Tie breaker story for The Moth “Vices”
Dealing with my newfound singlehood after moving out of me and my ex’s apartment was all about self discovery. I wanted to find out who I was, what I liked. I wanted to exert my independence. And yes, I wanted to be more sexually self-sufficient. I brought out my old vibrator. I had never been against using it, but it hadn’t gotten a ton of use when I was married, especially because, at one point along the way, I had made a generous interpretation of the “splash proof” label and decided that maybe it was water proof. It’s not water-proof. Ever since I took it in the bath with me the battery contacts rusted and it started sounding like it had an outboard motor or maybe Hemi. rrrrRRRRarr.
The volume was an even bigger issue because my new apartment was a hastily built IKEA complex with paper-thin walls. My roommates and I heard everything the others did and they obviously knew I didn’t have a chainsaw in my bedroom, I winced every time I started the little thing up.
So I decided to treat myself, that thing was old anyway, and I started to look on Amazon for a new “device.” It was scary as shit in the depths of the internet but I found something promising. And then I waited.
I waited a long time. I started to worry. I wasn’t coming, I wasn’t coming. I tried not to worry– this was the first time I was expecting mail at the new apartment so I comforted myself with the though that it might just take longer there.
When I saw the name on my phone, the fear hit me. Vibrating ominously in my hand, the screen read “Susan Mom.” That would be Susan, as in my soon-to-be-ex-mother-in-law. The last time we had spoken was a torturous sob-fest one week before and it didn’t make sense for her to be calling again when everything was so fresh. I knew something was terribly wrong.
I finally picked up the phone and she started right in: “Hi sweetie, how are you? I was just wondering if you got your credit card stolen because we’re getting mail for you.”
Dear, sweet Susan, she was giving me an out. I had to think fast– should I own up and tell her its mine or take a graceful exit? My thoughts turned to my unrequited excitement and the solution she held. It was expensive. I wanted it. I told her the truth. I rationalized it– you can’t buy a playboy without it being discreetly wrapped, right? She would never know what contraband lay inside.
The moment of truth came one week later when my package arrived in the mail. Apparently, Susan had generously combined my purchases into one box and just inside the wrapping was my long-awaited companion… in a display case, like my Barbie dolls used to come in. I was mortified. And that was bad enough but my god, it was not the product I thought I had ordered. It was massive! It looked like a chew toy for a direwolf.
I couldn’t bring myself to call and, even then, it took me awhile to text Susan. Finally I managed to type “Thank you so much, how much do I owe you?”
In an instant she replied: “don’t even worry about it honey, it was my pleasure.”