So, last night, I'm relaxing with my huge bowl of pasta, propped up in my bed, watching a Mel Gibson movie, and waiting for my boyfriend to call from the bus station to say he's back in town. He had gone to the coast for the weekend to stay with his mother and her new boyfriend. He expected to arrive home at about 11pm. It was only 8:30, the movie was over, and it was on a tape I had swiped from my mom several years ago. I let it keep running, as I was so stuffed with pasta, I didn't feel like moving. And it felt good to just veg out for a while. After a few minutes of taped ShoTime commercials while I stare at the ceiling I hear it. The boink-boink music of soft core porn. I look at the television at see a smoky black intro, with a blond woman holding her finger to her lips in the International Symbol for "Shhh!" only this was supposed to be a sexy shushing, not like someone at the movies trying to tell the obnoxious teenagers behind them to shut up. More of the bow-chicka-bow-bow music. Playboy presents: Women's Stories. It was this half-hour soft core housewife fantasy show. The acting was unbelievable. The plots were even worse. In the first episode, a woman falls in love with the apparition of a Mexican bandit that she knew in a former life. In the second, a married woman takes on a job as a high-priced hooker for a writing assignment, and likes it. I kept thinking, "Holy Shit! My mother taped this!"
After those shows, a movie started that was called "Under Lock and Key." Or something along those lines. Women in prison and the drama and nudity that goes along with it. Incredible! Who knew that my mom was interested in this sort of, ahem, stimulation? Well, I was fascinated and so I had to watch it all. It wasn't really doing anything for me, but hey, it was entertaining, and bad porn is better than no porn.
At about 9, halfway through the prison movie, I heard a jingling of keys and a general bumping around outside the front door. I got out of bed and opened the front door to see what was going on and yay! Chris was home! But so was his mom! And her new boyfriend!
I ran back into the bedroom, which is right off the entryway, and turned off the incriminating sounds of the women guards interrogating some of the naughtier prisoners. I popped back out into the living room in a flash, no problem, just a little flustered at what a close call it was.
I'm shaking hands with everyone, meeting for the first time, and I notice Michael looking at the coffee table with solemn interest.
I look down with him and see the Playboy a friend had given Chris for his birthday glaring up like a light in a darkened room. It was nothing, really. It was the issue from the month and year Chris had been born, and in the early seventies all they showed was a little boobage, nothing too flammable. But these people were Mormons, meeting me and seeing our house for the first time.
Pushing my panic down, I nonchalantly moved my backpack to cover the possibly offensive magazine and sat down on the coffee table to futher hinder any investigation into the items on it.
Chris presented me with a pair of dish-washing mittens with the sponges built in. I loved them, but was obviously distracted. What else was lying around the house, waiting to be discovered?
Everyone moved into the kitchen. New pictures of Chris' dad and stepmom had just come in the mail, and they were prominently displayed on the counter. Unfortunately, there weren't any of Chris' mom anywhere to be seen. Ack!
He was showing them the pictures on the fridge, one of which was taken on the night my mother got drunk at a drag show and vomited all over downtown. It was a long night. The picture is of me, my sister, and my mother with the star of the drag show, Darcelle. Chris' mom looked at me and asked if the large woman in the picture with the huge glittery blond wig was a relative. Chris started laughing and backed away. I had to say no.
"He's, um, an entertainer in town? He does, like, a burlesque show?" My voice had taken on that annoying thing where everything gets turned into a question.
They stayed all of five minutes, but between the two-pronged porn fiasco, no pictures, and the fact that I'm almost 30 years old and am still terrified of parents, no matter whose, it was probably best that they didn't stay long.
Chris and I watched the rest of the prison movie together after his mom and her boyfriend left, drinking soda and laughing, and my life didn't seem so offensive anymore.