I was simply being a supportive friend, I told myself, holding the glass dildo up in the air.
“Don’t be fooled. This dildo isn’t at all fragile,” said Diane to the women gathered in Cherry Manning’s living room. “Meagan, would you please pass it around?”
“Of course,” I said graciously, like I was passing a cheeseball instead of a sex toy. I watched the dildo travel around the room being admired by a bunch of moms, mostly in their early forties. It was Diane’s first “SexToyz R Us” party and she’d talked me into coming to assist. This was actually a ruse, since my real purpose was to be a shoulder to cry on should she not sell anything or simply look foolish. Frankly, I thought that the foolish threshold went down at a sex toys party so I wasn’t worried. Besides, up until now, she had come across as charming and knowledgeable.
“Why is it made out of glass?” asked a pointy woman with a tight up-do.
“It’s non-porous so it’s easy to clean. And it adapts quickly to your temperature,” said Diane with a smile.
Ah, Jesus, I thought. Is it really worth it? I mean, all I think of when I look at a glass dildo is “vaginal tear”. I’ve never been much of a sex toys girl. Mostly, they make me giggle and I worry that something’s going to get stuck and I’ll pass out – only to wake up in an emergency room wearing nothing but a papery gown and a butt-plug. Besides, sex toys would be irrelevant for Kurt and me. We’d been on a total of three dates and had gotten as far as a make-out session in his car. This was unlike my dating life pre-Wes. I used to the kind of girl who ignored the rules and did it the first time out. But years of little to dry sex with my distant husband, had made me feel like a novice again.
“I’ll take one of these,” Cherry giggled.
Cherry was a childhood friend of Diane’s who I had met only a couple of times previously. I gathered that they had a falling out for years but reconnected after Cherry also got divorced. I had come into Diane’s life relatively recently. Our sons went to the same elementary school for a while. In fact, I wasn’t too nuts about Diane when we first met. She was very put-together, very skinny — a rah-rah mom, heading up committees and planting trees on campus on the weekends. Not that there’s anything wrong with over-achieving moms like this. It’s just that they intimidate the hell out of me. I only softened toward her when she began to let it all go to hell while her husband was having an affair. Our friendship was sealed after she convinced me to ditch a PTA meeting and join her for a pitcher of margaritas instead.
Diane rummaged in her sex toy kit and brought out a small skin colored plastic mound, “And this, ladies, is a plastic vagina!”
She passed it to me and I gingerly presented it to one side of the group and the other. Then I dropped it into the hands of the woman next to me.
“What do we want with a vagina?” asked Cherry, with another attendant giggle that I was beginning to realize was habitual.
“Some men prefer it for backdoor action,” said Diane. “Also, you can leave it with your man when you’re out of town.”
I’ll stop with the details right here and I’m not answering questions on any of the above. If this is at all upsetting to read, imagine how upsetting it was to watch a group of moms cluck over a hairless, plastic vagina. Enough said. Skip to — after Diane’s presentation: she was sitting at a table selling toys as a line wound into the hallway. I sat next to her, handing out the sold items.
“I’ll take two of the glass dildos, in case one breaks,” said Marianne, another friend of Diane’s. As I reached down for two boxes, I wondered, are we acknowledging here, that one might break? But, at this point, I was reserving all reactions for the debriefing Diane and I would surely have in the car.
As another woman stepped up to make a purchase, Marianne squatted next to Diane, “Bad timing, I know. But I didn’t want you to hear this from anyone else. William’s leaving Serena. He just hasn’t told the children yet.”
William was Diane’s ex-husband (who she only referred to as “the lying asshole fucking weak ass shit for brains perv”) and Serena was the early twenties hand model (who Diane referred to as “hand job”) that he had left her for.
Diane’s eyes got round but I couldn’t read the expression. It was clear that she was having a strong reaction though; because she dropped a box of anal beads and bonked her head twice on the table — once bending down to retrieve it, and a second time coming up. After that, she managed to answer questions and deal with purchases, but I could tell she wasn’t her usual x-rated, extrovert self.
An hour or so later, after loading the remaining boxes in the car and pulling away from the curb, Diane let it rip, “That lying asshole fucking weak ass shit for brains perv left Hand Job already! For that he leaves the kids and me? For a two year shack-up?”
I didn’t know what to say since I was confused. I would have thought that, given how angry she was at William, she might be thrilled that his relationship didn’t work out. I looked out my window and let her rail for a few minutes, until it started to affect her driving. Eventually, she drove up on a curb, rounding a corner to fast.
“Sweetie,” I said. “You’ve got to slow down. You don’t want this to kill you literally. Or me.”
Diane decelerated a tad, “Don’t you see? If their relationship is over, than what the fuck did he leave me for?”
I wanted to say that William left for tons of reasons, probably, not just Serena. I’m not excusing The Perv. I never much liked him. But a man doesn’t walk out on his marriage, three kids, and social life (with half his former income), for a piece of ass with nice hands. There’s got to be more of a story there. I couldn’t say this to Diane, of course, because I didn’t want to hurt her even more. Plus, she was driving.
“Aw, honey, I’m so sorry,” I said. “Obviously, William…sorry, the perv doesn’t know what he wants. And I know that it doesn’t feel like it now, but you’re better off. You should only be with a man who’s totally crazy about you.”
“But the perv was crazy about me. At first.”
Diane looked over at me, her face soft with grief.
“I know it’s hard, “ I said. “But stop looking backwards at what you’ve lost. Look Forward. Look ahead of you.”
Suddenly my heart clutched as I realized Diane was still looking at me instead of the road, “Look ahead of you. RIGHT NOW! BECAUSE YOU’RE DRIVING!”
Diane immediately snapped out of it and turned quickly to the road again.
We drove in silence for a few seconds, my heart pounding; Diane’s eyes glued to the windshield.
Eventually, my pulse slowed and I looked over at Diane.
“Look forward,” she mumbled. “Yeah, right. I’m headed into the future with a trunk full of glass dildos and plastic vaginas.”