Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A (Sorta) Fairytale

Gather 'round, children. I'm going to tell you a story...

This story doesn't involve faraway lands, nor does it begin with "Once upon a time". There is a princess involved, however: Princess Charlotte. For this story takes place on the day of Princess Charlotte's birthday celebration. There were presents, a frosted, pink cake, even a tiara. But, the story is not about the princess, rather this tale is about her mother and father, and how they began the day carefully placing pink cups and plates on the table in preparation for their daughter's first birthday party, and ended the day placing dollars at the foot of a stripper.

The week leading up to this party was hectic. I've never thrown a children's party before, and when I've attended them, I've always taken certain things for granted: the gift bags, the pacing, the games, prizes, etc. So, I was a tad overwhelmed at the prospect of being responsible for those things. The goody bags were a nightmare. We tried to not fill them with useless, plastic crap that would just end up in the trash, but that proved to be nearly impossible on a budget.

So, all week long, I ran all over town, buying decorations, but forgetting the candle for the cake. Going out for cups, and forgetting utensils. Buying prizes, then realizing I hadn't planned any games. Luckily, my in-laws graciously offered to host the party and to take care of the food. I really don't know how anyone throws one of these parties without my in-laws to help them. (Seriously, do you rent them out?) She had a great party, though.

In any case, due to the stressful nature of the week and to the fact that my sister (AKA my super-awesome-fun-karaoke/drinking buddy)was going to be in town, we had arranged for the baby to spend the night at my mom's. It was only her second time staying away from home, and it seemed sort of weird for us to be leaving her for the night to essentially get drunk the night after her first birthday party. After all, I am Guilt's easiest target. I obsessed about it all week. Am I doing something wrong? What will people say? Is that what a GOOD mother would do?

In the end, I gave myself permission to be a little unorthodox and maybe even a little selfish, and go for it. So, we cleaned up at my mother-in-law's, went to my mom's where I nursed the baby to sleep, met up with my sister and her boyfriend, and we were off!

We started the night at a dive bar that I just happen to love. During the week they have the world's greatest happy hour. Where else can you get FREE Mexican food and dollar margaritas that actually have tequila in them? But, the real reason I love this place is that every Saturday night, they host karaoke. And I LOVE karaoke. Not enough to be one of those people who show up every week with their cued and labeled CD's and belt out their greatest rendition of some Celine Dion number, but enough to show own a karaoke machine and have held numerous parties in my home that end with someone singing "Livin' on a Prayer" at 4 A.M.

So, whenever my sister is in town, we try to get to this bar, have a few margaritas and sing some mediocre karaoke. Obviously this is a rare occurrence since I had the baby, so I was very excited.

The night went as planned:

We drank My sister is the pretty one on the left.

And drank It's been a loooong time since I did a shot of tequila.

And drank a little more

I don't know if this is a cardinal karaoke sin or requisite behavior, but I totally sang Journey. I don't know anyone in real life who can pull off the high notes in, well, ANY Journey song, but the other reason I love this place is that everyone cheers and claps for you no matter how awful you are.

So, a few songs and a couple gallons of tequila later, my sister and I hopped into our respective cars, with our respective designated drivers (also known as men we are sleeping with), and headed to our respective beds.

Chris and I left the small town in which the bar is located, and headed toward the even smaller town in which you can find our house. As we were exiting the freeway I impulsively told Chris to drive past our street. He was confused, but complied. I told him we were going to the local bikini bar. He told me we most certainly were not.

See, we've gone a few times, and this place is sort of sad on many different levels. First of all, there's the clientèle: Lonely truckers, douche bags, and general perverts. Then, there are the dancers: perfectly nice and generally attractive girls that take off (most of) their clothes and grind aforementioned douche bags and perverts for measly dollars.

It's a gross place. But! It's a place with alcohol. The only place in our town open past eight. A place that isn't my home. And, as it turns out, I wasn't ready to go home.

All night it had been like I was visiting my old life, my pre-baby life. And, it was fun. I love being a mom. I love playgrounds and sippy cups. I love cuddling and Sesame Street, brushing her hair into pigtails, teaching her colors, reading to her. I love my identity as a mother. I even like washing her bibs.

But, I need to recharge to keep that enthusiasm fresh. Sometimes it's a movie with one of my friends that does the trick. Sometimes a simple cup of coffee. Sometimes a date night in the comfort of our living room while the baby sleeps will suffice. But sometimes, apparently, I need an exotic dancer to shake her ass in my face. Who knew?

After I convinced Chris to drive us to the club, we parked, and I dragged him into the building, up to the bar, and ordered our drinks. We sort of stood there for a moment, me with my beer, him with his whiskey, contemplating approaching the stage or occupying one of the tables in the back.

But once the girl ( I say "girl" even though she was at least 35) took to the stage and began dancing to Weezer's "Hash Pipe", we were intrigued enough to take our seats up front and place some dollar bills on the stage.

I can't remember her name, though I'm sure it was "Destiny" or "Sparkle" or something. One time a girl called herself "Brazil" and even took it so far as to say she was FROM Brazil. No way in hell that girl was from Brazil. I've decided my stripper name would be "Chardonnay". Just sayin'.

She eyed the money through her slightly too-long black bangs and strutted over to us, beginning with Chris. He looked more than a little uncomfortable as she gyrated in front of him and pushed her breasts up against his face. It didn't take her long to move on to me.

I have a theory that strippers probably have a love/hate relationship with straight female patrons. On the one hand, we don't shell out as much money as the guys do. But, on the other hand, most guys just adore some girl-on-girl action, and I think the girls use this to their advantage.

So Destiny/Sparkle/Brazil, whatever her name was, crawled her way over to me, picked up a dollar bill, put it between my lips, and removed it with her own mouth, thus simulating a kiss. And, you know, I'm on board with the faux lesbian action, but not so much with the putting filthy money in my MOUTH action. But, she was sort of pretty, danced to good music, and she smelled of peaches, so I let it slide.

We only stayed for one more dancer. She was of a bigger build, with long platinum hair, and she was dancing to atrocious hip hop music. She was rather fond of smacking her own ass and was slightly more, shall we say, aggressive.

To put it simply, as we walked out of the bar, I folded my arms across my chest and said "She bit my boobs". The fact that I wasn't talking about the baby was just a little too absurd for me.

All in all, we were there about twenty minutes. Enough time for me to reclaim a little bit of my former self, but not enough time for one of us to contract Hepatitis.

I woke up the next morning, barely hungover (Gotta love being in your twenties!) and ready to see my baby. Hugging her the next morning, I thought about the night I had just experienced, and I wondered if I could reconcile the person who was going to spend the day changing diapers and playing peekaboo with the one who gets the occasional lap dance.

I'm still not a hundred percent sure, but I think I'll have fun figuring it out. Just for good measure, here's Charlotte with her birthday balloons.


  1. This is AWESOME!! I wish I had been a part of this, but I believe I was far too hungover already. ;)

  2. That's my girls....tequila, dive bars and strippers. I'm so proud!

  3. Love it! A party for the birthday girl and the BIRTH day girl :-)

  4. Jealous of the Karaoke action! I need a Karaoke machine I've decided. Too bad we're back on a budget.

    I have a funny story about 2 strippers and a pimp who crashed Dan and I's white water rafting trip, but I'll save that for another day.

  5. Sometimes momma needs a drink. And an exotic dancer. I get that. Great post!

  6. Thanks, everyone!

    Yeah, um, Brooke? I'm gonna need to hear that story.