I’d say I never dated guys I met at the clubs I worked in but that would be a lie. For the first six months or so, I’d meet some guy that seemed really cool and I’d give it a shot but it always turned out to be one of three things…
1. They thought I’d be stupid and easy. I’m neither.
2. They turned out to be married. I don’t play with other people’s toys.
3. After about the 3rd date, they’d start bitching about my job. Hello? Where’d we meet?
I pretty much just gave up on men altogether for a long time. Not like I changed teams or anything, I just realized that it wasn’t worth it to try and date someone I met at work and since all I did was work and school… I was just happier alone.
There was a firefighter I dated for a few months that seemed promising but he turned out to be a heavy drinker and I already babysat one drunk and wasn’t about to go that route again.
I started working at the clubs in April 1996 and by October 1998, I was really getting burned out on it all. The money was amazing, the hours were short but I was really starting to hate guys. I was trying to hang on until I graduated massage school the following April but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.
One night, it was SUPER slow and there was a feature dancer so the money wasn’t flowing well. It was about 10p and I had another hour to go on my shift. I was walking over to the manager to see if I could leave early when this group of 6 guys came in the door. I figured I’d squeeze $50 out of them real quick, and then go. One of them had a streak of blood down the front of his knee from a cut of some sort and since he was the cutest one and had a built-in ice-breaker, I went up to him first.
I leaned over him and said, “If I promise to be careful of your knee, would you like a dance?” He looked a bit shocked (odd) and said yes. I gave my usual up sell, “Would you like it here or in VIP?” and he said VIP so up to the little bench-couches we went.
By then the song was mostly over so we decided to wait for the next song. I forgot about the feature and the next song started her next set. We aren’t forbidden to work while the feature is up but it’s strongly advised that we don’t. It’s considered rude. Whatever. So this guy and I sat in VIP and we started talking. He was crazy funny and was really crackin’ me up! We talked for nearly an hour and I finally gave him a dance.
This is where the story differs as he swears he asked me out but I know I asked him. I told him that I was getting off work and that my friend and I usually went to the 5 and Diner to get something to eat and if he and his friends wanted to meet us, that’s where we’d be.
I went upstairs and changed and when I came outside, that guy was there by himself. He said his friends didn’t want to leave but that he could use a bite to eat. We drove our separate cars to the Diner. I was really embarrassed that Mary didn’t show, like I was just giving this guy a line or something, right? But it turned out just fine! We talked for 2 more hours and Dave and I have been talking ever since!
Even at the diner he was killin’ me! After we ate, he said he’d pay and I said, “Don’t be silly! I invited you. I’ve got money. In fact, I got-ch-your money!” The waiter laughed at that but Dave insisted so he paid.
Our first official date was a double-feature Jackie Chan at the Drive-in Theater. I suggested it but Dave went for it and I thought that was cool!
I worked at the club for a few more months after we met and he was never weird about it. He knew it was just a job for me. It wasn’t until months later that he said the reason he agreed to get a dance was because I caught him off guard asking about his knee. He’d just recovered from reconstructive knee surgery recently and was shocked I could see the scar in that dark club. I told him about the blood on his knee and we had a stupid laugh over that.
I actually got fired New Year’s Eve 1998. I was dancing for one guy and his buddy kept touching my leg and I did that “I’m-smiling-but-I’m-pissed” thing and said, “Stop touching me.” and signaled the bouncer. I saw the bouncer heading our way, so I turned my back on Touchy McToucherson and continued the dance for the one guy. The Toucher one smacked my ass about as hard as he could. I turned around and clocked him right in the mouth. I hit him so hard his chair tipped over backwards! By this time the bouncer was there and stopped me from stomping that asshole with my heels.
The manager called the cops. He apologized to me for it but said for liability issues, he had to. When the cops showed up, they asked McTouchy if he wanted to press charges; the guys lip was split, puffy and bleeding and he said, “Hell yeah!” Then the cop turned to me and asked if I wanted to press charges for sexual assault. The customer was all, “Wait. WHAT?? WTF??” and the cop said, “Look, sir, you know you’re not allowed to touch anyone in here and as far as we’re concerned, she was just defending herself.” I said to forget it and I just went home. Before I left, the manager said he had to fire me (liability purposes again) but that if I wanted to come back in a month it’d be fine. I said, “You know, Mark. I think I’m done. If I can’t be diplomatic anymore….. I don’t know, man.”
I borrowed some money from my mom and finished massage school. Dave and I moved in together the following April and got married the April after that!
The thing is… I was leaving! And Dave never goes to any bar much less a strip club (a fact a friend of his confided to me a few months later). He and his crew just finished a huge 3 month job at the golf course and they talked him in to going out to celebrate. Had it been 5 minutes later, we would’ve never met.
Fortuitous five, Ruth!