No one really thought it was a good idea to bring Grandma along to the Erotic Art Show, but my mom and grandmother were in town, celebrating their birthdays, and I happened to be bellydancing at the event. Neither my mother nor my grandmother had ever seen me bellydance, and they both wanted to, so my mom and I hatched a plan.

“Jessica’s dancing at a Valentine’s-Day party and art show,” my mom told my grandmother. We told her it was a fancy event, and she was excited. I think she wore a black dress.

I arrived at the Turf Club early to practice. The rest of my family drove in a second car.

They walked in and my mom shot straight to the bar (my grandmother is much nicer with alcohol). My sister, Suz, steered the rest of the party to a table near the dance floor and away from the paintings and photographs that might make a 76-year-old woman blush.

But my grandmother didn’t want to wait. “Tom,” she said to my husband, “take me to look at the art.”

Tom, a bit bashful, suggested waiting for the wine. Following the drinks, my mom and sister took my grandmother to look around.

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Initially, Grandma didn’t like what she saw. “Now, that’s just gross,” she shouted, oblivious to the artists standing next to their pieces. More wine, please.

But then, Grandma got used to it. “I worked at a doctor’s office. I’ve seen all this before.”

The rest of the night went smoothly. Grandma loved watching me dance, and she even enjoyed the rock band. Yes, the vagina pillows were a bit over the top, but I think she got a kick out of the woman dressed as a fairy handing out stickers.

As we left, Grandma noticed a sign on the door. She misread it: “You guys, it’s an exotic art show,” she said, “That explains it. It’s exotic art. Wait ‘till I tell my sorority about this.”

THE 12TH ANNUAL EROTIC ARTS SHOW happens 7pm-12am at the Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Rd., Monterey, this Saturday, Feb. 11. $12/advance; $15/at the door (21 and over). 899-1007.

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