A Night of Good Sex (a Comedy)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The night before his 38th wedding anniversary, Owen's wife turned to him and said “I thought it would be nice to spice things up for our anniversary.” and then she winked and finished with, “I’ll leave it up to you.”

What follows as Owen attempts to understand what his wife means by "spice things up" will make you laugh out loud and at times exclaim "no way!"

Submitted: January 02, 2011

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Submitted: January 02, 2011



Owen retired last year at the age of fifty five. He was able to do that because, as a CFO, he had dedicated his life to watching not just other people’s money, but also his own.  Now the surprising thing was that the adjustment to retired life wasn’t as difficult for him as it was for his wife, Patricia.  After just a few months of him wandering around the house she was pulling her hair out. Why should he care if she wore her pajamas till noon on Fridays? That was her morning to catch up on her reading before book club!
One day as he sat down to his morning coffee he found the newspaper was folded to the job classifieds.There was an ad circled in thick black marker.
“The cab company always needs drivers,” Patricia explained impatiently. “You grew up in this town and you know it better than anyone. Clearly you need something to keep you occupied.”
What she really meant was that SHE needed something to keep him occupied!
Owen was hesitant at first, but his wife had already scheduled an interview for him so he felt compelled to go.  He hadn’t missed a meeting in his career; he certainly wasn’t going to start now.
The interview went well and he started working the following Monday.  They gave him a blue jacket with the company logo embroidered on the back and he spent his days hauling people around town. His favorite fares were the company executives going to the airport. He enjoyed the look of surprise on their face in the rear view mirror when he asked them about Net Present Value decision models, ROI, or Asset Impairment Tests.
And Patricia was happy too. Three days a  week he was out of her hair most of the day.  
Now it didn’t upset him that his wife wanted him out of the house. They’ve been together since they were eighteen and married for thirty-four years. She had seen him through his career and supported him by moving several times as the company needed him in various parts of the world. They had enjoyed the adventure, but it hadn’t come without sacrifice on her part.  So he had no doubt that she loved him.
So since he had begun working for the cab company things between them had improved dramatically. That was until yesterday, which was the day before their wedding anniversary. He had planned dinner at their favorite restaurant in what had become their ritual over the past ten years.  Last night, however, while getting ready for bed his wife had thrown him a curve ball.
“I thought it would be nice to spice things up for our anniversary,” she had said and then she winked. “I’ll leave it up to you.”
Now, it was the wink that threw him because his wife didn’t wink. She was a practical sort of woman and in the thirty-nine years that he had known her he didn’t once remember her winking! So why had she done it? And what did ‘spice things up’ mean exactly?
Owen was left to toss and turn all night, barely getting any sleep while his wife drifted off. Morning came much too quickly as he had to get up early for an airport run. Hauling himself out of bed, he got dressed and pulled on his company jacket.
From the depths of her pillow Patricia said, “I’ll be home from the Town Council steering-committee meetings by six thirty, and don’t forget to pick up your new glasses at the shop. I don’t want you wearing those big old things when we go out tonight.” It was something she had done their entire relationship. If it didn’t have to do with work and she didn’t keep track of it it would never get done.  
As Owen drove to the depot to pick up his cab, his wife’s words played over and over in his mind. “What did she mean by spice things up?” He had fourteen hours to figure it out.

Late that morning Owen pushed his way through the heavy wooden doors of the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and paused to study the overwhelming layout. Built just six months ago, the side walls were lined with shelves so tall that no normal human being could reach the books on the highest shelves without a stool. The back wall was made entirely of glass, separating the store from a series of darkened party rooms. It was an unusual feature for the chain, but as he had read in the local paper, it was a test to see if they could expand their children’s book sales.
His chief concern was that Amanda Kelly, one of his neighbor’s twin teenage daughters, worked here during summer break. After carefully scanning the store he was relieved that he didn’t see her.
He wandered around for quite a while before he found what he was looking for in the “Health and Well Being” section. Uncomfortably, there was a sign hanging over the bookshelf that he needed that said “Books about Sex.” The good news was that it was located at the very back of the huge store and no one else was around.
He was nearsighted so he removed his new glasses and lay them on top of the bookshelf so that he could scan the titles on the top shelf; “Sex, a man’s guide” (thickest book on the shelf), “How sex works”, and “What women don’t want.” Glancing around again to make sure that no one was watching him, he started to remove a book entitled “How to seduce your wife.” He wasn’t sure that his wife wanted to be seduced, but the title was intriguing. He had it half off the shelf before he froze and slid the book back into place as soon as he saw the cover photo, which featured a nude woman lying on her back with her legs in the air and her ankles crossed.  He wasn’t getting caught holding that book!
The next book struck him as more appropriate for his current circumstance, it was titled “Sex for dummies.”
Engrossed in his research, Owen eventually came across “The Cosmo Kama Sutra: 77 mind-blowing sex positions.” Sliding the hot pink book off the shelf, he flipped slowly through the pages. In some cases he had to rotate the book to understand the positions. Owen thought that it should have been entitled “The acrobat’s guide surefire injury.”
Now most of the positions he could at least understand how things worked and where things went. That was true until he came across “the flaming flamingo.” It seemed to involve the guy holding the woman upside down while standing on one foot and smoking a cigar. Trying to get his head around what the cartoon-like diagram was trying to show, Owen raised his right foot and brought the book closer to his face and squinted as he studied the picture.
It was then that he heard the sound. More of a pounding, really. Still standing on one foot, he turned and looked at the glass wall behind him. What had been a darkened room just a short while ago was now full of at least fifteen children in party hats and four moms, with mouths agape. Now todays kids are much more educated than when Owen was young. When he was ten years old he didn’t know what sex was.  He didn’t even care! These kids clearly knew what was going on by the way they were looking at him and laughing. One of them was pounding the glass with one hand and pointing with the other.
But worst of all was the young lady with the Barns and Noble t-shirt standing at the entrance to the room, whose horrified smile stretched across her face like a teenager that had just caught her parents making love. It was Amanda Kelly. His teenage neighbor.
With an agility that he had thought had abandoned him years ago, Owen disappeared. He cleared Health and Well Being, passed straight through World Languages, and was running past Bill Clinton’s autobiography in Politics when he realized that he didn’t have his new glasses. His feet, however, didn’t give his mind a chance to debate the matter and carried him right out of the store.

Back in his car, Owen reached into the glove box and retrieved his old glasses. Now he needed to think of an excuse to give his wife for not having his new ones. He had gotten quite a bit of research in despite the unexpected interruption, but nothing that inspired him. He didn’t want to disappoint his wife, but he felt no closer to finding a strategy to spice things up than he had been before entering the store.
As Owen drove across town he scanned malls hoping that something would catch his attention. Unexpectedly, it was a movie billboard that finally provided the solution. As soon as he saw the title of the film he knew that it had inspired his wife’s comment as she had seen the film recently with her closest friend. A movie made from her favorite television program, it shared the same name… “A Night of Good Sex.” The program featured a cast of ridiculously attractive women who would never remain single for long in the real world, but on television none of them could hold a good man down. It made women across the country feel better as they watched them suffer.
Surely if he saw the film whatever had caught his wife’s fancy would stand out to him as well. They had, after all, been married for almost three and a half decades. You didn’t achieve that without knowing the other person as well as you know yourself. It was one o’clock in the afternoon and there was a matinee showing starting in twenty minutes. If the film ran the standard two hours he would still have lots of time to get home and get ready for dinner.
So it was with no sense of the disaster about to befall him that he entered the theater. He was in fact feeling quite confident that the solution to his problem was to be found on a large screen in a dark room. However, when he entered the lobby to the theater his confidence started to waver. The large lobby was surprisingly full of people given the time of day and worse still, behind the counter was the Melissa Kelly, the other twin.
Unfortunately the immediate urge to turn around and leave was quashed when Melissa made eye contact with him, smiled and waved. Owen waved back despite the sudden feeling of nausea that washed over him. Reacting without thought he quickly joined the line for the electronic ticket machine. His dislike for technology was put aside for the moment as facing a machine when purchasing a ticket to a movie titled “A Night of Good Sex” was infinitely more palatable than speaking those words to his neighbor’s fourteen year old daughter.
When it was his turn, Owen inserted his card, selected one ticket for the show and looked up as he impatiently waited for the machine to print his ticket. Had he not been so distracted while waiting his turn by trying to ensure that there wasn’t anyone else there that he knew, he would have noticed the electronic sign above each machine that broadcast the name of the film the person was buying tickets to and how many seats remained for that film. An innocuous enough technology on a normal day, but today was not a normal day.
Owen read the sign above his terminal in horror as he realized that it was telling everyone in the room what he was planning to see. In big red letters it posted the message “Processing request for a night of good sex.” Now we’ve all had those moments when it seems like it takes an eternity for a second to pass. Unfortunately for Owen, today technology was failing him, and it was in fact taking an eternity.
A host of giggles was starting to bubble up in the line behind him. If his bank card weren’t actually inside the machine he would have simply walked away. Instead he kept focused on the small screen in front of him and with a sense of inspired devotion he began to pray frantically to Jesus for some form of divine intervention. When that didn’t provide immediate results he remembered the adage that “God helps those who help themselves” and he hit the cancel button. Still nothing changed so he began to press the “cancel” button repeatedly.
The message on the screen above him suddenly changed. “Cannot process request for a night of good sex.” Then an electronic voice came on over a speaker system. Owen would later describe it as the same frustrating voice of the woman who tried to calmly walk you through the phone menu whenever you called a company these days. He continued to press the red cancel button while the woman announced, “Attendant to terminal number eleven for assistance with a Night of Good Sex.”
Owen felt like he was going to pass out! Then the attendant arrived. Melissa Kelly. First technology had failed him and now he felt as if God had cast him aside for surely this was what hell was like.
When Melissa arrived she wore the faintest hint of a smile, but she acted like a true professional.
“Let me see if I can help,” she said with a calmness that Owen did not share. Above them the computer started to loop its message.
Melissa entered a code in the computer and a new menu appeared. Then the message started to flash. “Cannot interrupt a night of good sex.”
Owen had enough. Putting his hand to his face and without saying a word to Melissa, he turned and walked out without his bank card. As the door closed behind him he heard the computerized voice announce “Request for a night of good sex denied.”

Once again in the safety of his car, Owen took stock of his progress. He had lost his new glasses, his bank card had been confiscated, both of his teenage neighbors thought that he was a pervert, and he still had no idea what his wife expected of him tonight. Maybe he would just ask for a divorce. Surely that would be easier.
But Owen wasn’t a quitter, he just needed to regroup. Being a practical man he did the most logical thing that he could think of. He put the car into gear and headed over to the bank to get a replacement for his bank card.
He emerged from the bank deep in thought. Should he attempt to make dinner for his wife instead of taking her to the same old restaurant? With the memory of how the rest of his attempts at new things had gone so far that day he struck the idea of trying his hand at making a meal. Then across the street a sign caught his eye. There was a brand new strip mall that included a restaurant that advertised take-out gourmet cooking. Leaving his car where it was, he crossed the street and was approaching the store when he noticed the business next door. Ballroom dancing. Patricia had always talked about taking ballroom dance lessons but he had always balked at the idea. Perhaps he could buy a gift certificate so that she could take some lessons. Surely that would qualify as spice.
He entered the dance studio, although somewhat hesitantly. Dance studios didn’t strike him as the kind of place that straight men visited when they were alone. Before he could change his mind a young woman in impossibly high heels glided across the dance floor to greet him.
“Hello, may I help you?”
Owen was relieved, he thought that she was going to ask him to dance. “It’s my anniversary tonight and I was just at the bank across the street,” he began.
“What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary,” she gushed. “Your wife will be so thrilled. We just opened today, so I’ll give you a special discount for being my first customer.”
“I thought that I might get her a gift certificate,” Owen said, but the lady just laughed.
“Oh, we can do better than that.”
“We can?”
“I’ll give the two of you a private lesson tonight. Are you going out for dinner first?”
“I don’t dance, but she would like to…”
“She can’t dance by herself. No, that simply won’t do. Let’s go into the office here and we can discuss the various packages.”
He was a former CFO who had negotiated multi-million dollar deals with tough businessmen under the most difficult of circumstances. Yet he proved unable to hold his own against a five foot four one hundred and ten pound girl. Owen left an hour later, having just committed himself to six months of dance instruction that would leave a dent in his 401k. As he crossed the street back to his car he considered reentering the bank to up their life insurance policies. Six months on the dance floor with him as a partner would surely prove fatal for at least one of them.
Halfway across the street he had a change of heart. If he was going to try dance lessons, then he may as well try something other than the same old restaurant. He went back to the new strip mall and went into the restaurant and spoke with the owner.
The service was a concept that Owen had never heard of before. The meals were prepared by a gourmet chef and delivered to your door ready to eat. They spent the better part of twenty-five minutes putting together the order. The meal featured five courses, including an appetizer that he couldn’t pronounce, a soup that looked more like a puree, a salad, chicken cordon bleu with seasonal vegetables, and a lemon sorbet for desert. The chef assured him that it wouldn’t be too much food, although for the amount of the bill he was sure there would be leftovers for a week.
As he left the restaurant he turned and looked back at the new strip mall, feeling quite satisfied. For a man whose career was built on doing the exact same thing month after month, he felt a strange sort of elation creep through him. He felt liberated. It was at that moment that he noticed the store at the end of the strip mall and he had a most uncharacteristic idea.

When Patricia arrived home at six thirty, she found the dining room table set for two with their fine china, fresh cut flowers, and a lit candle. The table runner ran the length of the table but without a table cloth beneath it. She smiled but said nothing, impressed that he had achieved what he had.
“You made dinner?” she said, a smile betraying her disbelief. She peeked past him into the kitchen and saw no evidence that a meal was forthcoming.
“Not quite. I wanted you to enjoy the evening, not put you in the hospital.”
He encouraged her to sit down at the table as he poured them each a glass of wine. Sitting down adjacent to her he took her hand in his and offered her a toast. “Here’s to raising three children, moving houses six times, changing countries three times, surviving two corporate mergers, and staying madly in love with each other through it all.”
She smiled as they both raised their glasses and then took a sip of her wine. They talked about her day for a short while when there was a knock at the door.
“That,” he announced, “is dinner.”
Her face fell at the prospect of her husband having ordered in Chinese for their anniversary, but much to her surprise, two men in black pants and white jackets glided in when he opened the door. They made their way to the kitchen, balancing trays crowded with beautifully-detailed silver dinner plate covers. The taller of the two emerged a few minutes later with a variety of hors d’oeuvres. When they had finished their first course he returned with two bowls of steaming hot soup and soft crusty bread.
Owen was struck by the beauty of his wife’s smile. He felt a strange mix of awe at how her face glowed and sadness that he had let so many years pass since the last time he had given her reason to be so radiant.
Each course seemed remarkably small, but as the chef had promised by the end of the fifth course, he felt satisfied. Not quite full, but somehow better than full. When Patricia finished her lemon sorbet, he took her hand and led her across their bungalow to their bedroom.
“To bed so soon?” She flashed him a flirty smile.
“Not just yet,” he said prompting her to sit down on the edge of the bed. “Wait here.”
He opened the door to the walk-in closet and stepped inside. When he disappeared from view she noticed that he had his best suit laid out on the bed. He emerged a moment later carrying a large patterned box. He laid it on the bed beside her. “For you.”
She lifted the lid and gasped when she saw what was inside. “You bought me a dress? Owen, how on earth did you manage this?”
Next to the dance studio was a women’s clothing store. The owner was obviously cognizant of the fact that a dance studio was opening up next door because she included a selection of ballroom dresses and dance shoes in her product line up. He had made two trips home and back to the store. First to get some of her dresses so that they could pick the right size, then to get some pairs of her dress shoes so the woman at the store could select the right dance shoes to match. Ultimately he contributed little to the purchase of the outfit other than his newly minted bank card, but his wife didn’t need to know that.
The colors in the patterned dress were picked to go with his wife’s auburn hair and fair skin. The shoes picked up the darkest tone in the dress.
“Owen, this is beautiful!” She quickly undressed and slipped the dress on. He held his breath when she asked him to zip her up, and felt a sense of relief when she remarked that it fit perfectly.
“Let me get changed, we don’t want to be late.”
“Late for what?”
“You’ll see.”
They left the house all dressed up and holding hands like high school sweethearts on their way to the prom. When Owen pulled into the strip mall he could see that Patricia was elated.
“We’re going dancing?”
“For the next six months,” Owen tried to sound excited.
“You signed us up for lessons?”
Owen nodded as he parked the car. He stepped out, rounded the vehicle, and opened her door. Offering her a hand, she joined him and they walked into the dance studio together.
“My first students!” the young lady greeted them, throwing her arms in the air like a gymnast who had just completed a routine. “Welcome!”
They agreed to start with the Waltz and the Fox Trot for their first lesson because Owen was concerned about being introduced to too many steps or types of dance in one class. The instructor began by teaching them the basic step in the Waltz. Once they had mastered the box, she showed them the underhand twirl. They glided around the room practicing the two steps that they had learned so far and Owen was struck by the realization that he was actually enjoying himself!
As he became more comfortable with the steps he found that he focused less on what his feet were doing and more on his wife. There was an intimacy between them as they moved around the dance floor that he had not felt in a long time.
Their forty-five minute session ended much too quickly, but because Owen had already signed them up it was “see you later” instead of “goodbye” to their instructor.
When they got home, they pushed the coffee table out of the way and danced in their living room. After a while they found themselves waltzing down the hallway and toward the bedroom. With his arms locked around her waist and hers thrown over his shoulders and around his neck, they kissed long and deep in a way that they both seemed to have forgotten. It was like visiting his old college town after being away for thirty-five years. Where you could walk down a street where you used to know every house but now just the odd landmark tugged at your memory. So too in her embrace he found territory that he had once known well and now he felt an electric thrill as he rediscovered what he had too long ignored. His hand found the zipper on the back of her dress and he slowly pulled it down. The shoulder strap of her dress fell to the side and… the doorbell rang.
“More surprises?” she pulled away from him enough to gaze into his eyes. The laugh lines on her face were prominent.
“I have no idea who that is.”
With a flourish she pushed him to a sitting position on the bed. “I’ll make them go away. Don’t forget where we were.”
With that she pulled her zipper back up and slipped out of the bedroom. Owen could hear a short conversation at the front door and a moment later she returned, hiding her hands behind her back.
“That was Mrs Kelly, our neighbor.”
Owen felt the blood drain from his face.
With a smile she held out his glasses and his bank card. “Her daughters somehow came to possess these items. Do you care to explain?”
After a moments hesitation Owen replied. “If you love me, you won’t make me explain tonight.”
“But someday? You’ll tell me someday?”
“When you’re old and gray and preferably after you have developed Alzheimer's.”
She punched his shoulder playfully. “Nice!”
He stood and wrapped his arms around her again. “Patricia, I know that I haven’t told you this enough over the years, but I love you. I hope that today I did enough to make you really feel it.”
“There is one more thing that you can do,” she said with a raised brow.
“Anything. I’ll do anything.”
“I hear that someone from the cab company was reading up on something called the flaming flamingo.”

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