hear what I’m positive I heard someone whisper: “Gee, she doesn’t get out much, does she?”