By Mary Kingsley
There I was, standing in an aisle of my local Fantasy Gifts store, looking at lingerie for the first time in over ten years.
Did I feel awkward? Hell, yeah.
Why Fantasy Gifts, instead of the pricier Victoria’s Secret at my local mall? I did give this careful thought.
For one thing, this Fantasy Gifts is located in a seldom-used, sad-looking strip mall, where very few people wander around during the day. I could easily park down the street, walk casually along and then duck in the door when I was sure nobody would see me (wearing dark glasses).
My experience of shopping at Victoria’s Secret years ago, back when I considered lingerie as a way to enhance and show off what I had rather than trying to hide it, was quite different. There were nosy sales associates offering help constantly.
There were giggly teenagers looking at the Sale table for panties while I tried to peruse some of the more racy items on a rack nearby. And truth be told, my tastes run just slightly trashier than your average tasteful lingerie store.
I didn’t want lacy, cutesy stuff. I wanted a racy black (or red) body stocking, no crotch and a mostly open, lace-up behind. I wanted partly see through in all the right places.
I’m not going for demure young super model when I shop for this sort of thing. I’m going for mature woman who knows what she wants and is damn well gonna get it.
Once inside, I saw that there was a young man shopping in a different, more interesting area of the store, who shot me an occasional inquisitive glance. Don’t make eye contact with a guy looking for bondage stuff.
But I stood my ground; I wanted this.
I had a date. A real date.
A date that I knew would lead to… IT.
We had done enough sexting to make that crystal clear. (Yes, people over 50 can sext, too.)
And I was desperate for something sexy, both to make me feel more desirable, and to cover up what I perceived as my flaws.
Since it had been such a long time (for many reasons I’ll explain in another segment), I was exceedingly nervous. I was pretty sure I remembered what went where.
Being over 50, you could say I’ve been around the block once or twice. But I felt very unsure of myself andalso worried about my appearance.
I wanted to get a response – I wanted to show myself off to the fellow in question and get a “wow” response – I wanted him to be eager to get his hands on me. It made me a bit tingly just thinking about it.
To accomplish the effect I wanted, I had an entire day of planning ahead of me. I had to do, as Joan Rivers used to call it in her comedy routine about visits to the gynecologist, “the big shave” – of course in those days I doubt she was referring to the Brazilian now so much in vogue.
I was not willing to go quite that far, but simply going all the way up the legs. For now.
And I had a mani-pedi scheduled as well, especially as I rarely do anything to make my feet look nice.
But I had to get these purchases out of the way first, then try them on at home.
The very innocuous looking middle-aged lady running the cash register looked over at me kindly.
“Can I help you find anything?” she asked, in a much louder tone than I preferred.
“Um, yes,” I began, nearly at a whisper. “Do you know if these sizes tend to run large or small?”
She offered their ramshackle fitting “rooms” (more like scantily curtained booths, really) to try on the various bustiers, etc., but I was not willing to try anything on there. I’d rather risk buying something that didn’t fit (“NO RETURNS,” the sign said, and the cashier reminded me).
I settled on a couple of items that looked like they might be somewhat forgiving (and also hide the bits I was most worried about covering up) and gingerly walked over to the counter. I peered around; fortunately the young man had left, and there were no other customers on this weekday morning.
“It’s been a while,” I offered to the lady as she rang up my purchases.
“You’ll be fine,” she said. “You know, I used to worry about my weight and all too, and I used to try and cover myself up. But my boyfriend just laughs at me. He says he just likes to see me without a stitch on! They know what we’ve got, honey, and they want to see it!”
I laughed nervously. But it turned out she was right. Find out how in Sex after 50? The Big Date (Part II).
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