So for today’s big adventure, I went back out to the sex toy shop, with my buddy Deb and a friend of hers from out of town.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone to a sex toy shop with two romance writers old enough to be your mother. I think I may be scarred for life.

The image we presented must have been mildly absurd–two very well dressed, matronly women, both of whom were wearing vivid turquoise, and a much younger chick looking rather goth* and holding her right arm as if it might attack at any moment. It got worse when we reached the relevant stock and started talking. “Ursula! Do you see one with a bigger head?” “…Deb, I love you, but I am NOT helping you pick out vibrators.” “You’re such a prude. Oooh, look, vibrating underwear!”

The number of sex toys that can now be attached via USB cable alarms me on some fundamental level.

So we escaped with our lives and X-rated schwag, and went off to a bookstore, chatted with a very nice woman about ordering Nurk come June, and then I went into the coffee shop and was complimented on my tattoo by the baristas, whereupon a woman came up to me and said “Is that a kingfisher?”

“THANK YOU!” I said, since I’ve been half-worried people would think it was a woodpecker. “Yes! I’m a birder…”

“Oh, me too! I’m in the New Hope Audubon Society! Is there a spiritual significance…?”

“Well, kingfishers are supposed to symbolize going fearlessly into the unknown, and I got this divorce last year, so I figured…”

“Oh, me too! I just got a divorce in October! I feel great!”

“All right!”

We shook hands.

So what I have learned today–other than that shopping for sex toys with romance writers is both fun and alarming–is that a tattoo this size is even more of a conversation starter than the armband was. I’ve been handing out the name of Blue Flame Tattoo, and Christy, to all and sundry.

*I should probably just accept that the hair and tattoos have pushed me over the edge on that front. Although I may have passed “goth” and hit “mildly alarming.”

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