Day 199: “A Stripper and A Scholar”

I was talking to someone who hasn’t been there through my craziness and trying to explain it has been interesting.  There are a few main topics that come up:  My borderline (then and now), Make up artistry, and the difference and similarities between Kimmie and I.  It’s hard to explain how two friends so different have so much in common and all I can chalk it up to is that we have our own ways of experiencing the same things:

I don’t mind going to strip clubs after I hung up my stripper shoes, but I am a pretty critical audience member.  My friend, Kimmie, is also a pretty harsh critic as well.  She wasn’t ever a dancer (well, she’s a ballerina) but never a stripper. I loved that she had an appreciation for it and never judged me because of it.

Kimmie did spend a lot of time in strip clubs while she was in grad school…  I was older than her and TRYING to get a two year degree. She studied Creative Writing and would have to read at least two novels per week including piles of short stories. It was fascinating to know someone that motivated that wanted to hang out with me. She was a smart bad ass. I was taking on the world 6 credits a semester.

Guys at bars would see Kimmie sitting there with her giant book as an invitation to hit on her and she would get fed up and leave to a strip club.  Here, guys would leave the fully clothed scholar alone. I’ve wondered on many occasions why she couldn’t ever just go home to finish her work and I remember her telling me stories about being an undergrad student at Colorado State and going to a busy coffee shop that played live music to get her work and studying done.

The coffee shop was open 24 hours and perfect for a full time student’s schedule.  I think the noise conditioned her study habits in an interesting way when she moved to the east coast for grad school.  Regardless, I’m happy she’s this weirdo scholar that has an appreciation for dancers.

Back in the day, when Kimmie and I were out with guys, one of them would make a joke, “let’s go to a strip club!” waiting for a disgusted reaction from either of us.  When the guys would see we were both game, they’d either get really uncomfortable and the night would be over or they’d follow through and we’d try out either one of the familiar spots or try someplace new.  The look of the guys’ faces when we walk into a club in Arlington right outside of DC where the strippers are saying, “Hey Kimmie!  How’s it going?   How is the MFA treating you?”  or going into a club in downtown DC where I’d pull out my VIP pass for the best seats and free drinks was priceless.

Kimmie and I usually keep our critical comments to ourselves and just try to support the dancers with our dollar bills, storing in our mental database where the best looking strippers were and the ones that did the coolest tricks.  However, one evening with too many tequila shots in me, Kimmie and I went to a club with some guys in DC.  It was one that was talked about quite a bit and had a good reputation…It’s no news that my big mouth gets me into trouble, but that night, the ugliest dancer came on stage…

We’re going to fast forward a bit to the part where the stripper bent down and spit in my face… what could have made her do such a vile act?  Well, it could have been when I started to drunkingly yell, “Get that ugly stripper off the stage!”  She may or may not have said, “FUCK you!”  I may or may not have said that her vagina looked like a sea urchin… Don’t get me wrong.  I think vaginas are beautiful, but hers was abnormally external.   SO… she spit in my face.  I lost it!  I threw my drink on her and started screaming, which made the crowd cheer- cause now there was a wet stripper and a pissed off patron.  Before the girl on girl wrestling match could happen, the bouncers were on me fast and I got thrown out of the club.  I’m unsure what Kimmie did during all of this, but she has the uncanny ability to remain calm in chaotic situations.  She probably waved her finger to the waiter for the check, gave the stripper and the waiter a good tip while mouthing “Sorry,” and walked out, slowly, leaving our dates behind.  I do remember her psycho Asian death glare that said, “Try to talk to me and you’ll be walking home.”  It was the most uncomfortable silent ride of Asian fury I’ve ever been apart of.

The next morning, I called Kimmie, full of shame and embarassment.  “Hey… So, about last night-“

“That was hilarious!” She cut me off, mostly to let me know that everything was cool.  “But we’re never going there again.”  And we never did.

Now that I’m 30, I can’t remember the last time I’ve stepped foot in a strip club.  I mean, I can’t even enjoy a drink dressed up for Halloween!  The best part of that night?  Was curling up in my PJs and eating macaroni salad.  I start to wonder when I became so boring, but honestly… I kind of love it.

Here’s to what could have been 166 Days, Veronica Graham, I never thought a great night would consist of reruns and my knock off snuggie.

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