the book.

if you know me, read at your own risk

When we were in San Francisco last March, we went to GoodVibrations. There we purchased a book called 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex. Note the repeated “r”‘s, as they are, I assume, supposed to contribute to the fun. I had heard about the book on television, and thought that it would be fun to try.

The first page says that if you are satisfied in your love life and if you have a healthy attitude towards sex and no complaints, then this book isn’t for you. I wish I had known that before traipsing it across three time zones, but since I purchased it sealed, there was no way of knowing. I had just spent thirty dollars on it, and I wasn’t going to return it. So we decided to give it a try.

The book comes with a series of sealed envelopes, some “For Her Eyes Only” and some “For His Eyes Only” and one for both of you when you’ve completed the entire book. You are supposed to sit together and each pick one out each week, open them together and read them secretly. That way you know sometime that week you are going to be surprised by your mate with some sort of romantic notion.

The first envelope I opened involved honey and a pot of tea. I was all gung-ho about trying this book and doing the things like the pages said, so I made the pot of tea and surprised Eric by setting it all up for him. I think I scalded his neck and the inside of his elbow. By the time I was halfway through the pot of tea I had a terrible stomachache from drinking so much sweet tea, so the jostles of lovemaking was about the last thing on my mind.

I noticed that Eric didn’t do his card that week, so I asked him why. “It was pretty much the same thing as your card, but with honey and whipped cream.” First week verdict: Too many stomachaches… too similar of cards.

So we were going to try again…

My next card was that I was supposed to cut out construction paper cut-outs of my feet, and make a trail from the door to my “hiding place” where I was supposed to sort of pounce on my mate. While making the cut-outs of my feet the little voice in my head was going, “What the hell are we doing here? How old are you?” So I got out my glitter crayons and tried to make the feet say funny things, or have funny pictures on them. It takes a long time to cut out and color feet that will go from your front door to your hiding spot. Plus the card said I should make them go all around the house so he has to go in all these rooms… but we were living in a one bedroom at the time, so I had the feet go into the bathroom, up the wall and around the corner on the ceiling. Just a little Lionel Ritchie in there to get him motivated.

So I’m sitting in the closet waiting for Eric to get home from rehearsal and I’m thinking: “Gosh, I hope he doesn’t go out for a drink after rehearsal. I hope he just comes home on time. I wonder what I look like in here. Ow. I’m sitting on a high heel. Gosh, I’m thirsty. Maybe I’ll go get something to drink. No, I can’t go out there, what if he comes home and I’m standing in a trail of my own toes? That would look dumb. No, I should stay here… because this doesn’t look dumb at all. Oh, I’m such a dork. This isn’t sexy. It’s isn’t even cute. No, I said I’d try this card thing, so I’m gonna do it.”

It was like solitary confinement.

Eric did come home, just a little late because the rehearsal ran long, and he’s calling out to me in the hall, “What happened in here? Where are you?” And he opened the closet door.

I can only assume that I looked like Fiona Apple in the Criminal video. Because of this, I can only assume that Eric was thinking the same thing that I think whenever I see Fiona Apple’s boyfriend find her in the closet in the Criminal video: “Hello. Did you get lost? Are you hungry? Do you understand English?”

I heard Eric chuckle a little, and that’s when I knew that these cards were making a moron out of me.

Eric’s card that week was a kissing assignment. That was fun.

So I prepared to pull out my third card. It said that I was to make a game. A set of cards had body parts on them, and the other set of cards had verbs. I once wrote a sketch mocking these very games, and now here I was assigned to make one. I tried all week, but I just kept thinking, what if he pulls two cards and they say, “Thrust. Ear.”


So I chickened myself out of that one, and I noticed that Eric hadn’t tried his either. I asked him why he hadn’t. “Oh, we really can’t do mine right now, it requires things we can’t do because of money and time and all.”

So we picked another card. I refuse to do this card. I’m supposed to innocently take Eric to a miniature golf course. (Yeah, he’d never notice anything was up… we putt-putt all the time) Then I’m supposed go to the bathroom and take off my panties and wrap them around the golf ball and hand it to him. Can you imagine? I’m sure he’d be like, “What the hell– HEY!” And everyone would look up and see him holding my panties on hole nine. Anyway, then I’m supposed to play the game, bending over so he can see up my dress.

Maybe I should explain that the miniature golf course around here is on a hill. And it’s always full of seven year-olds. Not what I’d call a rousing game of golf.

So that card stayed buried, and I noticed that Eric stopped picking cards, too.

“It takes all the spontaneity out of it,” he explained. I guess I understood, as I had been talking myself out of trying these cards for the past three weeks. I still don’t know what was on Eric’s cards that was making him shy away from doing it. I can only assume they were as potentially mortifying as mine.

So the book stayed where it was. Every once in a while I would go and pick out a card just to see if it was something I’d try. I think the last one that I picked was a kissing assignment, so I may give that a go.

The only thing that I liked about this book was when you were planning about this stuff, you were thinking about your partner. You were trying to do something to please them. I liked thinking that sometime that week there was going to be a surprise for me… but I think we are more creative and fun than that book.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just lucky. If you’re thinking that nothing fun happens anymore, I guess that book is a good way of trying to spark new interests into it. A way of putting humor and romance back into a relationship. For us, I think it proved that we were doing fine on our own, and someone else calling the shots was screwing up our rhythm.

The book still sits in our bedroom, mocking me. Maybe one day I’ll find a card in there that I like. Feeling like a dork is really a bad way to spice up your bed. I knew that Eric was going to find some of those things silly, and if not, the card was placing me in a situation to be potentially humiliated.

We were doing fine on our own. Now that the book is gathering dust, we’re still doing just fine. No complaints from me. I guess I should have heeded the book’s warning. I just think we are more creative than a lot of things in that book. And, come on, do you really want me showing my naked butt to innocent putt-putting bystanders?

Oh, and in case you’re keeping score at home:

Last night’s Scrabble Tally
Games Played: 3
Games Won: 2

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