A Stripper Taught Me This

No, not those kind of things. I already know the important ones and I don't have enough upper-body strength to do any inverted pole poses (yet). I'm talking about Life Lessons.

I have had a friend whom was a stripper, whom I will call Natalie. She was not a girl who climbed the stage at Shenanigans after a few too many--she did it for a living, she made decent money and she had many side businesses/projects at the same time. Like being a bartender/waitress, I have heard it's very hard to walk away from a job that grants you cash money: this is the trap of stripping AND working at the Cheesecake Factory.

Perhaps some of them ARE working their way through Law school



Why should I have listened to Natalie? Because--career aside--she was the oldest of many children, had moved out of her house and paid her own bills since she as 18, was compassionate, funny, had a crazy entrepreneurial spirit, a steady boyfriend and didn't let people or things scare her off of her dreams. I respected that.

I am drawn to people with strong personalities--I like to think it's a mechanism I use to force myself to remember that you shouldn't let people intimidate you out of your hopes and dreams. Natalie danced to her own beat. Literally.

So, life lessons:

I hope Christina Hendricks follows this advice.



1. If you are going to take pictures of your boobs and send them to a man, make sure your face isn't in it. Seriously. It is much easier to deny a picture is of you if your face isn't visible. Relationships end and people send text messages to the wrong people all the time. He's not going to complain. If he does, don't send anymore pictures.

Cash is king. Keep yours safe.




2. Hide ten percent of your money... from yourself. I wish I would have took this advice at 21. I bought so much stupid stuff. What Natalie meant was open a savings account at a far away bank with few branches, get a fireproof box, whatever--but take ten percent of whatever money you make a week and stash it away. You can survive without one sushi dinner or a new pair of shoes. And hide it from anyone else who wants to take your money, too. Financial freedom is worth the sacrifice. 

 

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3. Flirting is fine, fun and necessary [especially in her line of work] but leading men on is dangerous. I agree with this one, especially in retrospect. Flirting is fine. Creating an extreme fantasy of attraction for someone just for your own financial/material/self-worth gain is dangerous behavior. It can be dangerous in the bodily harm sense and in the emotional sense--if you mess with someone so deliberately they will probably not forgive you. And they might tell other people, too. Now you've burned many bridges.

If you're not feeling him--and you know he likes you--don't pretend that you are. Stalking is a real thing--whether you are a stripper or an accountant. Not only that, it's cruel. And Karma will find you.

4. Be who you are, but realize not everyone has to know every side of you. This is a good one. Many people think someone is "fake" if they don't act the exact same in front of all people and in situations. If every person tried to give an accurate portrayal of who they "really are" everyone would appear bipolar--we are meant to be multifaceted creatures.

My take away from this is know it's ok to leave a little bit of mystery about yourself. Have genuine interactions with people, but don't try to tell everyone your life story upon meetings them or every pet peeve you harbor. You will talk much more than you mean too. It takes time to really get to know someone. Let things happen organically. 

And, on the rational side, not everyone you meet will have good intentions. Some acquaintances should remain just acquaintances. Some people should stay firmly in that category. Many people will be curious about you, but few people will actually care to listen and react thoughtfully. You aren't being fake if you choose not to divulge every detail of your life.







5. Take off those damn heels. Ouch. You think your instep hurts after a night of dancing at a club? Try walking once your Achilles tendon shortens. Or getting corn-removal surgery. Wear them as little as possible. Seriously, you look sexy in flats, too. And the average male height is 5'8, give the guys a break.

That is the best of the stripper wisdom that was bestowed upon me. Other insights had to do with lose-weight-quick schemes and ab workouts. I can't attest to the success of those ideas, so I didn't feel right writing about them.

For all you worried about Natalie--she is no longer a stripper. She's moved on and not because she got old (she's still in her twenties). It does happen.

Good luck to ye, fair reader. What kind of wisdom have you learned from an unlikely source?

Tipping is Divine,

Lady J

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