Zoe & Sophia Discover the Invention of Sex Toys from Sexy Twenty-and-Thirty Something Women as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

February 3rd, 2010

February 3   

Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she said, “HOW CAN I SLEEP AT NIGHT WITH THE GHOSTS AND THE ANGER AND PAIN?” Any advice you can give to Sophia would be helpful, but this is what Zoe said.

Zoe and Sophia stood side-by-side in panties and push-up bras, sharing the bathroom mirror at Zoe’s house. They finished slathering their bodies in moisturizer, and were now expertly working the enchantment on their eyes and lips. Sparky, Zoe’s incontinent yellow Lab lay at their feet, gazing up at them with doleful eyes. He might not be able to walk straight or control his bowels, BUT he wasn’t stupid. He knew the meaning of the packed luggage beside the front door. It meant Zoe was taking another trip. Zoe had to be at the airport in Boston by 4:00 a.m., so she decided it was best to drive from New Hampshire that night and stay in a hotel. Sophia, who was suffering from acute separation anxiety, offered to drive Zoe to Boston and see her off on her business trip to California.

“Sophie, you gotta promise me you won’t live on Planet Nuts while I’m away.”
“I can’t promise that,” said Sophia. “But Poppy’s lined up some things for me to do so I get out of the house.” Poppy was Sophia’s daughter who lived nearby with her husband they called Fonzi and her daughter, Lilly.
“Poppy’s a good girl. What did she plan?”
“Well, she’s taking me to a Naughty Party tomorrow night.”
“What the hell is that?”
“I dunno. But men aren’t invited.”
“Ahh, it must be one of those parties where the guests buy a bunch of sex toys.”
“Zo, I can’t go to a party like that!”
“Oh, yes you can, sister. And double your order for me.”
“Holy crap. Well, I’ll try, but I’m pretty shy about those things.”
“Live a little, Sophie. When’s the last time you had sex? Worse, when’s the next time you’ll have it? You need that shit.”
Whatever, Zo.”

“Guess what? I’m getting together with Gavin and Ken in L.A.”
“That should be a blast,” said Sophia. “If it weren’t for the sex, I’d choose gay men over straight ones any day.”
“They’ve invited me out to dinner and dancing.”
“I’m jealous, Zoe. Where else can you ever see so many gorgeous, single men than in a gay bar?”
“Didn’t we have fun with those guys when we were younger?”
“Yeah. I miss them since they moved out west.”

“Sophie, when’s the last time you ate something besides Chex Mix?”
“Been a couple of days. You?”
“Same. Maybe we should catch dinner on the way to Boston.”
“You don’t have enough time to get us dates, Zoe.”
“Who needs dates? We can flirt with the cute Mexican waiters at Ixtapa Cantina in Portsmouth. It’ll break up the drive.”
“Yum.”

As the women pulled skinny jeans over their long, lean legs and slipped into low-cut shirts, Sparky started to exhibit his own separation anxiety. He involuntarily purged two loose turds from his rear end as he panted heavily. The smell didn’t register until after Sophia stepped backwards to admire her ensemble in the full-length mirror. She wore the new boots she bought to replace the ones that caught on fire a few days before. The smell grew horrific when Sophia stepped on Sparky’s mess, and in an attempt to avoid the pile with her other foot, she lost her balance and slid across the bathroom floor. Her head barely missed the toilet bowel as she went down. Sophia had been holding back tears all day because of Zoe’s departure, and now they gushed out like water from a spigot.
“Fuck sake, Sophie, it’s just a little shit. Take off your boot and I’ll clean it up. But please, let’s not have mascara dripping down your chin. What will the Mexicans think?”
“Okay, Zo.”

As Zoe rushed around cleaning up the mess, Sparky and Sophia slunk off to sit near the luggage and sulk. Sophia threw Sparky a disgusted look, but Sparky just sniffed at her and wished Sophia would stop being a bitch. He was so relieved George agreed to tend him in Zoe’s absence, and that he wouldn’t be stuck at Sophia’s house with her huge, domineering cat, Tolstoy.

A while later the bartender at Ixtapa Cantina saw Zoe and Sophia sweep through the door with their familiar panache, and by the time they were seated, two Margaritas sat at their usual table. Jose, their favorite cute Mexican waiter, was solicitous and attended the women’s every desire, which included flirting, knowing a good tip would transpire. Zoe and Sophia soaked up the warm glow in the room as they sipped their drinks. At least once a week the women actually registered hunger, especially if they thought about eating amazing food, like the food at Ixtapa, and for a change they decided rather than splitting a meal, they would each order their own. Just as the women began to sway sensuously to the Mexican music, incoming text messages bleeped on their phones. Zoe’s was from Jackson, the man Zoe and Sophia visited the week before in Naples, Florida. Sophia’s was from Marty, her cheating, soon-to-be-ex husband.

“I hate him,” Sophia hissed as she punched the tiny keys of her cell phone.
“Hold that thought, Sophie. Jackson just asked me to give him a call.”

Soon Zoe was ensconced in romantic banter with her guy while Sophia tried to steady her mounting anger toward Marty. She was furious that he wanted her to bring him more of his things from the house. It was not the deed of delivering them to Marty that infuriated her, but the thought that certain things, like books, photos, fishing rods, and cameras would now live at Fugly’s house. Fugly was Marty’s troll girlfriend. She was also the wife of a famous musician, and he was the son of a legend.  Sophia stopped hyperventilating long enough to take a sip of her Margarita and to smile at Jose. Those precious seconds allowed the thought to weave into her mind, that her anger was an impostor, hiding what she truly felt, which was wrenching pain that Marty was creating new memories and new routines without Sophia, the wife who adored him for decades.

That revelation and half a Margarita were enough to send Sophia dashing toward the ladies room for privacy. Unfortunately, Jose was in her path, and she accidently walked through him, since her eyes were squeezed shut, holding back the tears. Jose, adept at carrying loaded trays, managed to save most of the food, but he couldn’t save Sophia from losing her balance and falling on the floor next to a couple of startled patrons. Sophia lay there just staring up at the diners, a silent scream roaring in her throat, as a four mole burritos dripped from her stomach, where the patrons’ dinners had landed. Sophia felt disoriented, and just as she was about to assume a meditation position on her back, (not one recommended by her Buddhist idol, Pema Chodron), Jose interrupted Zoe and politely asked if Zoe could DO something about her friend?
Zoe held up her index finger indicating she needed a minute, but quickly hung up with Jackson once she realized Sophia was babbling loudly. She walked up to Sophia, scraped some of the food off of her stomach, dumped it on the diners’ table, and said as demurely as she could,

“Fuck sake, Sophie, get up. You are making a bad impression on the cute Mexican Guys.”
“Okay, Zo.”
“And go wash the snot out of your hair.” Then she swiped a finger across Sophia’s stomach and said, “I think I’ll order the Mole.”
“Make it two,” said Sophia as she limped off to the ladies.

By nine o’clock they checked into the Hilton at the airport. Zoe unpacked a clean top for Sophia to change into and suggested they go down to the bar for a night cap. Sophia was spent from the earlier anguish and wasn’t in the mood to be charming, but she was so wilted in spirit, that she did what Zoe told her without argument.

The bar was dimly lit, and a man sat at the piano playing jazz standards. Before long, two men in suits asked if they could join Zoe and Sophia, a no brainer question. The men in suits were in Boston on business, and like Zoe, had to catch an early morning flight, returning them to Chicago. Neither man wore a wedding ring, but the women knew a ring’s absence was an indication of absolutely nothing regarding marital status. Zoe and Sophia did their best to be charismatic, but ran out of energy by midnight and headed for their room. The business men did the same. Coincidentally, their rooms were just down the hall from the women’s room. The redhead mentioned that he had a bottle of Cognac handy and asked if Zoe and Sophia wanted another nightcap. Neither of them did, but Sophia invited the men to retrieve their bottle and come back for a short visit.
As soon as Zoe closed the door she said, “What the fuck did you do that for, Sophie? I need to get some sleep.”
“I think blond guy likes me.”
“Okay, so what?”
“So, we always meet with the guys you pick. I decided to pick this time, Zo.”
“Whatever.”

Sophia turned on the TV to a Latino music channel. When the men returned, Sophia was already winding up for some interpretive dancing. The blond man jumped right in to dance with Sophia, which kept her from spinning off into spastic motion. Zoe thought the redhead was okay, until he became fairly drunk and insisted that Zoe join in “the dance.” Zoe reluctantly agreed, and the two couples whirled in circles for a bit until the music mellowed. Then they slow danced for awhile until they started making out. Fortunately, neither Zoe nor Sophia engaged in sexual exhibitionism, so when the men wanted to go further right then and there, the women begged off and sent the men packing. Zoe and Sophia fell onto their beds, collapsing into sleep with only an hour to go before Zoe had to shower and catch the shuttle to her terminal.

Too soon their phone alarms screeched in the darkness, and Zoe willed herself from bed and stumbled to the bathroom. She turned on the shower. No water. She turned on the sink. No water. She looked in the mirror and SCREAMED.
“Zoe,” called Sophia in a panic. “Are you hurt?”
“NO WATER,” Zoe shrieked as she ran naked to the room phone and called the front desk. She was told a water main had broken in the night. No magic wand or expert skill could save Zoe from the horror of her blotchy red face, her interesting scent, and her horrendous bed head. She and Sophia dressed quickly and parted ways in the lobby. Zoe took the shuttle to her terminal, and Sophia drove home.

In the airport, Zoe took a bird bath in a restroom sink and pulled her hair back into a scrunchy, a hair implement unfashionable since the mid-nineties. She slept all the way to L. A. and instead of stepping daintily off the plane, a shimmering vision, she staggered off in a daze, looking like a train wreck. The film producer she had her first meeting with sent his limo to collect her. She threatened to strangle the limo driver if he did not take her first to her hotel to be reborn.

Sophia drove home and slept until mid afternoon. Her phone awoke her.
“Mom, don’t forget the party tonight. I’ll pick you up at six-thirty.”
“Okay, Poppy.” Sophia said then rolled over and stared at the paintings, at the furniture, out the windows. In that bedroom she shared with Marty for so many years, there was no safe place to stare. Every corner and surface brought waves of pain that crashed over her and lingered, drowning her. She sobbed. She lay silent. She ached. She sighed heavily. She sobbed some more. The inertia owned her. At one point she reached for her phone and read the last text exchange between Marty and her. Always, he indicted her for the bitterness and anger she expressed. Then she reminded herself that those feelings were the imposters that helped her face each hour without caving into the pain they masked. She wanted to ask Marty how she was supposed to feel. But she didn’t bother because she knew he didn’t care enough to answer. He would never acknowledge the anguish he caused, but only insult her for the animosity she showed him.

“Fucking A, Mom, GET UP,” yelled Poppy two hours later. Poppy had suspected Sophia might be having a rough time, so she arrived early to help her mother get ready for the Naughty Party. Poppy walked her mother to the shower and lay out clothes for her to wear. Like a catatonic, Sophia dried her hair and applied make-up, but her spirit was bankrupt. Poppy poured her mother into the car and drove her to Portsmouth.
Poppy gently guided Sophia up the front steps of the lovely home of the party’s hostess. Together they stepped into the gaiety of twenty-and-thirty-something women laughing and sipping Dirty Martinis. The guests visited as they consumed hot and cold dips spread on sliced baguettes, vegetables stuffed with delightful fillings, Asian finger foods and fruit dipped in hot fudge. And then Sophia woke up.
Laid out on a long table in the living room was an array of objects she’d never seen. Sophia’s eyes widened and she blushed. The objects were mostly soft rubber in many colors, shapes and sizes. Tubes of potions sat artfully among the objects.

“Let’s get you a martini, Mom.”
“Okay, Poppy.”
Poppy introduced her mother to the women Sophia didn’t know. Several other women Sophia already knew and had since they were girls, which made the scene all the stranger, especially when Sophia accidently glanced at “The Table.” But soon Sophia forgot about “The Table” and embraced the girl power, joining in the mirth and the amusing stories. Some of the women Sophia met were Poppy’s professional colleagues, and Sophia had no doubt about the topic around the water cooler on Monday. All the women there were bright and interesting and talked about things like their children’s sports, music, dance, and parental controls on the internet, about their jobs and menstrual cramps. Several women marveled at how young Sophia looked, which thrilled her. And one feature they uniformly shared was their cell phones clutched in one hand, including Sophia.

Before long, the hostess directed her guests to sit down, and she began her presentation. She gave an articulate and graphic demonstration of the passion products, which had names like Flutter Frenzy, Cosmo Bunny, Velvet Curve, Deluxe Dolphin and Beaming Butterfly. Sophia didn’t know where to look, and when each buzzing item was handed to her, she passed it on as one would a hot coal. Sophia relaxed when the hostess took a break from the program to play a game. She read a series of questions, and the women wrote down one of three responses. The game’s objective was to identify sexual prowess. After the questions were answered, the hostess assigned a numeric value to their answers. To Sophia’s great surprise, she tied for first place. Poppy and her girlhood friends fell over themselves laughing. Sophia just shrugged her shoulders and threw them an impish glance. Who knew?

Another round of demonstrations began, and the younger women began to reveal some explicit details about their lives in the sack, which resulted in nonstop gleeful discussion. Sophia took two pillows from the couch and put them over her ears and closed her eyes, especially when Poppy started in. Then everyone thought that Sophia might look young, but she was acting pretty old. When the hostess finally gave out the order forms, Sophia texted Zoe.

Zoe sat around a conference table with several male film producers, her cell phone discretely placed in her lap. She read Sophia’s text and tried not let the men sense her amusement over Sophia’s confusion about whether to order the Ultimate Indulgence or the Perfect Playmate; the Pleasure Pods or the Pleasure Pearls and so on. She wrote back:
“Fuck sake, Sophie, use your imagination.”
“Sophia wrote back. “I don’t know what half this shit’s for. I blocked out the descriptions.”
It doesn’t matter what you order. It’s all good. JUST ORDER FOR ME TOO”
“Ok, Zo. Call me when you’re free to talk.”

Later that night Sophia sat on her bed thinking about how wonderful Poppy was and how lucky she was to have her as a daughter. Poppy had always made Sophia’s life worth living. Then Sophia arranged the odd assortment of sex toys on her bed. None of them made sense to her, and she felt she needed Zoe to get home to explain them before trying them out. She shoved them into a pile on the side of the bed where Marty used to sleep then she stretched out.  She considered meditating, but decided to stare into space instead. Her eyes roved the room for several minutes before they landed on the pile of DVDs, comprising the full set of Sex and the City shows. Before the typical waves of sorrow overtook her completely, Sophia staggered from the bed and popped in a DVD from Season Three. She watched her “virtual” friends do and say the things she’d watched dozens of times before. And slowly, Sophia grabbed a certain peace. An hour later, the phone rang.

“Hey, Sophie. Are you okay?” asked Zoe.
“I’m okay…watching Carrie cheat on Aiden with Mr. Big.  How’s L. A.?”
“Busy. I’ve been in meetings all day and evening. No time to work on my tan. Hey, what did you buy at the party?”
“You’ll see when you get home,” said Sophia as her voice faltered and she began to cry. “Zoe, this room is so hard to be in. Marty is everywhere. We are everywhere haunting me, and it’s like this almost every night.”
“I know, Sophie. It’s hard.”
ZO, HOW CAN I SLEEP AT NIGHT WITH THE GHOSTS AND THE ANGER AND PAIN?”
Zoe collected her thoughts before answering. “FIRST, SOPHIE, KEEP WATCHING THOSE OLD SEX AND THE CITY DVDs, THEN FOR FUCK SAKE, MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR NEW TOYS.”

“Was that a Buddhist thing, Zo?”
“Sounds like.”

“Are you in bed, Zoe?”
“Yeah. Tell me what the girls are doing on the show right now. That way I can pretend I’m there watching with you.”
“Okay, but only if you promise you’ll find a guy in L.A. who wants me to dance for him on the Webcam.”
“That’s a deal, Soph. Hey, is your Nutella handy?”

As Zoe and Sophia lay in beds separated by 3,000 miles, the hearts and minds of these astonishing fifty-somethings reunited. They talked and laughed and licked spoonfuls of Nutella, off on another adventure as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being.

To be continued.  Read about Zoe’s trip to L.A. and her date with her favorite gay-guy couple and about how Sophia still doesn’t know what to do with the new sex toys!  And remember, if you want to read earlier adventures, start from the bottom of the Blog.

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  1. Nick in Vermont
    February 3rd, 2010 at 13:16 | #1

    Hi Girls,
    “Honey I’m Home.” I wish. Wow, Wow, Wow. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me wonder why.
    First of all, I want to mention my fear that sex toys will eventually replace men. Lots of sex toys, artificial insemination and one donor who produces only X chromosomes. Maybe not a bad Idea, end to war, more caring for others, etc. The party also made me wonder if there were male parties where they line up a bunch of blow up dolls. Or maybe that’s called a bachelor party.
    Second and much more importantly, Sophia, I want to tell you how moved I was by the description of being home alone in your bedroom after coming back from Florida, with all the haunting images of shared space and experience. It was so raw and honest. I’ll tell you, I just gotta empathize with you for the pain you feel. And it seemed so poetic to have a pile of sex toys on the bed where Marty used to be. But I thought it was funny, thinking of myself ten years ago, when I felt your type of pain personally, when my ex was having an affair and clearly loved someone else. There I was, (in the vision, of course) with a blowup doll next to me. I don’t think that blowup dolls will ever replace women. They would pop if they ever had to endure the pain that women endure, especially giving birth.
    And one last thing, Sophia, I was glad to see you making out with a man in the hotel room. It made me think that you were moving on and that maybe men won’t be abolished for ever and ever.
    Ok, one more last thing, Zoe, you are one (superlative (or expletive with positive meaning) here, can’t find one good enough) most wonderful friend.
    So let’s face it, women are irreplaceable, especially you two.

  2. February 12th, 2010 at 12:11 | #2

    Okay, Nick.
    Nice to hear from you, but the girls want to what’s with this crap about “Honey, I’m home?” Zoe said she doesn’t share her home with anyone but Sparky and his incontinent butt and bladder, and Sophie’s always pinned down by Tolstoy, so she wouldn’t answer the doorbell if it rang. They both wanted me to tell you “long live sex toys.” Men have to figure out how to stay in the picture for themselves. Sophia says she’s humbled that you were touched by her experiences, and she’s sorry you’ve had to suffer the same sort of pain. Zoe says it’s about time Sophie made out with someone, even if it’s some idiot from Chicago (because she thinks you’d have to be an idiot to live there). I told Zoe to shut up because she’s never even been to Chicago, so how would she know, and Sophia agreed that Zoe should not judge a city by its politics or location. They both wanted me to tell you that you should keep painting because they love your art work. Finally, they wondered who wouldn’t know that women are irreplaceable. Duhhh.
    Thanks for writing, sweet fan.
    Rock on, brother.
    Julie

  3. Nick in Vermont
    February 12th, 2010 at 14:34 | #3

    Hey, Ladies, settle down now, I’m not knockin’ at your doors. Actually the “Honey I’m home” thing was a vague reference to what Ricky Ricardo said when he got home. I used it because you two remind me of Lucy and Ethel. You will notice that I followed that with “I wish”. That’s because your adventures are very endearing and have made me “Virtually” fall in love with you. But not as virtual as your surrogate love objects. And not at all as threatening to the existence of our species.
    Any who ja whatsit, I love reading Zoe and Sophia, keep it comin’.
    And remember what Meha Babba, the 1960’s guru said, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.
    I say, “That’s a stupid, simplistic thing to say, but very true.”

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