After a weekend of family holiday time, I thought y’all might appreciate a family story about my grandmother and “The Almost X-Rated Garage Sale.” Since y’all are my posse, I’ll give you all the deets (except the parts that would get me disowned).
It all began with a kitchen table discussion about the “color of the covers” for Harlequin/Silhouette romance novels…
I distinctly remember getting the following information at a writer’s meeting:
The colors on the covers of Harlequin and Silhouette category romances tell you about the amount of sex you will find in the books. (At least they used to.)
- Pastels such as pink or blue will have no actual sex scenes and will end in marriage.
- Deep greens, blues, purples will have at least one sex scene and will end in marriage.
- Red covers will have multiple sex scenes and do NOT have to end in marriage.
Here’s a great post on what Harlequin has to say about their covers.
You know I had to clue my female relatives into the whole Red Covers thing. They love being “in the know.”
Several of the ladies immediately went in together on a monthly subscription. My mom’s best friend got them delivered to her house because she has a covered porch. (Remember this is a small town in Missouri.)
[Don’t say I didn’t warn you.]
The friend would read them and pass them on until everyone who was interested got a peek. We had a fine time talking about the anatomical impossibility of some of the scenes and, when one of the authors described a hero as “God of Beefcake,” all the ladies in my family nearly peed themselves laughing.
Apparently, my grandmother was into the red covers. Really into them.
When she passed away, there were TONS of Blaze novels and various “red covers” at her house. She never said a word…just somehow made sure she was the final stop on the “Red-Cover Train.”
They were cleaning out my grandmother’s bedroom when one auntie opened the drawers of the bedside table. Her jaw dropped and all she could say was: “Oh. My. God.”
My other aunt walked over and peered over the first one’s shoulder before sitting down on the bed and saying, “Oh. My. GOSH” a ton of times.
Apparently, there were some…um…personal massagers in that there drawer.
My mother, being who she was (hilarious), immediately started cracking jokes about “what a big bang the garage sale was gonna be.”
My favorite gems:
- “Maybe we can curtain a corner off like they do in the video store and sell them in there.” (Everyone wanted to know how she knew about the adult section in the video store.)
- “We could have PG-13 and X-rated sections – one would just have the Red Covers and the other would have BOTH.”
- “What if we get some of that raffia like they have at the mall and tie the Red Covers together with the massagers?”
- “Do you think it would make things more upscale if we included a pretty washcloth like they do at The Body Shop?”
I was over in California, busting a gut laughing about all this. I didn’t get to see any of the items in question (thank you, Jesus), but I heard about them for weeks.
Finally, the garage sale weekend came and I could NOT wait to hear all the details. I called my mom the minute I woke up Sunday, asking “How did it go??? Did you get arrested for porn trafficking?”
“Your aunt wouldn’t let me do it,” she said. “She was afraid we’d end up in the Daily News and she’d have to go into seclusion.”
“Well, what did you do with all of it then?”
“We gave it to Goodwill.”
And the jokes started all over again…
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen at a garage sale? Have you ever sold anything you were embarrassed about later? Ever been written up in the paper for it? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!