My pre-departure shopping list includes, amongst other things, pepper spray and thigh high stockings.
(Go ahead. Before we get to the funny part of this story, you can insert your witty but ultimately misogynistic comment—something along the lines of “Tsssk, tsssk. You wouldn’t need the former if you wouldn’t wear the latter”— but then remember that it is 2014 and go see the The Vagina Monologues. Or take a look at this most excellent and thoroughly hysterical blog post by anthropologist L.P. who writes for The Salt Collective).
Anyway, getting back to my shopping list…
(By the way, if you are my father, you should probably stop reading here.)
I haven’t seen The European for nearly a month, and because we are now both working in fields that require a decent amount of travel, he’s flying out again 48 hours before I catch my flight to El Salvador.
I decide, therefore, that we have to make our one night together count, and what better way to do this than a pair of thigh high stockings?
I then decide to up the ante: not just thigh highs but also lacy underwear and my trusty garter belt worn with no actual clothing directly beneath my raincoat (like Claire Dunphy on Modern Family before she got stuck in the escalator. Because that worked out so well for her).
By “trusty” garter belt however, I mean only that I can trust the damn thing to malfunction. Some of you may remember what happened the last time I attempted to wrangle myself into such antiquated undergarments…
Fortunately these new stockings (which were the finest money could buy at the rather exclusive South Philly retail establishment otherwise known as the neighborhood Target) were better suited for my garter belt that the last pair. And I managed to get everything locked and loaded, so to speak, in record time.
As I drive to the European’s house, I start to worry about what would happen if I were to, say, get pulled over by a cop. Also, it is no longer raining. And it’s unseasonably warm all of the sudden. Then—worst of all—a text arrives from the man in question: he is going for a run to decompress after a long day of work but he has left the back door open so I can let myself in.
That was not part of the plan.
The plan was for me to waltz into his living room and whisk off my coat (I was even going to let him do the whisking if he wanted) and he was going to so enraptured by the site of me in my sexy (and meticulously color-coordinated) unmentionables that he was going to take me to bed right away.
Only I didn’t inform him of this plan. So he wasn’t there. There was no whisking. In fact, there was just me sitting at his dining room table feeling like an idiot and deciding I might as well take the time to respond to some student emails (which reminds me that I am college professor, which, in turn, makes me feel even more stupid for prancing around in my underwear).
The worst part is that The European is actually a skilled runner. As in he does half marathons and goes running more than twice a year. As in he can be gone for quite some time when he goes running…
Eventually, though he returns, and as he bends over to take off his running shoes, I decide that this is as good an opportunity to make my reveal as I’m going to get.
He stands up and it takes him a good 10 seconds to realize what is going on. At last, he stutters, “Oh. Oh, okay. Oh wow. You look… goodness. But I just went running. I am all sweaty.”
“I know,” I sigh. “Go take a shower.”
I help myself to one of his books (Bertrand Russell on sex, marriage and ethics, no less) to read while I wait. Sitting there in my underwear, I start to think I should probably just dig my yoga pants out of my bag and call it a night but. well… let’s keep things at least slightly classy and end it there, shall we?