Thursday, March 8, 2012

How I Was Almost a Stripper...

If you've been a regular reader of this blog (I thank you), you know by now I've been through some struggles.  When I first got divorced 11 years ago, I had been a stay-at-home Mom for 5 years (however, did some p/t real estate marketing on the side), and had 3 children under the age of 7.  I was granted child support but it wasn't enough to completely cover living expenses.  "Just get a job!" was the answer by everyone.

Well sure, if I had held a job previously as a doctor, lawyer, engineer, executive, or high end call girl, I could have "just gotten a job" again and made enough money to live comfortably and cover day care.  However when one has put their career on the back burner to raise children, pretty much the only people that want to hire you are those that need a receptionist for $8-$9/hr, which doesn't even cover child care for 3 kids.  And I went to college for broadcasting, they pay about the same as the receptionist job.

So what's a girl to do?  Hey, I wanted to work and pull my weight, but I also wanted adequate care for my children and to be available should they be sick.  For a few years I had trouble making it work, then I thought I had it figured out being a realtor (working partly from home) for a while, but just as I really hit my stride, the real estate bust happened in Denver.  Then years later I moved back here to NY, kids were now in school so I could concentrate on cultivating a career, but the ex disappeared and so did my child support. I was flat broke.  I often heard the phrase, "you could always strip".

Some were joking... some were not.

There were times, very very desperate times, (and a few years ago and 20 lbs less) I thought about it.  For a fleeting moment, I crafted in my head, how I could go to another town nearby where I could perform on stage as "Chrystal Courvousier" (stripper name + booze = more tips) and wouldn't get recognized by anyone and my kids wouldn't find out.  Just make enough to get a little ahead, and BOOM!  Problem solved.  

We all fantasize about how to solve our money problems - winning the lottery, robbing a bank, selling drugs, waiting for old relatives to die (I didn't, but come on, you know someone has), and hooking.  Seriously, who hasn't entertained themselves internally by thinking "What if?".  But like most of us with a shred of conscience, we decide we cannot.  If you have kids, sometimes you think you would do just about anything to feed them.  I was almost homeless, been that desperate.  But it comes down to your... decision.  Me, I just could never look my kids in the eye again if I stripped.

I can't label it values, morals, or conscience.  I can't judge.  I certainly think there are decisions that aren't in yours or the kids best interest in the long run.  But sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The survival instinct sometimes brings out rash decisions.

Instead of hooking or stripping, here's what I did... I cleaned friend's toilets for gas money.  I swept and hosed down their porches for food money.  I helped friends who had businesses, doing menial tasks in order to buy toilet paper.  My friends on Myspace actually had a small fund raiser for me.  I can't tell you how much that helped.  I am eternally grateful.  I sucked it up and went down to the Department of Social Services and applied for food stamps, heat, and medical assistance.  Actually going to DSS to me was more humiliating than cleaning toilets, but I did what I had to do, all until I found a steady job.  Or in my case, 3 part-time jobs that equaled 50 hours a week.

I don't claim to be self-righteous.  Oh God, not by any means.  When my kids weren't around I downed a few gin and tonics and cried myself to sleep.  You just do what you have to do.  Just stay away from illegal stuff, and keep your adult "acting out" away from the kids.  But please keep in mind, there are lots of options before you turn to desperate measures.  There are plenty of private agencies to help, as well as the gov't. There's always someone who needs a toilet cleaned.  The aid is there, we've paid our taxes and contributed, that's what it's there for.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, it's the most courageous thing you can do for you and your children.


10 comments:

  1. The statistics in this country on women and children living in poverty or being homeless are staggering. Cheers to you for surviving.
    Sex work has always been a way for women to make money when desperate times call for it. We ask women to be caretakers, nurturers and keepers of home, but fail to provide an adequate way for them to be heads of household when the fathers bail.
    Even if you hit the pole, there would be no judgment here.
    Happy International Women's Day. Wouldn't it be nice if it were celebrated in the US?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your kids are very lucky to have such a wonderful determined mother...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aw, thank you. Happy International Women's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats to you for sticking thru it.

    By the way, I would imagine that your profile picture would be your Chrystal Courvousier naughty go-to pose, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Yea, I got stripper skillz...

      Delete
  5. I Paid a webcam Hottie as they were called from a site called STEAMBOAT it is one of the biggest Webcam sex site. I did not pay her for sex online LOL, I paid for an interview, a candid question and answer with a young entrepenuer of sorts. Over head - Webcam, computer and internet - when did you start 17. where - my bedroom of my parents house, how many hours do you work a day? ON webcam or soliciting? less than 2 hrs actually do strip shows 9 hours avg soliciting, often in front of webcam all day - one customer. Pay = varied. i never published the blog. She now lives in Vegas with another girl who is a waitress both go to school, she pays the rent, has food, a car, car insurance, and boyfriend. she is an entrepeneour of sorts; best part, impossible to get arrested or get AIDS. Strippers=I was addicted to strip clubs for a short time in my life, i have visited over 1,000 strip clubs in over 30 states. went in with 23 spent 23, went in with 321 spent 321 whatever i went in with i spent, always left with zero. Strippers sounds so bad, WHY NOT dancer, or female entertainer. Avg Stripper in vegas - 35-45k tips not included or should i say reported naturally IRS requires some income to be considered tips so if you report too low - Audit. Whoops Joe let out some life secrets when you wrote a blog about stripping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, well thanks for the info. Maybe I'll reconsider, however at 46 I think I'm past my prime. lol

      Delete
  6. I remember that fundraiser! That was a while back. But anyways, I think stripping would have solved your problems a lot more easily. Well, there's always cam action too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You inspired me at a time I needed it , which is right now and . Thanks

    ReplyDelete