Last weekend I went to New York on a whim because my parents had an extra train ticket. My mom promised shopping and spa treatments; my dad guaranteed delicious food and a Broadway show. Neither of them prepared me for the unexpected emotional scarring that occurred.
I was dragged on a trip down memory lane when my parents decided to visit the very first apartment they lived in together. At first I thought it was sweet that they were reminiscing about the “good old days”, but I lost my appetite when they mentioned that this six-story walk-up was the site of my conception. Gross. But, I guess, thanks guys?
On Saturday night, we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the west village and finished up early enough to walk around before heading back to the hotel. As we wandered, my parents joked about how disappointed they were that the legendary sex shop that was once a staple of the slightly-seedy neighborhood seemed to have closed down in the last decade.
We turned a corner in our quest for a cab and stumbled upon The Pleasure Chest. It couldn’t be… but it was. The mystical sex shop of yore had moved just a few blocks down from its original location. My parents were ecstatic. The sign was unchanged and the employees were as verbally pro-dildo as ever. I hung back, mortified, as my parents giggled and lingered in the doorway.
The salesgirl, interpreting this as a smidgeon of interest, greeted us effusively and practically dragged our little party of three into the store. I stood awkwardly by the entrance wishing my eyeballs would spontaneously combust as my parents meandered through the shop hand-in-hand pointing out giant vibrators and exclaiming over the huge variety of water-based, flavored lubricants (link NSFW – but online shopping encouraged!).
Curiosity got the best of them, I suppose, because a moment later I watched as my mom eagerly squirted one of the tester lubes onto her hand. Maybe she wanted to see if she could differentiate between “slick” and “very, very slick”? My dad of course saw this as an opportunity to give her a hand massage in the middle of the store, and I decided it was time to hightail it out of there.
“Let me know if you need anything,” the salesgirl called to me on my way out.
Just one lobotomy, please. That will be all.