Unbelievable. Date clothes! A gift from Amy last Christmas, but not worn until I had good reason. That reason came last Saturday night.
A babysitter! We sprung for one! An extravagance, when you figure in the cost of movie and dinner. Reserved for truly special times ... like, say, Valentine's Day.
A movie! One that isn't animated!
Dinner! In a restaurant with nary a pizza or grilled cheese sandwich on the menu! A wine list! Valet parking! Waiters who don't write down your order! Lookatme, Mom — I'm a grown-up!
I had hoped that Amy would be wearing her new Valentine's Day present tonight, but as it turned out, the bra was running a little small. So she'll return it for something that we both like, and in the meantime, she put on an incredibly hot sheer black bra front-closure bra she picked up yesterday ... So delicious that there oughta be a law. I'm talking, of course, about the law that would state she's not allowed to put anything over it when she wears it. Amy wasn't particularly dolled up, going casual (at my recommendation), but she still looked ravishing. Which worked out well, seeing as a ravishing was on tap for that night.
The movie was Pedro Almodovar's Volver. It was a little piece of joy. (Thank God! When you rarely go out to movies, seeing a film worth the money feels like a matter of life and death.) Like most of Almodovar's films, it had a strong erotic undercurrent -- though this time there isn't a hint of sex, or even a romance. Almodovar accomplishes the sexual charge through his camera lens' infatuation with Penélope Cruz. Or at least her body. He costumes and films her as if she's a modern-day Sophia Loren, complete with the most delectable cleavage I've seen on screen in ages. (At one point, a character asks Cruz, "Where did you get that chest?... Are they real?" Indeed, it was a question I asked myself throughout, distracting myself into trying to remember what she'd looked like in the other films I'd seen her in.)
On a couple of occasions, Almodovar indulges the audience in extended aerial shots, angles that shoot straight down into a most inspiring open blouse as Cruz does seemingly mundane things like washing dishes or walking up a stairway. And there is a moment in this film when she walks up a cobble street pulling a small shopping cart, her hair perfectly up-yet-tousled, that feels like something straight out of the 1940s. Cruz is so glorious, so delicious that I told Amy afterwards I just might have to drop someone off my laminated list to make room for her.
I had kept the dinner location a secret, but Amy asked for one hint and easily figured it out. It's an old, romantic haunt of ours from our pre-children days. A storefront type that opens into a lush, cozy space that looks bigger than you'd think from the outside. The decor is eclectic but tasteful. They've added live music since we were last there too, adding a new element to the ambiance. I dropped Amy off and drove away to find a restaurant with valet parking (It's the only way to park in this neighborhood), and by the time I got back, Amy was already seated, raving about the singer/pianist, who had just laid down a pretty damn good version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Throughout the night, he brought out renditions of Billy Joel and Elton John songs, sung in a lower register than usual, which brought a new facet to songs that otherwise would have been pretty tired.
Fingers were crossed that the food was as good as we remembered. We weren't disappointed. I enjoyed a salmon filet with a light saffron wine sauce on a bed of spinach and some terrific gourmet mashed potatoes. Amy's dish blew us away: a sauteed tilapia with a sauce that included raisins, tomato marinara, and white wine. The waiter gave us a tremendous recommendation on a red wine; if I hadn't been driving, we would have easily finished off two bottles.
We talked a lot about Volver during the dinner, remembering the moments that resonated. We also did a good amount of people-watching (though we didn't scan the room for a fantasy fuck-buddy). Eventually, I couldn't resist bringing the conversation around to ... well, you know.
"I'm trying to decide if I'm going to cash in one of my coupons tonight," I started.
Amy laughed. "You know," she said, "I can't really remember what I wrote. Well, I can remember one of them."
"Would you like me to recite them, verbatim?" I asked.
We ran through them. (It was the anal sex coupon she remembered.) I reiterated the effect that they had had on me. She asked my thoughts on the "wildcard" coupon, and I just said that my I was too overwhelmed by the options to think clearly about it right now.
Amy changed the subject: "I completely forgot to tell you something about your Valentine's Day present: I didn't tell you how amazingly fun it was to try those on."
This was a nice surprise. When I imagined what that shopping experience must have been like for Amy, "fun" was not the word that sprung to mind. Based on my previous shopping excursions with her, the harsh lighting and mirrors in most dressing rooms only seemed to dampen her spirits. Not this time, apparently.
"I was actually getting turned on while I tried them," she admitted.
"That's so cool," I said. "You were there for over an hour, it seems like you tried on a ton of stuff."
"Oh yeah," she said. "The lady helping me really got into it, too, helping me find stuff. I tried on a lot, but the cool thing was that even the items I didn't take, it wasn't because they looked bad on me; they just didn't look as good as the outfits I came home with."
This is an amazing development, on two fronts: First, that she was so comfortable with her body that she had no problem trying on sexy clothes; secondly, that she was actually turned on while doing it.
"In fact," she revealed, "on Valentine's Day, at work, I got to thinking about what we were going to do that night, and I actually got really aroused. For the first time ever at this job, I was trying to figure out where I could go to ... take care of things."
"Did you?" I had to ask.
She laughed. "No, no. But it felt really good to feel ... eroticized again. Like, I'm coming back in touch with that part of me again."
Um ... I'm sorry, give me a moment. I need to wipe a tear from my eye.
Okay. I'm back.
Maybe a corner has been turned. Maybe things are shaping up. But what changed? Was it just her? Or was it something that I did, something I'm projecting, that's changing the equation? There's a part of me that says, Don't overanalyze it. But it'd be nice to know what slight tweak turned up the volume on the sexual dynamic ... if only to understand how to sustain that change well off into the future.
On the drive home, out of the blue, Amy brought up a porn movie we'd watched together some time ago. She described a scene she had been thinking about a lot, where porn starlet Chloe gets fucked in her office by her boss, right in front of a vindictive (female) co-worker doing her best to ignore the action going on only a few feet from her. (The movie was Antonio Passolini's Unreal.)
"So, what is it about the scene that turns you on?" I asked. "Is it the office setting?"
"Maybe," she said. "I don't know, really. It just works." Getting Amy to pin down why something turns her on is always a challenge, just like it's difficult to get her to clearly identify any kinks.
At home, when I returned from walking the babysitter to her car, Amy stood in the kitchen. We embraced, kissing passionately.
"You want me to find that movie?" I asked, and she nodded a mm-hmm. We got more comfortable — there would be no tearing off clothes tonight, probably because mine were new! I donned a robe, while Amy put on the second of the two Valentine's Day outfits she'd decided to keep. I was not able to find the video anywhere (which worried me greatly: Had I left it out somewhere where my kids or babysitter might have found it?), so we oped for a movie I had on my computer. Down to the basement we went, with Amy settling in between my legs, her back against me, the laptop on her lap.
It turned out that the movie wasn't our cup of tea. It's what the industry commonly calls a "couples film," which means that it's shot with all beautiful models. It would have been considered "hard-core" (penetration, money shots, etc.), but instead of really getting to hear people in true throes of ecstasy, you get lots of Enigma-like music playing over their slow-motion machinations. It's staged, dressed up, and extremely slow-moving. It's the kind of movie that men just introducing their wives to watching porn together would try ... but we're way past that. We found ourselves fast-forwarding through all the seductive posing and lip-licking to get to some action.
Finally, there was one scene that started to work for Amy — a beautiful woman being lavished with attention by two men. I finally saw a hand disappear into her thong when that scene got going.
"Who would you be doing that with if that were you?" I asked. "Who is joining us?"
She moaned. "Graham, a new guy in our office," she whispered. How very interesting!
"Oh yeah? Is that Graham's cock you're sucking while I get ready to fuck you from behind?" I was playing with her tits through the camisole, and she was starting to writhe. "Or maybe," I continued, "Graham is here, between your legs. He's licking that wet, hot cunt of yours while you and I both watch. He can look up and watch me squeezing your tits while he eats you. Would you like that?"
She groaned. We murmured for awhile about her new young workplace stud. I wondered if she'd ever really fantasized about him. I'll have to ask her another time.
The movie, which was already pretty much a dud, was becoming less and less interesting to us.
"Once you fuck Graham and me, are you going to return the favor?" I asked into her ear. "Will you share my cock with another woman?"
"Yes," she breathed.
"Who gets to suck my cock with you?" I asked.
"Who would you like?" she asked.
I have to admit: I was stymied. I spend all this energy fantasizing about Amy that when she asks me what other woman I'd like to do, I'm at a loss. "You can say it," she urged, as if I had someone in my head but was withholding. But there was no one!
Finally, I came up with a couple. "I'd love to watch you and Cynthia go at it," I suggested, indicating a high-ranking co-worker in my department. "Or maybe you and Shelley," the woman who, along with her husband, Amy had suggested (though not seriously) as foursome partners in a sex coupon. "Between her tits and yours, I could be a very happy boy."
The laptop suffered no damage, but it was pretty much kicked away. Amy threw open my robe and got to enthusiastically sucking my cock. Later, I requested a 69: Few things excite me more than her trying to suffocate me with her pussy while she blows me. I was so worked up with all the talk that it didn't take long, once we were in that position, to spray a helping of cum all over her tits and my stomach.
Amy gave a victory giggle as I came, enjoying the fruits of her labors. She crawled into a position where my head was in her lap, as I slowly came down. She hadn't come on this night, but she was fine with that. I vowed to even that score as soon as I could.
We talked for quite awhile, about the night, about the rest of our weekend, about previous Valentine's Days. This one — or perhaps should I say, the two-part celebration — was definitely the most fun in recent memory. It wasn't anything extravagant or original, but when so rarely and get to be a couple out in public, extremes of romantic ingenuity aren't necessary to re-capture that lightning.