Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter
Nov 2011 10

Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter

Posted In Blog,Booze,Food & Drink,Love,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Laurelin

“Please go with me,” my friend Leanne asked. “I really need this job but I can’t go alone.” I was doubtful. I didn’t want to work at that strip club in Providence, she did. But I guess it wouldn’t kill me to tag along. “Just waitressing,” she had said, and I agreed. There was a group of about ten girls and the club manager gave us all a tour of the floor, the back rooms, and backstage. It was a lot bigger than it looked outside, dimly lit with flashing lights, perfect cooshy chairs lined a perfectly strobe lit stage, and a DJ announced each girl as they started to dance, looking more beautiful than anyone I had ever seen. When it came time to fill out an application I shook my head, but the manager touched my elbow and gave such an encouraging smile that I thought, “well, maybe.”

She called exactly a week later, saying I had a job. My friend didn’t get a call, and even though I felt terrible I also got a bit of a rush. This was so… dangerous. Not my style. I was still in college, in a sorority who’s motto was “Be womanly always.” This was womanly, I guess. Naked womanly. I was all in. The manager met me at the front door and walked me in, showing me to my dressing room and handing me my waitressing uniform. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen — black lace up knee high pleather boots with lace up matching pleather booty shorts and a black and red striped lace up corset. It all fit like a glove. I looked at myself in the mirror with what seemed like millions of movie star dressing room light bulbs making me glow. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart and I stepped out of the room and into the dark.

I don’t remember when I went from nervous to confident, from being the new girl to being the girl who commanded the room. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months, and a few shifts a week turned full time. I was still in college and making more money than I knew what to do with. I knew every man that set foot into that club, and I knew their stories and what they drank and what they wanted to talk about, especially what they wanted to hear. These men were lonely, whether it be a wife or girlfriend who had settled into routine too quickly, or if there was no one really in the picture at all, no friends, family, just us, just me, a regular girl transformed by a life of strobe lights and glitter.

Soon I wasn’t just waitressing. There were backrub girls too, and when I saw how much money they were making, after one year I was ready to make the switch. Looking back now I still can’t believe it. Armed with scented baby oil gel I ruined these guys, sending them home slimy and smelling of lavender. One year of work turned to two, and then to three. Back rubs and waitressing were now supplemented with foxy boxing and hot oil and whipped cream wrestling on Friday and Saturday nights. The money rolled in, and every single shift I was smiling. I walked out on the stage to my fake name and I worked the room. I wanted to be there. I loved this act, this secret person, this girl who knew just what to say to walk off making a man feel like a million bucks while really, he was just giving it to me.

I remember the night things started to change. My boyfriend had come to visit, and instead of me being able to visit with him like usual I was busy in the champagne room. I had been in there with a customer for over two hours, and I was drunk. The dancers hated when the guys took me in — I didn’t dance or take off my clothes — I was never am entertainer. This night though, my boyfriend had brought someone for me to meet. “Laurelin, out of the champagne room, you have a guest on the floor!” the DJ announced and I squealed, grabbing the bottle of Moet Nectar and running to see who it was. There was my boyfriend and a man, standing at the stage waiting for me. I stumbled walking up to meet them; champagne and I didn’t always agree on walking in a straight line.

“Laur,” my boyfriend said, grabbing my hand, “meet my Father.”

I stood there, trembling, my confidence and buzz falling into my stomach. I was suddenly aware of how I looked — white high heels, naughty nurse uniform with my ass and frilly red shorts hanging out, too much makeup and a fake orange tan. My fake eyelashes suddenly felt too heavy and I saw myself as this man did, a used up drunk girl who couldn’t even stay and talk because I had to go back into a room and spend time with a man who was old enough to be my father. I couldn’t even shake his hand, one was full of champagne and the other clutched a diamond necklace that man had bought me.

What was going on? I left my boyfriend and his Dad at the stage with a handful of ones, and when I was finished with that work shift I scrubbed my face until it was red. I wanted to see my freckles again. I tugged and combed out my hair until all the curls were gone. The dressing room was exactly the same, with all those shining movie star light bulbs and I really saw myself. Too tan, too thin, the line between me and the girl I created at my club so blurred that I wasn’t sure who was who anymore.

I went home that night with my boyfriend and his Dad, and I know that his Dad still has the t-shirt I gave him from my club. He loved it, loved me and everything about that night, but I was horrified. I went in the next night, done up like always, and I put in my two weeks. The manager looked at me like I was crazy. “You’re our best girl!” he said. “I know,” I said. “But I need to get out of here. It’s time.” He gave me a hug, and those last two weeks were the saddest and happiest of my life. I said my goodbyes and on my last night we had a fantastic party. It’s been seven years since then, and when I walk into that club I still know everyone. The men, the drinks, the stories. It’s impossibly sad, but part of it will always be home. As I drove home to my boyfriend’s house on my last night at the club I turned the radio on, my eyes filling with tears. This was really the end of an era. What now? Where did I go from here?

“Boston” by Augustana was playing on the car radio, a song I had never heard: “I think I’ll go to Boston, I think that I’m just tired, I think I need a new town to leave this all behind, I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset…”

“Boston,” I thought. “That sounds nice.”

***

Related Posts:
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and Other Useless Utterances
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Liquid Running
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Anger and Other Mostly Useless Emotions
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: One of the Guys
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Case of the Crazies
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Unsettled
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Boys of Summer
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Play On Playa’
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: How to Lose a Girl in Ten Minutes
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Naked Laurelin Reading
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Healthy Relationships are for Boring People and Other Mishaps
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Letting Go
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Does it Exist?
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: The Dating Game
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: After a Few Beers Everyone Looks Good and Other Love Stories
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Getting Naked With Laurelin
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Seven Days and Seven Nights of Sobriety
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: When it’s Time to Move On
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Starting Over and Other Stupid Resolutions
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: He Broke Up with Me on a Post-it and Other Travesties
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: The End of Four Loko As We Know It
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Boston’s Top 5 Dives

0 comments

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Posts: Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  2. [...] Posts: Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  3. [...] Posts: Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  4. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  5. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  6. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  7. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  8. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  9. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  10. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  11. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  12. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  13. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  14. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  15. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  16. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  17. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  18. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  19. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  20. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  21. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]

  22. [...] Coming Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Digital vs. Analogue Life Beyond the Bar Scene: A Long December Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Strobe Lights and Glitter Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Fake It ‘Til You Make It Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Apologies and [...]