Mother’s Day Series #1
by: Anonymous Blogger
“I Hope My Mom Never Knows…”
It rained in October and where I live this in itself is not unusual. But, it felt like it had been raining ever since forever ago started.
I was 19 and bored. I had no good reason to be, mind you, since I was into my 2nd year of college at a fairly prestigious university my parents were all too quick to brag had accepted me just two rainy fall seasons ago.
My girlfriends and I bundled up into cozy cable-knit sweaters and decided to go shopping in one of the trendier sections of our city’s downtown area to relieve our doldrums.
We wandered into a small boutique that had a mysterious “back room.” The boutique itself was rather pretty and had lots of things that were pink. Mostly comprised of high-end lingerie, we weren’t off-put either by the salesclerk (who was an ordinary 30-something woman with curly hair and a satin blazer over expertly-ripped jeans) or by the products. Everything seemed to be on the up-and-up.
My friend, Jasmine (no, not her real name, but a moniker she actually did adopt later that day), was very feminine and was drawn in the front door by a pretty crystal necklace and full-length satin robe-thinga-ma-jig that was hanging in the window. When we looked around the store, though, we didn’t see the necklace anywhere.
Jasmine asked the clerk who smiled and let her know that it wasn’t actually a necklace, but was really a belly chain. It was the 90s and this alone wasn’t terribly weird, though I had never seen a belly chain that ornate.
The clerk invited us to see the “other” merchandise in the back room and we thought what you are probably thinking: there’s sex toys and weird crap back there.
There actually wasn’t.
Instead, there was a slew of rather risque, but altogether uncreepy, Middle Eastern garb fit for what we assumed (and we were right) were bellydancers.
The city where our school was located is known for being somewhat conservative. I mean, it wasn’t too conservative to have a lingerie store right on a main street, but it was a little too conservative to openly cater to clientelle who were interested in objectifying women in a way that was historically relevant but altogether insensitive to the more modern sensibilities of Middle Eastern culture.
It turns out that this was something of a costume shop that catered to fetishists interested in involving themselves in ancient “art” and was THE place where the bellydancers outfitted themselves for their gigs at the local Egyptian hookah bar and restaurant.
Now, none of us knew that this place had bellydancing. This is because it was an…unadvertised service.
Jasmine and I over the course of just a matter of maybe 20 minutes found ourselves signing up to perform at what later became a strip show disguised as a “cultural event.” What cultural event takes place in the basement of a bar and grille, I will never know but it all sounded very unboring at the time.
Jasmine and I performed together a very amateurish strip show where we went full-monty in a room full of middle-aged foreign business travelers. There was no pole in the room and no stage, but there were interesting things done with finger cymbals.
Thank god there was no such thing as camera phones and Twitter.
I am not entirely embarrassed by this totally out-of-character foray into the seedy underbelly (ha! see what I did there?) of exotic dance. But, my mom would fucking murder me if she ever knew about this.
I swear I became a totally normal adult with two Master’s Degrees and 4 kids. I have a good job and this has somehow not come back to bite me in my now very jiggly ass.
Don’t tell my mom, though, K?
Happy Mother’s Day.