The Most Unexpected Christmas Gift… Ever

Over Halloween weekend my parents were in San Francisco visiting me, en route to Australia and New Zealand. When they told me which days they would be in town, I told them I would take off work, I would take them to great restaurants, I would show them the sites, but that Saturday night they would be on their own because I had Halloween parties to attend. For the past several years the same group of friends and I have donned (what I consider) witty costumes. I couldn’t break tradition.

Maggie, even though she couldn’t be with us, lent us the idea for this year’s costume. At first I was dubious. Would anyone recognize us as Boob-Slip Tara Reid? I obviously underestimate the power of pop culture.

I also underestimate the amount of time to pull together a costume. The four of us had our black evening dresses, we had our blond wigs, our white wraps, our fake boobs, our Victoria’s Secret double stick tape to hold said fake boob in place. We decided we should have tassels underneath our fake boob, just in case it fell off. It was my job to obtain said tassels. I figured it would be no problem, after all, we do live in San Francisco.

I tried Victoria’s Secret. Good Vibrations. Nameless adult toy shops in the Tenderloin. No one carried tassels. I was in shock. I turned to the trusty internet. Felicity’s Fetiche claimed they carried tassels. Unfortunately, the only time I had free when the shop was open was on Saturday morning. My parents and I had planned to visit the Asian Art Museum after spending the morning at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. What luck! Felicity’s Fetiche was a mere blocks away from the museum. I told my parents to walk on to the museum; I had a stop to make. They insisted on coming with me. I didn’t want to explain to them what I was shopping for; I thought they might not notice I was taking them to a fetish shop.


We walked through rhinestone thongs and CFM boots. Silk ties and other bondage materials hung seductively from the walls. Sure enough, there was a nice selection of tassels in the display case. I bought several pairs and we were on our way.

On the street they asked me what I had bought. I explained the costume, how we would be wearing fake boobs, how we were attaching the fake boobs with double stick tape, how the tape might wear thin by the end of the night, so we wanted an “insurance” plan, hence the tassels. They nodded.

While on their trip to Australia and New Zealand, my dad sent out email updates to friends and family. One of the first emails detailed their trip to the fetish shop with a note about how “Lori always manages to show us something new each time we visit San Francisco.”

Fast forward to Christmas in the Bible Belt.

We’re all opening our presents – Mom, Dad, siblings, nephew. I pick up a smallish rectangular box which reads “To Lori, From Santa.” As I begin to open it, I hear my mom signal to my dad, “Jerry, look…” All eyes turn on me as other unwrapping is suspended. It’s not a heavy box. I can’t imagine why everyone is watching me. I open the box top to reveal violet tissue paper. I gingerly peel back the layers of tissue. I see a card with two furry dots. What is this? Button covers? Earrings? I read closer.

“The Original. The Genuine. Possum Pam Possum Fur Nipple Warmers.”

Mom exclaims, “We found them in a gift shop in New Zealand!” I feel my face turn bright red as the room erupts in laughter. I can’t believe my parents have given me nipple warmers for Christmas. The most unexpected Christmas gift… ever.

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