Introduction to The Life of a Jewish Stripper, a Memoir (part of a series)

Photo credit my ex took an actual pic of me in Hawaii circa 1995

Introduction

First let me say I have a great respect for strippers and sex workers of any type and not just because I was one. It is not an easy job. They put up with a lot of shit and most of them are great women who as the cliché goes have a heart of gold. To be honest I miss it every day of my life. I miss the money, the attention, the feeling of power over men and the comradery with the other women. It is not as a glamorous a job as it may seem. I thought it was something I would never want to do with the rest of my life but if I was twenty-five or thirty forever I probably would do it if not forever then as long as possible. Perhaps I am romancing the past, because when I was in it at the end all I wanted was to get out. I only wish I had saved as much money as I could instead of wasting it on my ex-husband’s drug habit.

Let me just say that if you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy read this book is not for you. If curse words, anger and sexual situations offend you, I don’t suggest reading it. There is no happy ending here for the moment, I’m alone, no kids, not even many real friends except mostly Facebook friends most of whom I rarely talk to.

You’re probably wondering right now what is so interesting about a Jewish stripper or any stripper for that matter and how and why one becomes a stripper or why you should even care. The short answer is I became a stripper because that’s what I thought some guy wanted. The real answer is much more complex. I have worked with women who were not from broken homes. Some of their parents had been together more than 30 years. I do not think of myself as a victim and hope I don’t come off as a narcissist. Though some things happened in my life when I was a child may have made me a victim of circumstances.

Most people think of strippers as whores or gold diggers, I am neither in my opinion. Or you may ask how a “nice little Jewish girl” became a stripper? I, after all like all Americans had every opportunity to go to school and get an education and use that education or get a life for that matter. And yet I chose to waste five years of my life on being a stripper.

I won’t be telling you that if you’re on a dark road you need to wake up. I will just tell you my story. There is loneliness and fear and many, many regrets. I only bare my soul to you because I believe you can’t know where you’re going unless you understand where you’ve been and perhaps, I do have a message for women.

May be I’m trying to learn not to repeat my mistakes and not dwell on them, or may be someone can learn from them, otherwise this book is only for me and my selfish reasons to blast all my anger and try to drive it out of my soul.

I am an angry person, I admit it without hesitation, I am pissed off at a lot of people or maybe just pissed off at the world. Quite often I am angry at my grandparents who sheltered my mother from the real world and in turn she sheltered me. Forgiveness and tolerance are lessons I’m still learning.

It may just seem like I’m blaming my mother for everything, some things I do. But, as Carrie Fisher said once, “My mother made a blueprint and I followed it to the letter.” What other role model did I have? I know my mother loves me more than life itself. I know she would do anything if she could take back some things or change them and I know that she would do anything for me, now. But a lot of this anger comes from the voice of a child not an adult. Maybe I am just an ungrateful daughter, I don’t know.

My mother will hate seeing some of the things I’ve written here, but I feel that it is time for plain, old, honest truth. Maybe I am tired of sweeping it all under the cliché rug.

I know it probably will seem that I’m blaming my mother for everything that went wrong in my life and I know that she was a young, single mom who did her best with what she was given by her parents. My mother says that my grandmother was a very tough woman who often told her that she had “kuriniye mozgi” or to translate from Russian it basically means chicken shit for brains. What a great thing to tell your child, so my grandmother was not the warmest person who showed a lot of affection. My grandmother was a tough woman, she and her sisters lived through a war. She had beautiful black hair and deep, almond, almost black eyes. She seemed so strong and commanding, but I guess emotionally unavailable.

And here the ripple effect of generations comes into play. The effect that parents can only give their children what they were given by their parents. If ever this book gets published some people will be very pissed off at me because they will recognize themselves as I see them mostly from my perspective. Often that perspective is of a child or a teenager. But some things will be painful to read and believe me they were even more painful to live through and to write about.

I have isolated myself pretty much from any human contact or sometimes it just feels like everyone hates me and I’m just a miserable ex “dancer” who’s got nothing to show for her life. It seems the only job I ever did well was dancing. No college degree, no family of my own, not even someone to fuck me occasionally because my man picker was broken the moment I was conceived and it’s not even worth at this point to have a one-night stand because they’re rarely worth it. I started writing this right before and during the Corona virus or COVID19 pandemic of 2020 hit with no end in sight, so human contact is even more difficult.

I haven’t met my soul mate or just someone who is willing to put up with all my bullshit and I with theirs. I don’t hate men. I pretty much hate the whole world most of the time. Stripping was glamorous for about 5 minutes and in the end I did it because I wanted to become what I thought some asshole wanted me to be. I later married that asshole, but we’ll get to all my assholes later. I will not name names, for privacy I will just give people nick names like K, or L, their initials or just asshole. They all know who they are.

For me it’s just cathartic to put my life on paper as I try to figure out where things went wrong or where I go with the rest of my life because no matter what I do I seem to fuck it up. The truth is I think I’m cursed with stupidity and it is no one’s fault where my life is now. I made my choices and cannot blame anyone, but every generation’s choices trickle down to the next and their sins do influence your own choices. I’ve made so many bad decisions in life whether drunk, sober, off or on drugs.

I was not an angry person at the beginning of my life, but life made me this way. What do I have to say that is so important? Will this book change your life? Will I give you advice that you can use in your own life? I am not a guru so I’m not going to give you advice or tell you how to live your life. I am an opinionated person and not everyone’s cup of tea.

I’m not any smarter than the average person, nor do I have the key to life. I’m exactly average. I will turn 50 in 3 days from today and I am still a fuck up because everything I touch turns to shit and it seems I didn’t have a chance of being anything but a fuck up from the time I was in the womb. I seemed to be a problem that needed to be solved even before I was born. Do I blame my parents, or do I blame myself for my choices? I only know that I have learned to follow my first instinct as it is usually the correct one and not following it is when I usually fuck up.

I didn’t know that I’m bi-polar until I was around thirty. I didn’t know that I suffer from depression, bi-polar, and a mild case of schizophrenia until I started therapy and medications.

All I ever really wanted was to have a big family, to be a wife and a mother, perhaps because that’s what little Jewish girls were supposed to aspire to back in the 1970’s in communist Russia where I was born.

I will try here to keep my life in chronological order as much as I can remember from the beginning of my life until now. Please forgive me if I jump around from past to present and back again. Sometimes one memory brings up another memory.

I’m not thrilled about reliving the past, but I feel as though I need to examine my life in order to understand it and move forward and leave the past where it belongs, in the rear view.

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