It was my first penis straw. Green.
Also my first bridal shower since the last millennium.
The two intersected at Aziza's tonight where a very good friend was being celebrated for her upcoming nuptials to (and I quote her when she first met him), "A good looking hunk of man meat."
The surprised guest of honor was particularly tickled because it was the first time all her good female friends, half married, half single, had been gathered in one place.
Sort of a seven worlds collide situation, if you will. Like me, she has a tendency to keep her female friends compartmentalized.
Tonight, she put on the tiara provided and proceeded to hold court.
Over vodka limeades and endless bottles of vinho verde, we got to know each other while we listened to stories about the upcoming wedding, the groom not yet having purchased a suit to be married in and the bride's fondness for his cooking skills.
The theme for the shower had been risque nightwear, which sounded like the opposite of what I know my friend wears at night.
Nevertheless, I made my first foray today to Priscilla McCall's on Broad Street ("Where fun and fantasy meet!"), a place I'd passed many times but never so much as given a second glance.
Let's just say I've done it now and leave it at that.
My lingerie gift had not been particularly wild with the exception of the dental floss-like piece that passed for matching panties.
On the other hand, some of the gifts (nipple stimulants, glow-in-the-dark condoms) encouraged one guest to note, "Edible panties have a tacky feel, so you end up sticking to the sheets."
This was something I hadn't known until tonight.
The gift of a book, "Make Your Own Sex Toys" provided fascinating reading for one who had never made her own (yes, me).
There were basics like the strap-on salami (with a plant-based version for vegetarians), but also instructions on how to use your cell phone (in a condom, of course) as a vibrator.
I don't have a cell phone, so that's one I won't be using.
As a non-crafter, I also can't knit, so I won't be making the willy warmer, either.
Dinner was delightful, basically one long string of endless dishes arriving and being consumed.
Beet salad with mint, pickled onions and whipped mascarpone was positively decadent.
Roasted mushrooms with asparagus, pea shoots and sunny side up egg was as plate-licking good as when I'd had it last night.
I only got one bite of whole grilled quail with gnocchi, wild mushrooms, spinach and lemon butter, but it was a damn fine bite.
Smoked Arctic char with butter bean mash, citrus and cucumber was the most ordered dish and disappeared off of every plate in short order.
A pizza of shitake and crimini mushrooms, caramelized onion and cow mozzarella was so tasty that it won over even those who prefer white pizza (namely, me).
With all women at the table, the conversation got pretty lively, even before we got to the word-to-the-wise portion of the evening.
"What advice for a good marriage do I need?" the bride inquired innocently enough.
"Never go to bed mad!" one wife said.
"Make sure you have your own blankets," said another, providing anecdotal evidence why.
"Horny rules!" said our hostess, coincidentally also named Karen.
You can imagine the floodgates that opened up.
Before you can say "what's for dessert?" we were having a round table discussion about the Museum of Sex in NYC, morning sex and ben wa balls.
Fortunately, that was when the baked Alaska arrived.
The party planner had arranged for the chef to do individual baked Alaskas using peach ice cream and gluten-free cake.
Some at the table had never even had the vintage dessert before, but I wasn't among them.
Still, this version, and each was enormous, was especially delicate and the meringue perfectly browned, no doubt in that monster of a wood-burning oven in the back.
I admit, I couldn't finish mine. That was part fullness and part laughing so hard.
Once you start hearing a woman you just met saying that if her husband dies,"No more husbands. I'll just be happy with eighteen to twenty one year olds."
Another, younger and married a shorter time, differed. "I'll marry someone who's 60 and be done with it."
What about sex, we asked.
"Pool boy!" she said as if it were obvious.
"I'll check back with you in fifteen years and see if you still feel that way," laughed an older and wiser woman.
Check back with me then too, and let's see where I fall.
I'm guessing the older and wiser one would say it all depends on the quality of the man meat.