Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Stripper

During my days as a recently divorced, single, unemployed, stay-at-home-mom of three (I know, I sound like a real catch), Facebook has replaced the stereotypical soap opera and bon-bon eating. My days really don’t include much down time to even fathom a soap opera commitment – unless you count "Downton Abbey" or "The Bachelor," but that is at night, once a week, and the shows are seasonal. In fact, I am quite fearful that when I do land that job, how will I juggle house, job and kids? I struggle being the only adult on site. Between cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, yard work, kids’ school and activities, cooking, sibling rivalry interventions, bills and budgets, job hunting, driving here, driving there; the list goes on. 

Now that all three kids are in elementary school, and I have "extra" time on my hands, there are still not enough hours in the day. Yet, as busy as I am, I confess, I get a little lonely. Thank goodness for Facebook! So oftentimes I post what normally I would and should just say out loud to myself in the privacy of my own home.

For example, the other evening, while preparing dinner, my eight year old daughter asked me a question of which I later posted. She had completed her homework, practiced piano, finished her chores, and was permitted her one hour of electronics. This new schedule just started yesterday. Prior to that, the kids took advantage of the system of too much free time after school.

As I recall “What Not to Wear” was airing that fine afternoon. Now I am not sure if this is an appropriate show for an eight year old, but at least my daugther is learning good fashion sense early on. And while I was not witness to the word in question that prompted my daughter's intrigue, I gather Stacy, the host, compared the show's victim to this particular profession. So imagine how caught off guard I was when, while cooking wholesome, homemade, cage free, Chik Fil A knock off nuggets, steaming organic broccoli, boiling organic whole wheat noodles, and sipping wine (it was after 5pm and it was red), my eight year old daughter shouts from the family room, “Mom, what’s a stripper?”

I holler back, "Whaja say?" making sure I heard her clearly. You see I was jamming to Pandora 80’s Pop and my hearing was muffled.

“Ma, stripper, what’s a stripper?”

Oh. Hmm. How do I answer? “Ah, let me think a minute, see if I can recall what that is.” Hmm, stripper, stripper, stripper. Ah yes, a stripper. “Oh yeah, ya know when someone is sick in the hospital, then they get better and go home? A stripper is the one who strips their bed sheets and puts on clean ones. That is what I know a stripper to be.”

My daughter responds, “Ok.”

I was quite amused with my answer, so naturally I SHARED on Facebook. I think I amused a few people too. And this morning I took it a step farther. I commented on my own post that stripping was my new night gig to make a few extra bucks. I quickly retorted on my own comment that I was teasing, “Just a joke. Ha, ha,” or BAHAHABAHAHAWAHAWABAHA as they say on Facebook (told you, too much FB. I will quit tomorrow.).

I later realized that lately I have been a stripper, though not in the traditional sense. You see, these last few years I’ve been emotionally beaten and battered, keeping myself draped in heavy clothing. I was told by the man I loved that from A to Z something was wrong with me. And, in hindsight, the demise of our marriage really was my fault. I was selfish. I didn’t realize that I was a roadblock to my husband and his mistress’ path of eternal love. All I knew was that my life as I knew it, my husband that I loved so dearly and unconditionally, my family that I cherished, was eternally gone, torn and ripped right from me by a younger “career” woman with no spit up from an infant on her clothes. Such pain to process; such deep, deep grieving; such crushing pain. So much sadness, fear, anger, feelings of self worthlessness have been following me that I have felt them to be the norm.

Little by little though time does truly heal, and last night, while jamming to Pandora 80’s pop, MJ (aka Michael Jackson) came on and I started singing and dancing like a silly, crazy lady in the kitchen. My kids were amused and horrified at the same time. I had fun making them laugh and laughing at myself in the process.
This morning, while driving them to school, another 80’s pop “Eye of the Tiger” came on the radio. I started to jam to that diddy, pumping my fists, once again horrifying my children and making them laugh in the process. I said to them, "As long as you aren’t hurting someone else or yourself, you should not care what other people think; just be yourself and have fun."

They told me I was hurting them.

I kept singing.

While I belted out lyrics and rocked the car, I had an "Ah ha" moment that perhaps I am a stripper and how liberating an action! One emotion at a time, I was and am beginning to shed my fears, my sadness, my inhibitions, my anger. My spirit is finally beginning to show and it feels good.

I recently read a quote a friend posted that prompted this blog:

“What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are – and who we will become.” – Dieter Uchtdorf

I’m taking one of the things I love – writing and storytelling, stripping myself of my fears, letting down my guard, shedding the past, living in the present, and seeing who I become.

“Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it.” - Lucinda Basset


  1. Where can I sign up to follow your blog?

  2. Hmmm, I see your dad needs to wait for Ms. Cranky to get better and show him the follow button. You can tell him I said that.
    You'll be fine! Especially when the children learn how to run the vacuum and fold clothes.

  3. Your dad sent me here & I'm going to stay--you sound like you've got the guts to make it in life!! I'm now your 4th follower.

    1. Can you get rid of that "Please prove you're not a robot" thing?

    2. Fishducky, I got rid of the robot. Thanks for your support!

    3. If you begin to get LOTS of tacky SPAM as I did, taking away the anonymous option will fix that problem; though it's something you may want to keep. It wasn't worth it to me. But, you may be lucky and not get it. Many bloggers don't.

  4. Welcome to the Blogosphere. I'm looking forward to reading your posts. Take care.

  5. Came here from Your Dad's place; glad I did. I'll be the one in your "followers" with the groovy "I Promise Not To Shop On Thanksgiving" logo (maybe one of many, if you get the readers you deserve AND they take the logo and make it their pic, as I've suggested over at my place.)

    1. By the way, you WILL get more responses if you deep six the word verification. Every so often some robot will slip through, but they are easily deleted. I've always figured it's more neighborly for me to delete them rather than have many readers jump through a hoop. Just sayin', as you kids say.

    2. I deep sixed the word verification. Also, I shared your "Promise not to shop on T day" Thanks for reading!

  6. Don't pay any attention to those who want you to get rid of word verification
    Particularly that Sullivan character
    If your dad can take it anyone can

  7. I headed over here from your Dad's blog, I figure any kid of Mr. C is gonna be pretty cool... looks like I'm right about that! :-) I've done the single mom thing and more than one round of the battered heart thing, so I can tell you from experience that you'll find a way to make it work. I'm following now, looking forward to more great reads like this one. Bed stripper huh? That idea might just perk up a few guys I know! Very clever answer :-)

  8. Thanks Josie! So far, so fun. Already getting ideas for the next post.

  9. Hi,
    Found you via your dad's blog. It sounds to me like you're off to a good start with your new life - keep doing what you're doing!
    Last night MY eight year old was watching Big Bang Theory and then came and asked me "Mum, what's a prostitute?"
    I paused for a bit, then said, "A prostitute is a man or a woman, but usually a woman, who has sex with people for money."
    "Oh, okay" she said and went back to the TV.
    Big Bang Theory is not too bad for kids right??

  10. Dad's are so good for so many things, aren't they? Lovely post -- you have the ability to make people laugh and think -- which is a rare talent. Looking forward to reading many more!

  11. Of course, I got here from your Dad's place, that being said, let me just say that YOUR BLOG IS AWESOME.

    Was that too effusive?

  12. I just loved the blog. What great writing! If we could all be so introspective. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Best of luck to you.

  13. You Go Girl!

    Great writing, captivating story, analogies, and metaphors. Blessings to you as you continue to fix your invaluable life.

    My girls watch that show and I was surprised at a few remarks, too. :)

    And lastly, you're very pretty... Are you sure Cranky is your dad?

    (Sorry Cranky...couldn't resist.)