I was trying to explain to someone yesterday why it’s bad to have sex with your husband on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I am lucky to have learned this early in life – there are many of you, I’m sure, who don’t know about this rule and might be inadvertently having sex on the wrong day. I am concerned for you. That’s why I’m telling you this. Also, if you don’t know what “inadvertent sex” is, then I’m sure you didn’t go to a girl’s school either.
But before I get to the rule and the consequences of breaking it, I’d like to tell you about my Greek grandmother. Yia-Yia came from Argos, a small town in the Peloponnese. During her daily promenade, she was spotted by a stranger who was visiting from the United States. That stranger was my grandfather, who was originally from a neighboring town, but had moved to Chicago to seek his fortune. He set eyes on my grandmother and immediately said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” Considering the miserable state of affairs in my grandmother’s household, it didn’t take much to lure her. My grandfather refused her dowry and insisted that she bring nothing from the village but the clothes on her back.
The night before she left, my great-grandmother pulled my yia-yia aside to give her The Talk. Though my mother insists that my great-grandmother was once a beautiful and irresistible woman, all remaining evidence suggests that she looked unnervingly like the lead in “Throw Mama from the Train.” But this didn’t stop her from knowing a thing or two about sex and God.
“Nikolitsa,” she said. “It’s the night before your wedding day. I want to tell you something.”
“What is it, mama?” said Yia-Yia.
“It is very important that you listen to me.”
Yia-Yia nodded. (In my mind, I imagine her filled with the same dread that I also felt in the moments before The Talk).
“When you are married, you will be expected to serve your husband in all ways that a woman should…”
“…and on your wedding night, your husband will want to make sexytime and poke you with his tuli.”
(Yia-Yia’s eyes widened with fear.)
“And that is not all. You will have to make the sex like a good wife and not just on your wedding day.”
“Yes! And you must remember – it is very important that you remember – never to have the sex on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Your husband will beg, he will plead, but you must be strong and refuse him.”
“But mama, what happens if you have the sex on those days?”
“You will hang by your nipples in hell.”
This piece of wisdom has been passed from generation to generation on the Greek side of my family. I treasure it like a precious heirloom, and fondly remember my own mother telling me this cautionary tale one misty morning over a cup of General Foods International Coffee while snuggled up on a porch swing. Listening to the rule, I wanted to make sure I understood it perfectly.
“So you can have sex on Sunday, the Lord’s day?”
“You mean God doesn’t mind?”
“But mom, what if you aren’t married?” I asked.
“You still hang by your nipples in hell.”
Apparently, there are no loopholes with God. Just extremely long nipples.