vibratorI walked into the kitchen when I came back from the grocery store one day and saw my vibrator  on the counter all taken apart, its little guts splayed open and its wires spread all around.

Oh no!

“What’s Fred doing on the kitchen counter?” I asked, or rather, shouted at my husband, shocked to see my little guy all opened up like that.

“I’m going to fix him.” My husband said. Apparently, he’d noticed—we won’t say exactly how he noticed—that the wires were frayed.

“But, David, it’ll take you days and days to fix him.”

“No it won’t. I promise.  Besides, you don’t have a lot of options,” he argued, adding that he was a very special vibrator.

I’ll give him credit. You gotta love a guy who has respect for his wife’s vibrator.

In my mind’s eye however, I could see all the other things in the garage that my husband had respect for—an old Water Pic with a broken hose, a VCR recorder from the 1990’s, a spoon rest made in Italy because “you just can’t find spoon rests made in Italy”— all waiting to be fixed.

“I’m going to order a new Fred from Amazon.” I said, adding with more surety than I felt that “Amazon has everything.”

I’d bought Fred in a “women’s specialty shop” in Berkeley, California 20 years before when a lesbian girlfriend of mine had suggested I go.

“They’ll understand,” she’d said ever so patronizingly, “an almost 60 year old woman not having had a vibrator in her whole life.”

I’m not quite sure what kind of staff I expected to find in a “women’s specialty shop.” Probably women though; nice, polite, women with kind, non-judgmental faces who didn’t laugh at me or ask me if I was raised Catholic.

But that fantasy didn’t pan out.

As it turned out, there was only one person in the shop when I went in; a guy with a stocking cap, goatee, and pierced eyebrows.  

Not batting an eye though, and with the determination of a woman who was out to find an orgasm with a capital O, I walked right up to Mr. Pierced Eyebrows (this was the early 90’s remember—you didn’t exactly see pierced eyebrows everywhere you went) and told him that I was looking for a vibrator.

“I’ve never had one before.”  

“Rechargeable battery?” he asked, with a kind of bland, almost bored look on his face.  “For you to use alone or with someone else? Underwater? Large wand or small hand held?”

This guy certainly knew all the right questions to ask and thank God, just as I was about to comment about how well informed he was it occurred to me that he probably didn’t get that way in his sales training.

Anyways, I picked out the biggest, strongest, most expensive vibrator in the store.

He rang it up and I nonchalantly handed over my credit-card as if it meant nothing to me that there was a pair of crotchless panties in the display stand right next to the cash register.

I’d had no idea what a wonderful thing a real vibrator could be.  I’d been using something else for years without realizing exactly how limiting it was.

Don’t get me wrong. It was pretty innovative of me to have even thought of using the flat side of an electric toothbrush to begin with, not to mention brave of me to have tried such a small pointy thing on such a small not-so-pointy part of my anatomy.

It was also a big deal for me to accept that my orgasms—“A true sign of self-love and sexual self-esteem” were worth $68.00.

For all these 20 years now I have loved my big, sleek, shiny, vibrator with its soft/firm rubber knob on the end that moves and twirls and well—vibrates.

It never gets tired or stops too soon. It doesn’t sit in bars making jokes about the way I smell and doesn’t compare its size to other vibrators. It doesn’t even pretend to understand the words “blow” and “job,” is always ready when I am, and always stays awake.

What’s not to love?

“I need to introduce you to somebody,” I’d said to David the first time he got into my bed and, reaching around behind me, pulled Fred out from between the pillows.

“Well, hello Fred,” my incredibly game husband said. “I think we’re all going to have a really good time together!”

Back in the kitchen where my now broken Fred was so sadly laying on the counter, I ran over to the computer.

“Look at that, David.” I said excitedly.  “Amazon has the exact same Fred and it can be delivered within two days.”

“How much is it?” he said.

“Who the hell cares,” I said.

“Order it,” he said.

When Fred arrived David said that we’d have to change his name but I told him no, we didn’t have to change his name, Fred was like one of the Kings of England.

“Oh,” he said, “Like Fred I and Fred II.”

“Yes.” I said. “Just like that. He’s Fred II.

 “Long live Fred!”

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