On Vibrators & Coat Hangers (A Tale of Tragedy and Innovation)

My sister is back in town.

[Insert the Hallelujah-singing choir here.]

You see, she spent the last two weeks visiting our mother… Which means that we’ve spent the last two-weeks without a babysitter. Two whole weeks of uninterrupted family time is, of course, time to be treasured above all else. Time to appreciate one’s fortune. Time to bond. Time to laugh. Time to create memories that will last a lifetime…

It’s also time to go completely and utterly insane.

Yes, yes, I know that you “good parents” out there are thinking, WHAT?!?!?!? What kind of mother would go insane from spending a mere two weeks with her children? Our kids are in their late-twenties/early-forties and we’ve never spent more than one night away from them and that was only because of that nuclear explosion in the neighbor’s basement…


We’re talking lock me up in a padded-room, weeping into my Cheerios, coo coo for coca puffs Ca-Razy.

But that’s all over now.

Because my sister is back in town.

Thank God.

And to take advantage of those I missed your kids so much while I was away… feelings that she could no longer deny, Peter and I ran away last night. Far, far, away. No, not really, we just drove into the city for a nice dinner (extra Chianti, hold the booster seat), some serious shopping (just wait till you see my new shoes), and a little visit to your friendly neighborhood  adult novelty store.

What can I say?

Time away from the kids tends to make us forget what got us into this mess to begin with.

After a lengthy perusal and an inappropriate giggle or two, we settled on a new-fangled type of toy and began our trip back home looking forward to arriving long after the kids had gone to bed. After all, grown-up time is so much more fun when spent with grown-ups, right? And we were very excited for grown-up time.

Now, all of this sounds fine and dandy, doesn’t it? Family, craziness, wine, food, shopping, and tiny little allusion to sex. We’ve just covered everything; a seemingly perfect little blog entry that gives you the highlights of my evening away…

I think that we can all agree, however, that perfection is terribly overrated.

So where did the perfection go wrong, you ask?

Well… if I had to pinpoint it down to one thing, I’d say it started to go south (no pun intended) with the word new-fangled.

Because a two-hour drive home with a new-fangled toy and a box full of batteries is a situation just  begging for trouble…..

Whoops! Just re-read that last bit, and no, NO, we’re not going there (and even if we did, I would sooooo not post about it).

Step away from the gutter.


Now let me try that again:

Because a two-hour drive home with a new-fangled toy and a box full of batteries is a situation just begging for you to open it up just to see what it does (After all, they do all sorts of nifty things these days.).

So I did.

It took five minutes to find the right bag in the backseat.

Ten minutes for me to try to open the package.

Ten more minutes of me trying to open the package before finally giving up and asking for Peter’s knife.

Eight minutes to figure out where the batteries went.

Two minutes to open the battery box.

Two more minutes for me to find Peter’s knife on the floorboard.

Six minutes of slapping away Peter’s hand (My toy- I’ll open it.).

One minute to remember where the batteries went.

Three minutes to figure out how to turn the damn thing on.

Two seconds to realize that it wasn’t working.

Forty-two minutes two seconds to repeat all of the above only to arrive at the same result.

And twelve hours, thirteen minutes, and  37 seconds to  stop laughing after hearing the following conversation:

“Ummmm, dude? Dude. My wife and I were in your store a little bit ago and bought  this new-fangled toy…”

Mumble, mumble, mumble.

“Yeah, the pink one that’s supposed to do the thingie while doing the thingie…”

Mumble. Mumble.

“Yeah, that one.  Is there some sort of special on/off switch that we’re missing..”


“Then it’s broken.”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble..

“Yeah, we did that.”


“Yeah, we did that too…”

Mumble mumble mumble.

“Yeah, well, I’m glad to hear that, dude, but OURS DOESN’T WORK.”

Mumble mumble.

“Can’t do it, man, we live in [another town] and we’re almost home…”

Mumble mumble mumble.

“We’ve been playing with it on the way home…”


“I mean, we just wanted to see what it does…”

[Birds chirping.]

“I mean, we know what it does but we wanted to see if it would work…”

[Now the crickets.]

“I mean, my wife was playing with it to see if it would work…”

[More crickets.]

“I mean, my wife wasn’t playing with it, she just wanted to see if it would work on her…’

[Even the crickets were speechless at this point.]

“Not on her- for her… Look, I can bring this back, right?”

He’s so cute when he blushes.

Oh! And the coat hangers?

Although I would never ever admit it to the husband that was trying so hard to get us something fun to “play” with, I was actually quite relieved that it was the new-fangled toy that broke and not the nifty $3 plastic coat hanger carrier that I found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond before dinner.

And you thought I was kidding when I said that they drove me insane…

April 11, 2008
Categories: Only Judith

1.©2008 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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