“So how was your anniversary?" I dipped a tortilla chip in the bowl of salsa. "I can't believe you hit the silver one."
"Twenty-five years, same guy," Barb lifted her glass and drew a gentle sip, "same old, same old." The tequila went down slowly.
"I heard you went to Vegas to celebrate. How romantic?" I looked at my finger empty of ring and wondered one life, one man. Hmm? Nah, I love my life.
"I fell asleep." Barb slumped against the back of the booth.
"But that was after the candles and champagne, right?” A negative nod confirmed the anniversary gone south.
She gazed at a couple lost in a kiss at the bar.
"You mean not even a little 'wham-bam'- you know - 'thank-you-ma’am'?" I pushed the envelope of friendship.
"We have that every night." She broke a chip in half. It dropped to the salsa and sank.
I stared at the woman across from me and gulped, "Every night?"
"Pretty routine. Lights out, covers back, in-and-out stuff."
"Best bud, you owe this guy." I grabbed her arm. "Come on, we're going to Macy's lingerie department." I dropped a twenty on the table and added, "And boy, does he owe you."
Warm under the influence of tequila, we trekked to the underwear department of Macy's, high on the third floor.
Felina, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein taunted and teased. French cut, high cut, no cut whispered in sensual vibes, "Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby."
I headed for the Cosabella section. I loved the cut, the sensual colors and celebration of sexuality.
“What’s that?” I asked, wryly studying the white cotton briefs with blue flowers in her hands. “Are you planning to go skydiving?”
A perplexed look clouded her face, canceling out the tequila high.
I stretched the panties seam to seam, peeking around the three-layer absorbent panel, “Then you don’t need a parachute.”
“But they’re buy two, get one free,” she countered and started to fill her arms with cotton bounty.
Worse than anticipated, I grabbed her by the hand. Packages with more coverage than an insurance policy tumbled to the ground.
"This calls for a thong." I thumbed through the racks of delicate wisps of strings and tapped my finger on the silver metal bar. "What size? Medium?"
"I can't wear one of these." She dangled the strip of material on her index finger and whispered, "Isn't it uncomfortable?"
"Of course, it's uncomfortable." I snagged three items and held them up to the light for a better look. "But then, you're not supposed to be in them long." I nudged her with my elbow and smiled. "That's the point."
"Take a look at this one." A shimmering pair of blue panties, dotted with rhinestones and a floss of a thong wore a price tag of twenty-five dollars.
"You mean someone would really wear these?" Her voice dropped to a bare hush.
We moved from display to display, sifting through endowed bras to sheer-to-the-nipple. Arms overloaded with elegant bras and skimpy panties, we paraded into the dressing room. We stripped down to the bare necessities and slid intimates off hangers. Adorned in our sexuality, we posed forward, backward, and pursed our lips to the mirrors. We waved to the hidden camera operator.
"Oh my God," hangers rattled inside the dressing room.
I pulled the pleated curtain aside and affirmed, "Oh my God." I covered my mouth, inhaled a snicker, "Maybe neon green isn't your color." I choked on the word, "Or feathers."
A defeated gaze reflected in the mirror as she sighed, “Maybe I should just go home and soak in a hot bath.”
“Not unless he’s with you,” I said, noting to look for bubble bath and floating candles.
“This is so not me,” a plucked feather drifted to the carpet. “It’s hopeless.”
"Try again." I closed the curtain and waited for the next floor show.
"Maybe it'd be easier to roll over and go to sleep." Barb offered from the other side.
"No way, this is serious business. You're in trouble, girlfriend, in the bedroom department." I shouted back, "Come on, bare that booty!"
"Okay, here I come." She parted the drape.
Tight buns, orange thong, what? A cartoon character on the front of her…? I pushed the little nose on the fuzzy bear just inches below her belly button. It played a sorrowful tune of Tonight's the Night.
I shoved her back into the cubicle and said, "Next?"
She donned a pair of red, easy-on-the-eye lace bra and panties and I heard, "Hmm? Yeah…", from the other side of the curtain.
"Wait," I hustled back to the racks of seduction-in-wait and searched for the missing accessory. I separated delicate laces to the left, sorted to the center and there it was. Perfect.
"Here," I tossed the item into the dressing stall.
"Is this a…?"
"…Yes, snug to fit, guaranteed to please, garter belt." I leaned against the wall, arms crossed over chest, satisfied with my mission. Score one for best buds.
Barb left the store with a small package of lust under arm. I brought something too just because we are friends and that is what friends do.
I hugged her goodbye and slid into my Toyota.
The next morning, midway between my cinnamon scone and French Roast the phone rang. The voice memorized over the years, I knew who it was.
"He loved it," her excitement rang rich with freshness. "He can't thank you enough." I sensed a purr.
I leaned back in my chair, wrapped warm in familiarity, and said, "Want to go out again next week? I know this great toy store that specializes in…"
© 2013 Cynthia Ballard Borris
2015 Reprinted Not Your Mother's Book...On Sex