Reluctant Retailer

by Dawn DeBraal

Carol tried to focus on her friends instead of the array of blister-packed products on display at the Pleasure Palace Emporium. She didn’t even know what most of the products were, nor did she want to. It’s not that she was a prude – well, maybe she was.  The other ladies in the car pulled in for “Gag gifts for Donna’s bachelorette party.”  The girls giggled as they picked objects from the display rack, saying wildly inappropriate things, and making Carol blush.

Allowing herself to look around, she noticed the store was brightly lit. A row of curtained booths at the back of the store caught her eye. She wondered what those were for, and then shuddered to think of what those booths were for.  Her eyes rested on the cashier in the store, who was looking very bored and perturbed at the loud giggle gaggle of women in his shop. A look of impatience aimed in their direction didn’t add to Carol’s comfort level.

Getting more stressed by the minute, Carol decided to find her gag gift and get out of the Pleasure Palace Emporium as soon as possible. Her friends were having such a great time, why couldn’t she just relax and go with the flow?   She found a pair of edible underwear made of licorice. It made her chuckle thinking that in the event Donna and Kurt were hungry on their honeymoon, they’d have something to eat, so it wasn’t a total waste. She took the package up to the grumpy cashier and quickly made her purchase. She wondered what her husband would say when he got the emailed receipt for edible underwear from the Pleasure Palace Emporium. Walking back to the girls, she let them know she was going to wait for them outside.  While standing in the dark parking lot with the bag containing the edible underwear, she watched as the clientele of the store parked their cars and walked into the Pleasure Palace Emporium to shop. This proved to be just as uncomfortable for Carol as being in the store, only it was darker.  Carol started to second guess her decision to wait in the parking lot.

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