In my quest to restore my body to its former healthy self (or an approximation thereof) I’ve been renting exercise DVDs from Netflix. To my surprise, the latest one turned out to be a striptease instructional video rather than a regular dance video.
Got me thinking about missed opportunities. I could’ve been a stripper, after all.
I was waiting tables the summer before college, bringing cheeseburgers and scrambled eggs to drunk people during the night shift at Perkins. I took a second job washing dishes and serving fake grits to the truckers at a motel/restaurant out on the highway. Sometimes I’d go from the night shift right over to the motel for the breakfast shift, navigating between the kitchen and the dining area, between a bipolar boss and an odd assortment of customers.
Sometimes prostitutes would come in and order breakfast for two. To go.
Once in a while I’d wait on a guy who I assume was The Pimp. He’d say charming things to me like, “Mm, mmm. Them jeans be fittin’ you good!”
When he found out I was squirreling away my singles for school, The Pimp approached me. “You’re savin’ money for college? I know a way you can make a thousand dollars a week!”
(Sadly, this is still better money than I’m making today.)
“Yeah, I know. No, thanks,” I said.
“No, no, no, no,” he assured me. “I’m talking about dancing!”
Now, this was interesting. I was a good dancer, after all. And two bucks an hour (plus tips) just wasn’t cutting it.
I like to think it was a wise decision to say no. But once in a while, I think, what if I’d done it?
Would I have gone off to college that fall with bags of money and a checkered past? Or would I have said, this is good money, I’ll go to college later? Would I still have become a writer? After all, Diablo Cody was a stripper and she’s got a frigging Oscar now.
Did I miss my chance at an Oscar!??! Did I ruin my life by not becoming a stripper?
I have to go think this over. And maybe work on that DVD.