Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ph.D. in Pole Dancing

This question to the Ask Amy column in The Chicago Tribune got me thinking.

Now that I’m a mother of two boys, what would I think if my son told me he was dating a stripper?

Like the mother here, I at first thought, of course, I would prefer my son date a Ph.D. candidate than a stripper. But thankfully, I caught myself.

Not only is it sad that I would diss my own past dating self, but it really is absurd that anyone would judge a person by their job. I realized very quickly, hey, wait a minute, I was a stripper!

True, the person I was back then was not a person I would really want my son to be dating, but is it fair to say it had anything to do with me being a stripper?

In my case, I would have to say, yes. My being a stripper definitely stemmed from my acting out in many ways. Although underneath it all I was still the woman I am today, I was in the midst of making some questionable choices.

I will admit, I was not the woman you wanted to bring home to meet mom. Although the mother of my fiancé at the time did handle it well. She joked about my occupation, while at the same time trying to help steer me in a different direction.

Of course, now here I am today—valedictorian of my college class, MFA in Creative Writing. Not too shabby.

Better I get the stripping thing out of my system and end up in a socially “good” place than just be a smarty-pants my whole life.

So my advice to Fretting Mom? Grin and bear (bare) it. Your son’s girlfriend will either turn out to meet all your worst expectations or maybe, just maybe, end up with a Ph.D. of her own and school you in the proper way not to judge a book by its cover.

Dating a stripper is probably something like being a stripper; it seems one way in the abstract and another in reality.