Sunday, June 13, 2010

Candy Panties and Pies

Pearl brought me a strawberry pie the other day. I think she wants to comfort me. Right after I got home from Jersey, she brought me a chocolate-cream pie. And now the strawberry. I don’t know if she’d still like me so much if she knew what I was listening to in the truck. Donna Summer. Kelly hates it. She said, “Mama, can’t we put something else on?”

I think I raised a little prude. I don’t know how that happened considering I have a rather saucy background. For one thing I used to make a living by selling lingerie and adult toys at “F-a-ware parties.” Sorry, I know it’s silly to block that word since we all know what I’m talking about but I don’t want to offend the church ladies. A little curse here and there is one thing. The F word is quite another. I don’t want them to think I’m trashy. It’s bad enough I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with the word “ain’t.” Or “gonna.” And I smoke. Of course this is the south where you’re likely to hear things in the Minute Market like, “Ain’t you gonna put any a them fancy Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes on sale anymore Brenda Jean?”

“I told you Frank, I ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. That’s on the tobacca company.”

Still, I don’t need to be saying F too. Well, unless I’m really mad. Like say if the horse stepped on my foot and I was wearing flip-flops because I didn’t feel like changing into my boots when I went out to feed. Or Brenda Jean forgot to put my Snickers in the bag.

Anyway, the poor older daughter endured more than most embarrassed pre-teens during the lingerie-selling period in my life when I was a single mother who also cleaned houses, tended bar, and sold Barcaloungers and curio cabinets to pay the rent. First, Jamie had to share a bedroom. Not with a sibling. That’s bad enough. I didn’t have any other kids at the time. No. She shared a room with me. Her mother. But it was even worse than that. She also shared it with my stock. Industrial-style steel shelves lined the wall on one side of the room to the other, across from the My Little Ponies and Rainbow Brites, and depending upon whether you were raised Catholic or not, it housed either medical necessities or X-rated novelties.

Either way, these items flew off the shelf. Literally. Especially to bored housewives. There were edible panties (in three different flavors), the Santa and the Bear Vibrator, Ben Wah Balls, penis erasers and the ever popular Joy Jell. I figured with all this stuff around, the kid was going to turn out to be either the biggest slut going or become a nun, one or the other. Turns out she turned out pretty normal. I don’t believe she ever slept around but I think she likes sex.

The little one, on the other hand, has swung in the direction of the nuns. This morning she was mad at me. She claimed she heard Kurt and I having sex. That was impossible since we didn’t make a peep and I told her so.

“Well, I heard your door shut,” she said.


“And there was whispering.”

“You know, maybe we closed the door because we didn’t want you to hear.”

She rolled her eyes.

The toaster oven dinged.

“You know,” I continued, “maybe you ought to be glad your mother and father still love each other so much.”

Jeez, it’s not like she has to worry about finding a pair of strawberry-flavored panties under the couch or something! Strawberry pie crumbs, maybe. But no edible underwear.