It was my husband's birthday weekend, so naturally, as any good wife will do, I wanted to give him an offer he couldn't refuse (no, not "sleep with the fishes" kind). Well, an offer no man ever refuses, actually.
So, we were going to go lingerie shopping, as normal married couples who still really really like to do stuff with their soulmates will do.
We were out of town, spending a long weekend on in the sleepy, dreamy town of Carlsbad, California, just outside of San Diego. We had booked a beachfront hotel with a lot of our frequent-travel points and picked up some good novels to read on the beach. It had been a really long week, and we were looking forward to time with just the two of us.
So, we headed out in search of the closest Victoria's Secret. It was a Saturday, around 8pm. Finding a mall, we were dismayed that it looked a little deserted. I ran up to the door to check the business hours, and, sure enough, it closed at 8. "What mall closes at 8pm on a Saturday?', we couldn't help but wonder, feeling more than a little disappointed.
I, always being up for a good time, started doing a phone search of the area, looking for lingerie stores similar to the ones we have in Phoenix. You know, the ones where you go with your girlfriend to giggle at all the toys and yell across the room, "Hey! Have you ever tried this one?!" and take turns smacking each other with paddles emblazoned with the word "love slave" and wondering if the chocolate body paint is really as good as Hershey's (it isn't). As a side note, we did also wander into section where there was a video ad for "Clone Your Guy"; a "kit" with a mold maker and THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING. Only as we wandered by the display and glanced up at the tv screen, my friend couldn't help but blurt out, "Okay, this is a 'clone your GUY' kit. So why is the GIRL naked?" file this question under "Things we'll ask God about someday." Actually, probably not, because I'm not entirely sure that section of the store was God-approved. But it sure is good for giggles, (and for penis shaped confetti, which made it's debut in my life at my bachelorette dinner).
Anyway, anyway, anyway.
I hit upon a store called the Love Boutique about a 10 minute drive away. We headed in that direction because hey, who wouldn't want to go to a "Love Boutique"? I verified that it had a large assortment of bras and negligees that I was looking for and provided the directions to my raised Baptist, easily unnerved adorable husband. *keep this information in the forefront of your mind.
Pulling into the parking lot, we drove around to the front of the building and my husband just stopped. He was staring at something out of the corner of his eye, but wouldn't directly look at whatever had just unnerved him.
Oh, just a gaggle of people who looked similar to vampires hanging out near the front entrance, puffing on cigarettes, their heads encircled with wispy clouds of smoke, making them appear even more dastardly.
"Maybe they're just having a Halloween party," I suggest.
"Ok but Halloween was LAST week, so why would they have a Halloween party in November?"
"Well, you've got me there."
I stared as my husband rolled by, a look of trepidation on his face. He was now having an intense internal debate. How desperately do I want to have this night go as planned? How willing am I to wait until Victoria's opens tomorrow to fire this idea up?"
Answer: More Than Willing.
Feeling as though we were under attack by these slovenly-appearing vampires, my husband presses hard on the gas pedal and we are headed out to the main road.
That is, until Naked Santa comes darting out from the side of the building and high-tails it across our headlights, disappearing into the darkness of the parking lot.
My husband slams on the brakes and we pitch forward, looking at each other like, did that just happen?
"Okay. It can't just be me that saw a man in tiny santa shorts and a santa hat and nothing else almost get run over by us, right? I didn't imagine that?"
I nod in solidarity with my completely unnerved, wide-eyed husband who has now not only witnessed lingerie store vampires, but also a nearly naked Santa Claus in the span of 30 seconds.
"I saw it too. WHY IS THAT GUY WEARING THAT AND RUNNING THROUGH THE PARKING LOT?!"
"And why are there both vampires AND Santa Claus? This doesn't go together at all. Let's get out of here."
"I need to get pictures. GO SLOW!"
And so we rolled quietly through the parking lot, me catching a blurred action shot of naked santa and also of the smoking vampiress still hanging out.
"Do you still want to go in?" I ask, started to really giggle at my husband's terrified face.
"Aww, it's probably just a party, let's check it out!"
"I'll let you pick out some elephant shaped boxers or something, you know, the kind where the trunk is for...."
So off we drive, he being taken aback by all that was witnessed, me fervently searching on my phone for any kind of parties or special festivals the Love Boutique was currently having, to answer some questions.
And then, I found our answers.
Not only that ya'll, but there are even MORE classes in which to partake at the boutique! So I read the descriptions aloud to my husband as he drove.
"Hey! So they have bondage classes too! Is that a thing? There's like classes where you can learn to hog-tie and all that jazz? I thought that was a "learn as you go" thing for the bedroom, or, at the very most, found in a helpful manual on the naughty shelf at Barnes and Noble."
"I'm serious! It even says bondage-friendly clothing is suggested. Is what I'm wearing bondage friendly? Because I just don't know."
"The jeans might be a problem."
"True. Contortionism is, I'd assume, difficult in jeans."
I kept reading.
"Oh, I guess jeans AREN'T suggested. It says I have to have my areolas covered at all times, AND I can buy pasties at the Love Boutique itself! I'm just impressed that the vampire naked santa store knows the correct anatomical term of "areolas". But I'd probably just wear a shirt. Oh, dangit, it's only on the 1st Thursday and 3rd Friday of each month. No hog-tying me this month, buddy boy!"
"The class is called All Tied Up! It says it's for newbies AND experienced Top/Bottoms alike?
So you have to choose a Top/Bottom and stick with that forever? There's no spontaneity or varied position changes? That doesn't sound very progressive to me. 'Well, guess I'll be here on the bottom again. Here's the rope. Watch my areolas.'"
"Hey! There's also something called Club X. It says it's San Diego's largest pansexual leather group. What's a pansexual?"
"I have no idea. All I wanted was some new lingerie for you."
"Well now I have to google 'pansexual'. Okay! So it's someone who's totally fluid in their sexuality. Like, does it with whatever. Now we know. They even have their own flag."
"Learn something new every day."
"I'd say we've learned a lot today. Happy Birthday, Baby!"
*For those interested in Club X in the greater San Diego area, they do state that "Our primary goal is that of education with secondary goals of activism and social activities. We hold monthly meetings to this end."
In my mind, that directly translates to, "If you'd like to have us on career day at your kids' school to display our goals of education, activism and social activities, we'd be happy to oblige and will make sure to cover our areolas and use gluten-free, vegan rope."
And we did, for the record, have a good weekend after that. After all, Victoria's opened at 10am. ;)