The scene: a weekend away with friends, and friends of friends. Three couples, five kids. Bikes, mopeds, puzzles, games. Grilling chicken, eating shellfish. Drinking too much, staying up too late. General relaxed, fun, never serious conversation.
Apropos of nothing, Sarah, a sexy, petite, exotic mom brings up to all the assembled adults (two-year-old on her knee) the “rampant swinging” in our neighborhood. Apparently, a lesbian mom let her in on all the juicy details at a recent (fifth) birthday party. “Everyone,” she assured us, “is doing it.”
“Did you know,” she asked breathlessly, “that they just leave their keys in one another’s mailboxes, and if you get someone’s keys, then you have to go, you know, have sex with them?!?”
“You have to?” I asked.
“But what if you don’t want to?”
“Well that’s kind of one of the rules.”
“Wow. What are the other rules?”
“Well, she told me about a man and a woman, both married to others, who had an affair. THAT was totally against the rules.”
“Well yeah,” she explained, as if it were obvious. “This is just about sex, so if it’s anything else, then you’re breaking the rules.”
I thought for a moment. “You realize she was inviting you, don’t you?”
“Oh no,” she protested, outraged, incredulous.
“But surely one of the rules is that you don’t talk about the rules with someone who’s not in the club?”
She thought about that.
“Wait!” I said. “You’re inviting us!”
Um. No. The mirth (and cluelessness) made it clear. We were gossiping, not flirting.
Too bad. She’s cute.