Um…who in the hell knows that kind of thing? I mean, is that a section of biology class I missed? Is there a chart in a doctor’s office that lets you know the size of your hood pasted up on the wall next to the one that lets you know you’re obese? This was not on the test!
When I told Pimply-Faced Teen working behind the counter in the sex shop that I had no clue what the size of my hood was, he said -
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: We have a dressing room with a mirror in the back if you’d like to check.
AND HE HANDED ME A MIRROR!
Now I’m a people pleaser. I have never ever enjoyed upsetting people or rocking the boat. It makes me ill. So, if there is a way I can make someone happy, I will. But that dear Pimply-Faced teen was going to be sorely disappointed if he honestly thought I was going to pick up that mirror, go in to the dressing room IN THE SEX SHOP, pull off my date pants and measure the size of my hood.
How, I wondered, how was I supposed to measure my hood in the dressing room of the sex shop anyway? Was there a measuring tape on the wall? Would Pimply-Faced Teen give me a teeny tiny ruler along with the hand mirror he was thrusting at me that would allow me to measure my lady-bits? Or would there be one dangling from a rusty nail on the wall like the ones they have in hardware stores, those awful wooden yard sticks. And what in the hell would me measuring myself in the mirror look like on the video the sex shop dressing room was sure to have? Me, with my legs akimbo trying to measure a body part I didn’t know had a name until minutes before? That's sure to be internet gold.
This all went through my head as I stood there staring at him; mouth ajar, a look of utter confusion on my face. Finally my brain kicked back into gear, I took a breath and closed my mouth. I handed Pimply-Faced Teen back his mirror, smiled and thanked him kindly for the offer of the dressing room but that I’d pass.
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: Are you sure ma’am?
ME: Yup. Yup. I’m sure.
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: Do you want to guess what size your hood is?
ME: Ahhhh…. I think I’m just going to go with average and leave it at that.
PIMPLY-FACED TEEN: Okay then.
He then proceeded to pull out various vibrators and lay them on the counter. The giggling came back. I managed to smother it under a coughing fit.
And then, Pimply-Faced Teen picked one up and put it into the palm of my hand.
So there I was, dressed in my very best date outfit, on a friend-kind-of-DATE, while a man I didn’t know was pressing colorful rubber male genital into my hands AND NO ONE BUT ME WAS FINDING THIS FUNNY!
My suppressed giggling coughing fit turned into full on bursts of snorting laughter. I was crying, tears streaming down my burning face as I stood there, a purple lady faced rabbit in one hand and a blue lady faced bear with a fish in its mouth in the other. Both of them vibrating and both of them turned so the little Asian girl faces on the head of the penis were smiling up at me, almost as if they were saying -
PENIS FACE: Pick me I’ll be fun. Watch as I jiggle, wiggle, and vibrate.
Australian Bob asked me which one I wanted but I was out of words. I just kept shaking my head and letting out bursts of hysterical snorts. Australian Bob asked Pimply-Faced Teen to get us the purple rabbit one with the twirling ears. Pimply-Faced Teen agreed with his choice - apparently, it was the most popular - and off he went to find one. I promptly put down the bear and the rabbit, put my hands in my pockets and tried look classy and cool as I attempted to pull myself together. It was hopeless. There is nothing less cool and sophisticated than a woman, tears of laughter streaming down her flushed face in a sex shop on a friend-kind-of-date.
And then Pimply-Faced Teen came back and let us in on the bad news. The rabbit was out of stock. Did we want the bear with its vibrating fish in its mouth? Or could he interest me in something else?
I shook my head with an emphatic NO and tried to look disappointed behind my glee. We thanked our dear pimply-faced friend and left. As we drove to the party, Australian Bob tried talking to me about the experience but all I could do was manically giggle. While my ego turned cartwheels of happiness, Australian Bob was outraged, "All that," he said, "for nothing." All that, I thought, and we were only an hour into our date! What else could this night with Australian Bob possibly have in store for little ol’ me?
Now most people would keep the evening’s activities so far to themselves, at least until the shame had faded from their face and the smell of rubber genital had been washed clean from their hands. Not me. On arrival at the party, I promptly downed a glass of wine and proceeded to tell the story of our friend-kind-of-date to everyone. Every group of people standing about was assaulted with my tale. People I’d known for years, people I’d just met, couples trying to have a moment by the fire, starting deep into each other’s eyes were suddenly greeted by me -
ME: Do you know what a hood is on a woman? Do you? Do you?
And then I would gesture to my lady–bits area. No one seemed to know about the hood. And I’m sure those that said they did were lying. I told the story so many times that folks were steering clear of me. When Australian Bob finally got me home, I told Mom. She was amused enough to listen to the whole story and, being my Mom, got out her dictionary while I talked and looked up the hood. We sat at the counter studying the sketching of hoods and laughing at the possible positions I would have had to get myself into to measure my bits. And we laughed at my very humiliating, albeit very educational, date.
A week later, UPS delivered a plain brown box to the house. Mom was with me when I opened it up. Mom who knew the whole story about the sex shop, and the hood, and the vibrators. Mom who was a very amused witness to the threesome Thanksgiving dinner inquisition with Australian Bob and Uncle and Aunt. My dear sweet Mom who was standing there when I opened up the box and pulled out one purple lady-faced rabbit vibrator courtesy of Australian Bob. My dear sweet Mom who did nothing but laugh as we both read the note –
NOTE FROM AUSTRALIAN BOB: Every girl should have a vibrator. Enjoy.
Neither my mother nor I said a word. Between the tears of laughter and the humiliation, neither of us could form words. I closed up the box and walked away as she stood bent over in the kitchen, unable to breathe she was laughing so hard. We’ve not spoken of it again. Until now, I’m sure. Now I’m sure she’ll have plenty to say.
Or maybe not... I still don’t know the size of my hood.