It's one more random than 10!
Having just celebrated my fifteenth wedding anniversary with The Lovely Becky (now updating her blog again), I've been thinking a lot about the good times we've had. One of Kathleen's posts triggered a memory of the best party we ever attended. It was a couple of years after we were married, when we lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan. One of our friends, P, had a really great apartment for parties, complete with a Moroccan Room, which had beads hanging in the doorway, cushions on the floor, and fez on the table in the middle of the room. P and I worked together, and one day we and some other co-workers were talking about having a party at her place. We wanted to make it a theme, and somehow we eventually settled on Bring Your Own Gimp.
We didn't expect (nor desire) people to show up in leather submissive outfits or for the party to turn into a Moroccan orgy. However, we did want to add some "atmosphere" (read: humorous weirdness) to the party by decorating with some sex toys. Specifically, we wanted to have a blow-up doll because we thought it would be funny, and with our close proximity to Times Square, it would be an easy accessory to obtain.
Or so we thought. We popped into a few adult bookstores, thinking we could drop $20 for a cheap blow-up doll. However, it appeared that the blow-up doll connoisseur had more sophisticated tastes, as the ones we found were more than $100 because they had things like vibrating motors. We tried to explain, as politely as possible, that we just wanted one for decoration, not one to marry. Finally, we found one for $40. We picked up a couple of other props, including a double-sided dildo. One of the guys, B, wanted to get a couple of ball gags, with the red ball like the ones they used in Pulp Fiction, an accessory the bookstore didn't have.
We walked around and found an S&M shop that was in the process of opening. Up to this point, we were in standard adult bookstore territory: cheap videos, mags, and the kind of adult toys you gave as gag gifts. This place was the Rolls Royce dealer for domination. Studded leather paddles, leather masks, whips, chains...displayed with safe-word seriousness. I think the clerk was amused by our deer-eyed amazement, and he helpfully showed us what the shop had in ball gags. We purchased two and returned to our regularly scheduled programming.
The other idea behind the Bring Your Own Gimp party was to dress up a little different and/or naughtier than usual. The Lovely Becky, who had long, copper-red hair at this time, wore a short black wig and a black jacket with a tasteful-yet-definitely-a-brassier bra underneath it. She looked like she could have been a sales associate at the Rolls Royce Sex Shop: professional and classy, but someone who could describe the features and benefits of a good leather paddle. She certainly did not look like the TLB everyone knew. I didn't have much in the way of naught clothes, but spiked up my hair a little and clipped an earring to my ear.
When we got to the party, the blow-up doll was hanging from the ceiling, its open mouth making a slow 360 of the room. Many of the people had not dressed up, which was disappointing, but the props were a big hit. There were a number of pictures taken with the dildo, and some more adventurous partiers even tried on the ball gags.
One of the folks at the party was Tree, a very tall marketing manager from my office. At one point, he was talking to the costumed TLB. He had seen us come in together and smooching (as young married couples do at Bring Your Own Gimp parties). However, he was sort of probing in his conversation with her, like he was verbally sweeping a minefield. Eventually, TLB mentioned something about being my wife.
"Oh my God, you're Brando's wife!" he said with surprise and relief. He had seen our wedding picture on my desk, with TLB sporting a virginal white dress and long red hair, as opposed to short black hair and come-hither jacket and bra. "I thought you were just some floozy he was with."
The party remained much more tasteful than the sex doll twirling from the ceiling, with no public hookups or key party shenanigans taking place. I had a ball gag in my mouth at one point, but that was as crazy as it got for me. After drinking into the wee hours, I left for home with The Lovely Floozy. When we talked to P the next day, she said the doll had sprung a leak and its deflated corpse had been put out to the trash.
The double-sided dildo, however, had gone missing. And not in a "ha, ha, someone took the double-sided dildo" way. It went missing in the, "Um, I think someone wanted the double-sided dildo" way. So the moral of the story is, if you're going to have sex toys at your party, make sure you lock up your didos when you're done.
1) "Yesterdays," Guns N' Roses. What I liked about these kinds of songs on Use Your Illusion was how GnR managed to channel their inner Elton John without losing their identity. Not easy to do when your last record was recorded on the Night Train.
2) "Love Buzz," Nirvana. That's what you get when you hyperventilate inside a gimp mask.
3) "Place to Be," Nick Drake. The U.P. was that place this last week. TLB and I took Libby out for a hike, soaking up the sun and the lush greens of the trees and deep blues of Lake Superior. This song sums up that feeling: sun on my face, gentle breeze blowing, and great feeling of peace and calm. Too bad I have to get out from under 12 stories of snow to get to that moment.
4) "NYC," Interpol. I miss NYC but I don't miss living there. The three years I spend there felt like living in a foreign country: exciting, exhilarating, life-changing, but never like home. If TLB and I have the money, though, we'd seriously consider retiring there. After living in the U.P., a New York winter will seem like a piece of cake, and we could find stuff to do every day. We could hop down to our local coffee place to eat bagels and read our Kindles, then hit a museum or just walk around. That's much more appealing to me than Del Boca Vista.
5) "Runaway Train," Soul Asylum. A good song that couldn't hold up under overplaying. I really liked it the first time I heard it, and then MTV and "alternative" radio tore it apart like a couple of hungry dogs.
6) "A Method, "TV on the Radio. I don't usually use "a cappella" and "awesome" in the same sentence, but I really dig this track. Just layers of vocals and some marching band drums to transfer it out of Manhattan Transfer territory. The live version is not as good, but has the added value of an amusing guy in the background going nuts on a tom tom.
7) "September Gurls," Big Star. Anyone who loves rock music should own Big Star's #1 Record/Radio City CD. Two albums of the most perfect collection of guitar-driven pop ever recorded combined on one disc. Essential (for reals, not fake All Music Guide essential).
8) "YYZ (Live)," Rush. My favorite rock instrumental of all time and, surprisingly, one of the most accessible Rush songs because Geddy doesn't sing and the song's really groovy. No, seriously, it got a funky groove to it. Stop laughing.
9) "Boys, You Won't," The Wrens. I really wish an entire Age of Middle Earth didn't pass between their album releases, even if I've gotten six years of enjoyment out of The Meadowlands.
10) "Rich Woman," Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Really, the best stuff Plant has done since In Through the Out Door. His solo stuff was okay, and if I hear The Honeydrippers after I die, I'll know I'm in hell. However, Raising Sand shows his voice in fine form and is age-appropriate without sounding aged. I hope Mick Jagger was taking notes.
11) "Please Let Me Love You," Alan Merrill. There's a wonderful serenade quality to the song and the sound, like Merrill recorded it outside of a girl's window. A charming end to a list that began with tales of sex toy shopping.
Have a good weekend.