I want my mom to come visit me at work. She won't.
To be clear, I want her to visit me because she's my friend and it might be kind of fun, but I definitely don't want her to buy anything when I'm around. There a few things worse than the prospect of my mom as a sexual being. I don't even like it when I catch her sucking on a Popsicle.
I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately for my mom, she reads this column regularly, so by now she's been treated to a lot of butt-sex talk. My dad refuses to read this because it offends his sensibilities, but oddly enough he has been to my job. My parents are nothing if not consistently surprising.
My dad is a man who buttons his top shirt button. Relatively recently, he rediscovered Christianity and he likes making it pretty clear that he thinks I need Jesus. But while I was talking to him on the phone the other day, he asked me about work and made some crack about dildos and it struck me that he was just a little too familiar with them. I had to hang up.
"My mom has this!" he screamed. "She told me she uses it to watch TV! Aw this is sick!" For the record, the Liberator is essentially a medical wedge, which are devices sold for totally innocuous purposes. She very well might have been telling the truth. But MAYBE NOT.
One of my all-time favorite customers was a sweet, genteel looking woman (think Mamie Eisenhower, without the bangs) who came in and dropped several hundred dollars on vibrators. She said she was in town visiting her twin sons (who where in their thirties) and she was in a rush because if she wasn't back in 45 minutes they would start to worry about her.
Think about that. Her sons considered their mother to be so feeble that if she disappeared for more than 45 minutes it meant she was either dead or in trouble. Meanwhile, she's out buying her weight in sex toys. Amazing.
Our shopping bags have "The Pleasure Chest" written in huge letters on the side, so people will often ask for a more discreet bag. Sometimes, it's a young person who doesn't want their parents to know where they've been shopping, but more often, the request is made by folks around our parents' age, who don't want their kids to know.
As an adult, it can be tough to navigate a relationship with your folks if don't have anything in common with them. As I may have already mentioned, because a part of an episode of Sex & the City was filmed in our store, we're a stop on the SATC tour. There's a large number of mother and daughter teams that go on it, who are all obviously attempting to bond.
Generally, the moms aren't embarrassed to be in a sex toy store with their offspring but their daughters stand around looking seasick.
Once, an older lady started cracking jokes about the tour while I was ringing up her purchases (she'd bought gum and some penis shaped straws). She was pretty funny, but her daughter seemed a little uptight and was clearly humiliated. She told her mom to hurry it up.
The mom, without missing a beat said, "She's just upset because she's thirty and this is her first time in a sex store. And she's with her mom. Don't be mad at me, dear, because you don't have a boyfriend or friends." The daughter screamed, "FML!" with her eyes and fled the store.