Last week, after a trip to the frozen yogurt store, Chris, the boys and I found ourselves bumming around our neighborhood Barnes and Noble. While Chris looked at bicycle magazines and the boys busied themselves trying to find yet another new Pokemon book, I dug through the clearance bin hoping to find something good. And after just a few minutes, I did.
“Look what I found!” I crowed as I hustled over to Chris, waving the book in my hand. “Isn’t this hilarious?”
“Make Your Own…Sex Toys? Oh, my God, go put that back,” he muttered, his eyes darting over to a teenage jock inexplicably reading home decorating magazines. “There’s no way I’m standing next to you at the checkout if you’re buying that book.”
“Why not?” I asked, clutching it to my chest. “You know I’m not actually going to MAKE any of these sex toys, I’m just going to laugh at them. But hey, if it makes you feel better, I’ll happily tell the clerk that I’m buying it ironically. Like a hipster. Like those people who have mustaches and wear skinny jeans and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon on purpose. Which, now that I think of it, kind of also describes my dad, only he doesn’t have a knitted beanie and… ”
“Put. It. Back.”
“OK, OK, fine. But just know that the clerk can probably guess by my nice purse and full set of teeth that we really don’t need this DIY sex toy book because we can easily afford to buy all of the factory-made sex toys we want. Did you hear me? All of the factory-made sex toys we want, baby! Bring on the batteries! Bzzzzzzz!”
After that, he didn’t really say much and just inched his way toward the Guns and Ammo section, so I reluctantly put the book back in the clearance bin. But then I found myself thinking about it the whole next week. Like some creepy self-published itch that needed to be scratched. So yesterday, I went back to Barnes and Noble and, miracle of miracles, the book was still sitting in the clearance bin. (And just the fact that I thought there’d be tons of other people also interested in ironically buying it pretty much explains why I don’t have a lot of friends in my neighborhood and never get invited to Megan Thompson’s Glitzy Bitches Bunco night.)
The “Make Your Own Sex Toys” book finally in my hot little hands, I cheerfully made my way to the front of the store to check out, but then—I froze. Because all of a sudden it hit me how humiliating it could be to actually buy this book in the bookstore I’ve frequented for almost 6 years. I mean, after this, the bloom would totally be off the rose. My nickname would go from “The Blonde Dimwit Who Keeps Harassing Us to Play Manilow In the Coffee Shop” to “The Cheap Ass Hornydog.” And that’s a downgrade I certainly wasn’t willing to make at this point in my life.
So after spending some time deep thinking in the teenage vampire section, I re-approached the checkout with an airtight plan. Smiling at the clerk who looked like she’d never even seen a PG movie, I placed a copy of Cat Fancy magazine on the counter, then quietly slid Make Your Own Sex Toys over it. Then before she could get a good look at the title, I quickly swung my arm around and loudly plopped a Children’s Bible on the top of the stack. Total masterstroke, my friends. Seriously, if the CIA was tracking my book purchases, they’d have to call in a mental health specialist to figure that shit out.
To my great relief, it looked like everything was proceeding as planned. The clerk scanned my three items without expression, and I finally let out my breath, knowing I was just seconds away from escaping without embarrassment. Then she told me my total. And the Sex Toys book that had been marked with a $4.95 clearance price? Had rung up at the full $14.95 list price. F-ckity! F-ck! F-ck! That kind of bullshit is exactly why I bought the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy on my Kindle the way good smut is supposed to be bought: in secret and in shame.
Now quietly panicking, I stared stupidly at the sweet faced clerk, debating if it was worth an extra $10 to have her not peg me as a budget conscious pervert. But then I realized I kind of was a budget conscious pervert, so I decided to say something. “Just be cool,” I told myself before opening my mouth. “Simply tell her that she rang up the red book at the wrong price. You’re an adult. You’re a mother of two. You own real estate. You can do this.”
So I put on my best Stepford Wives placid expression, cleared my throat and then I oh so smoothly blurted out, “I’M SORRY MA’AM BUT YOU’RE CHARGING ME TOO MUCH FOR THE DO IT YOURSELF SEX TOYS BOOK THAT I’M JUST BUYING IRONICALLY WHICH YOU PROBABLY KNEW FROM MY NICE PURSE AND FULL SET OF TEETH BUT TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT THE BOOK IS REALLY FUNNY ESPECIALLY THE CROCHETED GIMP MASK ON PAGE 106 THAT I’M DEFINITELY NEVER GOING TO MAKE JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I CAN TOTALLY AFFORD TO BUY MY SEX TOYS FROM A STORE BUT MOSTLY I’M NOT MAKING IT BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CROCHET I MEAN WHO DOES KNOW HOW TO CROCHET SO PLEASE RE-RING IT THANK YOU GOOD-BYE AND ALSO TELL EVERYONE MY NAME IS MEGAN THOMPSON.”
Thank god there’s Amazon.com because that’s pretty much where I’ll be buying my books for the rest of my life.
Lest you think making your own gimp mask is selfish, the book advises you to also “Help the Aged” by “lending it to an elderly relative during the cold winter months.” Now do you see why I couldn’t resist?