Nobody Speak About Mom's 'Antique.' I'm Begging You.

by Rita Templeton
Grekov's / Shutterstock

I have…a toy.

Of the adult variety.

You pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down?

Okay, good.

Eons ago, when my husband and I were young and crazy and childless, I agreed to host a party. You know, like those LuLaRoe or Thirty One or Mary Kay parties — except with plastic penises and weird-flavored gels and edible underwear. (Although I looked at those edible undies up close once, and they’re like a fruit roll-up (or fruit leather or whatever you call it). Who wants to eat a fruit roll-up with pubes stuck in it? And, like, there’s nothing sexy about the way anybody chews a fruit roll-up. Nothing. But I digress.)

Unfortunately, I came down with a heinous stomach virus an hour before the party began — too late to cancel. So I stayed quarantined inside our bedroom with a trash can at my bedside, missing the whole shebang, while my man graciously took on hosting duties. Surprisingly, he was a natural at dildo sales (who knew?!). As it turns out, he was such a wonderful party host that the products sold like hotcakes. And because of that, I got to pick something for free. Sooo…a big, blue, sparkly, motorized, rotating penis it was.

Fast-forward to a few years ago, when our oldest son was about 5. We had just rearranged our bedroom closet, and he was rummaging around in some boxes of random stuff when suddenly I heard a frenetic buzzing sound, followed by an incredulous “whoa!”

My heart practically stopped beating as I whirled around to find, er, Big Blue in all his spinning, vibrating, phallic glory, clutched firmly in my son’s little hands. “What’s this?” he asked in delighted amazement, eyes the size of dinner plates.

Oh shit. Act casual, I told myself. If he thinks it’s something forbidden, he’ll just want it more. “It’s…an antique,” I said as vaguely and coolly as I could manage, snatching it away from him. “It’s, uh…I’ll just put this away.” My face flamed with a level of mortification that can only come from your kid innocently handling your vibrator. I prodded him toward the closet door, shutting him out as I buried Big Blue on the highest possible shelf, behind a bunch of junk.

“What’s an antique?” came his muffled inquiry from outside the closet.

I don’t remember what I told him — we tend to block out traumatic experiences, after all. But apparently it made an impression, because not long ago, we were at my mom’s, and I was teasing her about this ceramic cat that she bought in the ’80s and still displays. “If you keep that cat much longer, it’s going to be an antique,” I joked.

To which my son, who apparently never forgets things even if they happened years ago, replied, “Hey, like your antique!”

I was puzzled. I don’t own any antiques. “What antique?” I asked.

“You know,” he said, with an edge of exasperation to his voice, like he couldn’t believe I didn’t know what he was talking about. “Your antique that’s in your closet? The big sparkly blue thing that makes a buzzing sound and spins all around? Whatever happened to that thing? Is it an old toy? Can we get it out and play with it?”

Oh. Mah. Gah.

My son was asking about my freaking vibrator (in front of my mother, no less!), of which he knows nothing except that it was a really cool contraption. And “an antique.”

“Oh, that?” I said nonchalantly, dying a little inside. “I think I threw that away years ago.”

Except, y’all? I didn’t really.

But I might now.