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Chapter 3. WIENER

During the next few years I suffered a series of boring local boy relationships. Some steady sex partners and would be fathers, a couple proposals of marriage. Nothing I felt I could endure for the rest of my life.

Still noteworthy, if not long lasting: Woody, for example, was a sweet guy. He was short, but I’m only five foot three, so that worked. His wiener was of the medium variety, and he was a considerate lover during our Saturday night specials. Weekends he hung around the house doing guy chores like hanging pictures and cleaning out the garage, and tossed the ball with Todd in the yard. I thought he might be husband material and a father figure. But as it turns out, he wanted me to cook dinner for him every night, and popcorn and a movie was his idea of an exciting date. It didn’t take me too many months to realize that he wanted to hold hands but I wanted to hold wiener. So, ball tosser or otherwise, he didn’t offer enough shag time for me, and I knew I would never be his wife.

Little Bob was a similar story. He was my first red head. I was fascinated and had such fun tickling my nose in his fur. He gave me the euphemistic pearl necklace, then he bought me pearl earrings. Both were nice. Bob also yearned to prove himself with my kids, until Annie caught him scolding Todd. At five foot six she stood nose to nose with him and made it clear he might be a good screw for her mother, but to back off the planned parenthood path. Little Bob was easily intimidated, and I knew I would never be his wife.

I supported myself and the children by teaching French at a high school in the next town over and worked the night shift for a local newspaper, covering school committee meetings and drug busts. Eventually a position as the head of Public Relations for the community college guided me to start my own PR firm which I named Sparklers with the slogan: We Ignite Your Business. I bought a little office building, carpeted it in purple to match the painted walls, and printed up purple business cards and stationery with the logo of a big sparkler bursting purple fireworks.

I had a steady clientele in the Jersey Shore area, and no, get your mind out of the gutter, I refer to successful professional business partnerships. Though along the way I met and enjoyed the attentions of an assorted string of lovers fondly nicknamed: Le Coq; El Churro; and the unforgettable Il Cazzone. Gradually my PR business specialized in the promotion of housing communities that were springing up all over the south Jersey coastline. My children were growing up in the only single parent household in Wildwood, and we were doing fine.

By the time Annie was in high school, she was getting straight A’s and had a steady boyfriend who pretty much lived at our house. I can remember several occasions when it came in handy to have a well-muscled six-foot man around the house, if only 16 years old. Furniture got moved, lawns got mowed, asses got pinched. With three women in the house, he wasn’t particular whose body part he was squeezing, and since all three of us had a crush on him, neither did we.

Susan was the child most like me. A demure waif, she struggled through the caterpillar years of glasses and braces. By her mid-teens, she emerged a butterfly with blonde tresses down her back, haunting green eyes, and a penchant for mini-skirts that showed off her superlative winning “best legs.” Like Annie, Susan had a steady boyfriend, but she also had a steady supply of her girlfriend’s boyfriends popping in after hours, or tapping the windows with pebbles in the middle of the night. I didn’t judge.

With three single women in the house, I figured the basic necessities would be handled. Laundry would get washed, dinner would get cooked, carpets would get vacuumed. But by the time the girls were teens, I established the only family rule: Our house is our home, keep your sexual liaisons in the back seat of cars and at motels. Susan, as I mentioned was most like her mother, and defined the basement playroom room as a motel, and comfortably overlooked the “sex elsewhere” rule. I didn’t judge.

Todd, the baby of the family, was a bed wetter. He started weekly therapy sessions by the time he was six years old. I assumed his problem was that he had no father figure, since my one ball ex-husband wasn’t around much. By the time Todd was ten, his therapist advised that when I sleepwalk him to the bathroom at midnight, rather than hold his penis for him while he peed, it was better to let him wet the bed. He also suggested that Todd would never waste allowance money on Playboy magazine, since he had live models in the house. The psychologist recommended that the girls and I start to wear bathrobes.

My first reaction to this instruction was relief, at least my little guy was a red-blooded heterosexual. Before you get all indignant on behalf of the Queer community, I’ll add the disclaimer here that I have many wonderful gay men in my life, and love them dearly, but none of them were going to be husband material. So, topic covered, let’s move the story along.

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