So, my accidental blogging hiatus (it began with a genuinely large amount of schoolwork and ended with a weekend of Bosnian pitas, costume parties, and two trips to Eugene) has given me many opportunities to tell many people about my LA adventures, and pretty much everyone I've told has reacted with a slightly forced guffaw, nod, and subject change. But I promised you that I'd share so I'm going to share, damnit! At least you can force a guffaw in the privacy of your own home this way.
First, a bit of backstory. My friends Lindsay, Meg, and I flew down to LA last weekend to visit our friend Rachel, who recently moved there for grad school. I could write thousands of words about the awesome unique person that is Rachel, but for the purpose of this story, we'll focus on this one fact: Rachel hates Passion Parties.
For those of you who have made it this far in life without encountering a Passion Party (congratulations!), allow me to explain. A Passion Party is like a tupperware party, but with sex toys. There are a number of companies that put on these parties, always with names like Pure Romance, Naughty Delights, or Secret Temptations. The basic format involves a "Passion Consultant" teaming with the party host to put out pink decorations and dainty food, and then, when the host's friends arrive, to dispense company-sanctioned sex tips and try to sell them vibrators and glitter lube.
I know a few people who live for these parties, but Rachel hates them with a Passion (tehehe I couldn't help it!). Since Rachel's birthday was a week prior to our visit, and since we are the best friends ever, Meg, Lindsay, and I decided to throw her a freelance Passion Party.
Before we left, we went to a sex shop and bought a number of naughty products to pretend to sell to Rachel. We also went to Fred Meyer and bought pink streamers, a vat of Kroger personal lubricant, and some Wet 'n Wild (never has the name been more appropriate) glitter pots for the craft portion of the party.
We wrapped up our supplies in a pink box, stuck it in our checked baggage (we didn't want to have to explain our motives to the TSA, especially since I was warned on my last trip through airport security that humor is prohibited), and boarded our plane.
Somewhere between Portland and California, we realized that we absolutely needed to have a sex guidebook and companion catalog for our Passion Party. I ripped out pages from my notebook and we spent an hour drawing a bunch of confusing sex positions with names like "The Praying Tetrahedron" and "The Flying Walrus" and writing out hott sex tips (example: "Try sucking seductively on a chicken bouillon cube--no man could resist such a savory temptation!" We were laughing madly and screeching things like, "How much should gravy-flavored lube cost??" and if I had been another passenger I would have hated us.
By the time we stopped in Oakland for our layover, our cheeks were streaked with mascara and our tray tables were strewn with probably forty pages of perverted content. Since we had to wait on the plane anyway, it seemed the perfect, turbulence-free opportunity to design the cover art and logo. We settled on Sensual Sensations for our company name (slogan: "Leading you down the path to pleasure"), but we needed a logo, a mascot, that was totally unique, totally unforgettable, totally disturbing...And so, Sally the Sex-ay Starfish was born. She was sultry, she was memorable, and she had a vagina for a mouth. Rachel was going to hate us.
I drew her on the cover of the catalog and we nearly died laughing. But then something caught our eye and we stopped. We froze. Somewhere on the plane, the pages of SkyMall rustled in the wind.
A Catholic priest was walking toward us.
A number of thoughts rushed through my mind as I watched him amble down the aisle. Mostly, Are you serious? I mean, I'm not sure that I'd ever even seen a Catholic priest before. My debut really had to be now, after a solid hour and a half of unquestionable sexual deviancy? He had to pass up all those perfectly good seats in the front, and come closer and closer to us, to me, to my tray table stacked high with graphically rendered sex acts? He had to be hovering over our seats, cramming his holy briefcase into the compartment above my head? Are you serious?
He plopped down in the seat next to Meg.
I instinctively threw my body over the pile of Passion Party paraphernalia, hugging the papers to my chest and trying to suppress the greatest laugh of my life. Meg was convulsing with giggles and tears, trying desperately to look normal and failing. Lindsay, a former Catholic in the window seat, had curled into a fetal position and was rocking back and forth, sputtering, "I can't do this! I'm freezing up! Oh my God, I'm freezing up!"
It was probably the best moment of my life.
After an eternity on the Oakland runway, the plane finally took off, the priest finally took out a book, and through a series of whispers and hand gestures we decided we had to finish the Sensual Sensations catalog, two feet away from the holy father or not. I think we succeeded in being sort of subtle. Except for the time I asked too loudly if I should draw sprinkles on the dick donut, and the time we dropped the oral stimulation page on the ground under his seat, and, yeah, we failed completely. We're going to hell.
On the bright side (shouldn't every declaration of "We're going to hell" be followed by "On the bright side"?), the Passion Party was a complete success. Rachel was alternately horrified and amused, and, as an art major, I think she really appreciated Sally Starfish.
Since I just wrote a thousand words on the priest story and I promised my boyfriend five days ago that I would unpack my suitcase that's still sitting in the middle of the living room, the rest of my LA experience will have to be summed up in grand bullet point style:
- We toured Rachel's new art studio and it was so cool that I want to copy her and get my MFA. (Maybe I could use my drawing of Sally Starfish to get me into a top art school?)
- It was wet and cold the entire time, which was great for "You Oregonians brought the rain with you!" jokes, but not good for Oregonians who didn't bring coats.
- I have never seen so many designer handbags in my life (we're more into Timbuk2 up here).
- We ate at Joan's on Third only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and we all got the same $12 sandwich only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and it was delicious.
- However, we did not see Mindy Kaling and therefore she is still not my new best friend and therefore my life is still a meaningless failure.
- We did see Jason Schwartzman in a boutique at the same time we smelled a bad smell so I've been telling people that Jason Schwartzman farted.
- Because of that last sentence, I have probably been blacklisted by Francis Ford Coppola.
- I literally bumped into Kirk from Gilmore Girls, which was a huge thrill, but all my friends are GG haters so they didn't care.
- On the way home, we missed our plane while standing in line for it, which is another crazy story but I'm tired and I have to go clean so too bad.
p.s. Meg, Lindsay, and Rachel: You guys are the best.