“Tell me again why we’re at a senior community?” my best friend Natalia scoffed.
That was the same question I’d been asking myself ever since Clarice Waverly, the eighty-nine-year-old woman whose house I cleaned on a weekly basis, asked me to host a sex toy party.
Was I proud of my moonlighting profession?
Actually, sometimes hosting one party for Frisky Business made me more money than a whole week of cleaning houses. You’d be surprised by the things you’d do when you’re a twenty-five-year-old single mom trying desperately to make a better life for your child.
Was I a bad person for ignoring the fact that Clarice was somewhat senile and probably hadn’t a clue as to what she and her senior citizen friends were getting into tonight?
But, she was my seventh party of the month, which meant a two-hundred-fifty-dollar bonus. That was two hundred fifty dollars I could stack away and eventually put toward a better place to live for me and my five-year-old daughter, Joey.
“Because that’s what Mrs. Waverly wanted, so what was I supposed to tell her? No?” I replied, taking my boxes from the trunk.
“Faith, you’re going to gives these old ladies a heart attack with this stuff, and I’m going to be an accomplice!”
“Will you just be quiet and give me a hand!” I snapped, heaving a box in her arms.
“Faith, you’re preying on these old women the same way those home shopping channels do,” Natalia continued with her lecture as we walked up the driveway.
“The home shopping channels don’t sell vibrators.” I giggled just as we reached the door.
“And what exactly is an eighty-something-year-old woman going to do with a vibrator?” she asked. My eyes widened at her, and she shook her head in disbelief. “There is no way!”
“How do you know? Are you eighty something years old? You don’t have to stop having fun just because you reach a certain age, and if all else fails, they could always use them as a neck massager.”
“Girl, you are too much.” She shook her head as I rang the doorbell.
Of course Natalia didn’t get my cutthroat sales tactics. She finished college and had a secure, decent paying job. She didn’t get knocked up her sophomore year at a frat party while having drunken sex. That would be me. I was the one who took a detour from my graphic design studies to become a mother to a little munchkin whom I loved more than anything in the world. Every time I looked at my precocious little girl, I didn’t regret it one bit. Cole, her father, was what I called a career student. He changed his major three times, prolonging his education and delaying him from obtaining a job with any meaningful income that would result in the amount of child support I should have been entitled to. Instead, I would take a few dollars whenever he had extra money to spare. We were never really in a relationship, so to speak. We got along great. He was hot. The sex was hotter, and one night the condom broke. He tried to be the best dad he could to Joey, but he was still so immature even at twenty-five years old. I wasn’t too crazy about allowing her overnight stays at his bachelor pad he shared with two other guys. So, when he did take her overnight, he always respected my wishes and would spend the night with her at his parents’ house.
I, on the other hand, was the one who was forced to grow up. I was hardheaded and didn’t want to raise my daughter under my parents’ roof, allowing my overbearing Italian mother to take over my role. Don’t get me wrong, I did love my mom, but sometimes we just didn’t see eye to eye. I was the youngest of three girls, and I often wondered if I was an “oops” baby as well, being that there was a twelve-year difference between me and my middle sister and fourteen years with my oldest one. By the time I came along my mother was just tired. She had to be. After all, she was forty-two years old when she gave birth to me. I had Joey at twenty years old and there were times I’d be counting the seconds until bedtime because she ran me ragged.
When I became pregnant out of wedlock it went against everything my devout Catholic mother believed in. She tried her best to persuade me into marrying Cole just because I was pregnant with his child. Since there was no way in hell that would ever happen, I decided to take my chances of spending eternity there instead. Thirteen years of Catholic education, attending mass every first Friday of the month, every holy day of obligation and every Sunday, I should have known better. That was the standard speech my mother would spew during her many lectures. In a way, I blamed her strict Catholic upbringing for my wild ways in college. I was always a good girl who followed all the rules in high school. My classmates would be drinking, smoking weed, and having sex at parties on the weekends, then get down on their knees at church and pray during the week like they were little angels. The closest I ever came to being a rebel was when Layne Brenner kissed me in the ninth grade and then tried going to second base right before I stopped him. When I think back now, girls were doing a lot worse than letting a guy feel their boobs in ninth grade. A few of them had actually gone all the way before their fourteenth birthday.
Wonder if any of those girls had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. I always heard my mother’s voice in the back of my mind whenever I would even think about doing something rebellious, but once I got to college her voice stopped talking and all those bad girl ways I suppressed in high school came out in full force.
“Are you sure we’re at the right house?” Natalia asked when I rang the bell once again.
“Yes. She might not have heard it the first time. She never wears her hearing aid.”
“Coming!” Mrs. Waverly shouted from behind the door.
“It takes her a while. She has a walker,” I said to Natalia.
“She has a walker, and you’re worried about getting her off!” Natalia shook her head at me.
“What does one have to do with the other, Nat? It’s not like you have to be standing up to use half of these toys.”
We both let out a giggle just as the door flung open. Mrs. Waverly’s smile was a mile wide with her platinum blond wig placed crookedly on her head. “Hello, there, Faith. How are you, honey?”
“I’m good. This is my assistant, Natalia.”
Nat’s eyes burned into me, but I was trying to sound as professional as possible, even though Mrs. Waverly probably wouldn’t even remember this conversation five minutes from now.
“I have some goodies out if you girls would like some. Some of the other ladies will be bringing over more.” She pointed to the package of Chips Ahoy cookies and the bowlful of tiny powdered jelly mints on her dining room table that were so stereotypical of old people.
“So where should we set up?” I asked.
“Oh, right here, dear.” She led us over to an open space in the living room, and I went right to work, wrestling with the old fold-up table that I carried in.
“Okay, smarty-pants, how did you want to set up this sex show?” Natalia smirked as she opened one of the boxes.
“My great-niece just had a baby. I’m hoping you have a little toy I could get her and put away until she’s old enough to play with it,” Mrs. Waverly said as she stood and observed.
Natalia choked on the sip of water she had just taken as she tried to stifle her laughter.
I playfully smacked her on the shoulder and turned my attention to Mrs. Waverly. “Mrs. Waverly, remember I told you these aren’t toys for children? They’re adult toys.”
She stared at me questionably before giving a nod. “Oh, well, then maybe I could pick up a nice jigsaw puzzle for me.” She scanned her living room and pointed to the wall where one of a lilac field hung over her television. “See that one? It took me three months to put that together. I like to have them framed after I spend all that time on them.” The buzz of her doorbell broke her attention. “Oh, here are the girls!” she shouted as she meandered off to let them in.
“Shut up!” I said to Natalia, who was shaking her head and laughing.
“Seriously, Faith? They think they’re going to be buying jigsaw puzzles!”
“I explained the types of products I sell to Mrs. Waverly, and she was all for it. It’s not my fault that she has a hard time remembering.” My stomach churned as the women began to file in. Some of them were my housecleaning clients, and others I had never seen before.
Cheap hairspray and even cheaper perfume wafted through the air as a dozen or so old ladies each tried to talk over the other. Their conversations consisted of their latest ailments, problems they were having with their neighbors, and who took their spot at bingo.
“Clarice, did you invite Sylvia?” Mrs. Downs, another one of my housecleaning clients, asked.
“I did. She didn’t say if she was coming or not, though,” Mrs. Waverly replied.
“Let’s hope not. I’m not in the mood for her loud mouth tonight,” Mrs. Downs sneered.
“Me neither!” another woman shouted. “She thinks she knows everything!”
Now that the time was here, my nerves were finally getting the best of me. How the hell was I going to market this stuff to these women? I could possibly be chased out of this senior community with pitchforks by the time the night was over.
“Okay, ladies, since it looks like we’re all here, let’s get started.” My stomach was doing cartwheels as I stared out at a sea of bouffant hair.
“I’m here!” a loud, boisterous voice shouted from the front door. The look of disdain on some of the women’s faces was a good indication that voice belonged to the infamous Sylvia. All eyes were on the hip looking redheaded woman who had just entered the living room with a tray of food in one hand and a bottle of wine and a cigarette in the other.
“Sylvia! Put that out, for crying out loud!” one of the women grumbled at the sight of the cigarette.
“All right, all right! Keep your shirt on,” she replied as she placed the tray and the wine on the dining room table and walked over to the kitchen sink to run water over her cigarette. Something told me she wasn’t like the rest of the women at this party. She may have been close in age to all of them, but she was definitely more with the times. Her short, modern haircut and her stylish choice of clothing, which included an adorable hot pink tank top and jeweled flip-flops, were a far cry from the teased hair, polyester pants, and orthopedic shoes that filled the rest of the living room.
“I made some cookies and a chocolate babka.”
“Some what, dear?” Mrs. Waverly asked.
“Some desserts, Clarice,” Sylvia spoke a little louder so Mrs. Waverly could hear. These women may not have been too fond of Sylvia, but they certainly didn’t mind her baking, rushing over to the table in a mad stampede.
“Oy vey! You might think they’ve never eaten before,” she whispered to Natalia and me. She examined the items on the table as the other women hovered around the food in the dining room. “Oh! Clarice didn’t say that it was this kind of party.” She grinned and picked up the box containing the edible underwear. “If my Harry were still alive, I would definitely buy these.” She moved closer to Natalia and me and spoke in a loud whisper, “That man could do wonders with his tongue.”
I bit my lip to halt my laughter while Natalia tried disguising hers with a cough. “Well, that’s always a good thing, right?” I was doing my best to keep a straight face.
“Oh, honey, you betcha! You know, once they get to be a certain age, things don’t work as well with them anymore. But as long as he has a good tongue, who needs that shriveled up thing hanging between their legs? Do either of you girls have boyfriends?”
“I do,” Natalia replied.
“Does he have a good tongue?”
Natalia’s gaze fell to the floor. “I-I don’t know.”
“What do you mean, you don’t know? Either he does or he doesn’t.” Words were failing Natalia. “Oh, honey, don’t tell me he’s never gone down to funky town.”
I couldn’t hold back my laughter any longer. For the first time ever, my best friend was speechless.
“Dump him!” Sylvia waved her hand in disgust. “Dump him now and find a man who’s willing to take the plunge...literally.” She let out a loud laugh, followed by a deep cough.
“Sylvia! You must give me the recipe for this chocolate babka,” Mrs. Downs shouted.
Natalia shook her head when Sylvia focused her attention on the women in the dining room. “Am I in the twilight zone or something?” she asked.
“The look on your face….” I tried to pull it together. “Well, does Darius?”
“Does Darius what?” she asked.
“Have a good tongue?” I cackled once again.
“Just remember, paybacks are a bitch.” She pulled in her bottom lip, trying to remain straight-faced, but it was only a matter of seconds before she was giggling too.
Once all the women were done gossiping and had their fair share of desserts, they gathered in the living room, and I prepared for the next hour of hell. Sylvia sat front and center with a glass of wine in her hand. I was secretly hoping they’d all be as open-minded as her, but I knew that was a long shot.
“Okay….” I waited for them to quiet down. “I have a personal question for all of you, ladies. How many of you are sexually active or would like to be?”
Gasps, shrieks, and a few oh my Gods filled the room.
What the hell was I thinking coming here? Was the two-hundred-fifty-dollar bonus even worth the humiliation I was causing myself along with these women? Natalia was right. If we got out of here tonight without calling 911 because someone had a heart attack it would be a miracle.
“Oh my God, will all of you prudes loosen up a little?” Sylvia shouted. “Joan, don’t tell me that you and Richard aren’t still getting it on. I know he’s still got a little spunk in that junk. I’ve seen the way he looks at the young little waitress at the diner when we all go out for coffee.”
“Sylvia!” the woman snapped.
“And, Evelyn, you’re newly divorced. Maybe if you try out one of these vibrating things here, you’ll be wondering why you even needed the asshole ex-husband around in the first place.”
My God, I love this woman for coming to my rescue!
“Now, can we please let this nice girl talk and tell us a little bit about her things that she has here tonight? I for one am very interested.”
I cleared my throat and went on with my sales spiel, toning it down a lot from the one I usually gave. Instead of swaying them to the kinky items like I normally would at parties, I focused more on the body lotions and massage oils, playing up on how well they moisturized the skin. I wasn’t lying. They were great moisturizers, even if they were meant to be applied in a sensual way by your significant other. Lord knows, I used them enough times on myself as a body moisturizer to vouch for that. In a way, I was a lot like these women. Okay, maybe I was about fifty years younger, but some of them probably had a more active sex life than me. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy sex or thought of it as something sacred like I was led to believe my entire life. I just had more important things to tend to than getting laid, and if the urge ever did come upon me, that was where my booty call, Jeff, came into play. He was always ready, willing, and able to help out a girl in need. Even though the last time I had put out an SOS for him had been well over six months ago. Did I use any of the products I sold? I’d never tell.
Slowly and cautiously the women began to make their way up to the table to smell the body lotions and oils. “Oh, smell this one, Joan,” one of the ladies said. My plan was working. I was going to make some sales. It may have been all lotions and oils, but they were sales nonetheless.
“What’s this thing?” the woman wheeling around an oxygen tank asked as she picked up what we in the business referred to as a cock ring.
Mrs. Downs eyed up the package and adjusted her glasses. “It says it’s a double penetrating and ball buzzer penis ring!” Her jaw dropped so low, I thought I’d need a crane to lift it from the ground.
“A what?” another woman shouted.
“It’s a cock ring!” Sylvia bellowed even louder. “It goes around a man’s penis to heighten orgasm.” She took it from the woman’s hand and looked it over. “They don’t make them like they used to!” She laughed, leaving them all aghast.
My throat tightened, and I peered over at Natalia, widening my eyes in hopes that she could help me recover from this one.
“Ladies, why don’t we decide on which scent of body moisturizer we like best?” Natalia suggested, trying to reroute the guests to the calmer end of the table. It worked like a charm as they all followed her lead, allowing me to remove some of the really super X-rated items from view and back in the boxes.
“Ah! What a bunch of squares!” Sylvia said, waving her hand in a dismissing manner.
“I should have known that this was going to be a disaster. I mean, what would these women need with any of these items?”
“Well, I don’t know what they need, but I’m going to buy me this pretty little nighty. I’m Sylvia, by the way.”
“I’m Faith, and thank you so much for livening up this party tonight.”
“Don’t mention it. Half of these gals here could use one of these.” She picked up a vibrator and looked it over. “Even though they’ll never admit it.”
“I think it’s really great that a woman your age is still so open-minded about sex.”
“I may be old, but I’m not dead! I’m sure the fact that I was a sex therapist for forty years helps a lot too.”
My eyes widened.
“Yeah, honey. Nothing surprises me.”
“Umm, Faith,” Natalia interrupted. “That little old lady over there wants to know if these bracelets come in different colors.”
A startled breath escaped me at the sight of the anal beads in Natalia’s hand.
“Hey, don’t say I didn’t tell you so!” Natalia scolded.
“Just tell her no! And tell her that bracelet isn’t for sale.”
“Where did that nice-colored girl go with my bracelet?” the woman Natalia was helping shouted.
“Did she really just call me a colored girl?” Natalia rolled her eyes.
“She’s old, Natalia. She’s not up on the proper terminology.” I laughed. “Now, can you please go back over there and do your best sweet-talking to convince her not to buy this without telling her that it’s meant to be shoved up one’s ass?”
“You’re lucky I love you…just remember paybacks—”
“I know. I know…I owe ya big time for this.”
“Do you use any of these products with your man?” Sylvia asked.
“Oh…no. I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“Oh, honey, why not? You’re young, pretty, and you have a cute figure.” She raised an eyebrow at me. “Do you like women?”
“Oh no. I’m straight. It’s just…I really don’t have much time for a man in my life. I have a five-year-old daughter.”
“She’s my first priority, and I don’t have much time for sex.”
“Honey, you make time for sex. You know, in all of my years of listening to patients, that was always the biggest problem with the women.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Women automatically assume that just because they become a mother they have to give up sex. Why’s it so hard to balance both? I had a son, and my husband and I still managed to have sex at least three times a week.”
My eyes widened. I was tired just thinking about it. “Wow…that’s great.”
“My point is, you can still be a mom and a woman. Sex is a good thing.”
“I-I know that.” I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation with her. “But I’m just not going to have sex with anyone.” Even though Jeff was just a booty call, I still knew a little about him, like he wasn’t a homicidal maniac.
“Maybe you should make some time to find someone.”
I shrugged my shoulders. I knew she was right. I needed to get laid, but I didn’t think it showed on my face. Clearly, it must have if a total stranger was suggesting it. But she was a professional after all, so maybe she just had a sixth sense to these things.
“Oh, Faith, honey, can you come on Wednesday instead of Friday to clean? I’m switching our card game with my neighbor and it’s going to be at my house this week, so I want to make sure it’s all clean,” Mrs. Downs asked, breaking up my awkward conversation with Sylvia.
“Did I just hear her right? Do you clean houses?”
“Good. My cleaning lady just went back to Poland to take care of her sick mother. When can you come do my place?”
“Well, umm…I’d like to take a look at the size of the house and get an idea of what you need before I give a price.”
“Sweetheart, price doesn’t matter, and my house is the same model as Delia’s…just decorated a hell of a lot nicer.”
“Okay, is Friday good for you?”
She gave me a wink. “Friday would be great.”
Maybe this wasn’t such an epic fail after all. With any luck, I had just gained a new housecleaning client, but something told me that in addition to doing her cleaning, I would be continuing my sex therapy session as well.
© Copyright - Beth Rinyu 2016