I’ve only been to a strip club once in my life. (How’s that for an opening line?)
I don’t believe I conformed to any labels in high school, but then again let’s be honest. Who here confesses to being a huge dork? Or a band geek? Or the kid who got his tighty-whiteys pulled up to his neck and stuffed in a locker? Well I wasn’t any of those, but I was friends with all of them. I was also friends with the stoners, the jocks, the theater kids, and the freaks. I could talk to just about anyone and I had no enemies. I was a straight-laced, straight-A student that never got detention and spent her extra study-hall hours helping out the student counselors. I was a good kid (And ok, maybe I was little dorky too). My best friend, S, was pretty much the same way. Her parents were teachers in the same school district so everyone knew who she was and the teachers made sure to be extra nice. I remember one particular day when she got a B on one of her tests and came to me crying because “OMG a B!” How tragic. I’m pretty sure I told her to suck it up because even I considered that a little extreme.
Long story short, let’s put it this way: If there were ever two girls to be voted “least likely to find at a strip club,” it would be us.
Fast forward about eight years. I’m married, hanging out with friends downtown when the guy whose birthday we were celebrating says that he would like to go to the East side. (For those of you not from STL, East side = strip joints). My husband shot me a sideways glance. In reality I’d always been curious to experience the East side. What happens over there? What do the girls look like? What’s the stage look like? Do they all wear clear platform heels? So many questions that needed to be answered. So we went. And my questions, they were answered. (BTW that whole thing about the girls paying extra special attention to the females that come through the door – totally true. I got for free what my husband probably would’ve had to pay $100 for. Not that I WANTED any of it!) A couple of hours later, we were ready to go home so we paid our bill and headed out the door.
One thing that didn’t cross my mind however was the possibility of seeing someone I knew. I grew up in this city so it’s not uncommon for me to run into people I know from time to time. I wondered if I might see a former cheerleader up on the pole, but the last person I would’ve ever expected was there instead – My friend S. No, she wasn’t on the pole, but she was in the parking lot of a strip joint at 3 am waiting for a friend to park the car. It had been a couple of years since we’d seen each other and this certainly wasn’t the place for any type of reunion, so I turned my head and started to walk the other way but it was too late. We had made eye contact. And then laughter ensued.
We both tried to explain through our tears of laughter that this was our first time here and we don’t normally hang out at strip joints but the laughter just got stronger. A few minutes later my friends were leaving and hers were walking inside so I wiped my eyes, gave her a hug, swore her to absolute secrecy and turned to go.
A moment later I turned around and called out to her: “Of all the strip joints in all the world, S, you had to walk into mine.”