I am a lucky man. I really am. Let me start this post by establishing this fact. I do not want the subject i plan to address come back to bite me in the ass because my manner sounds like someone who doesn't understand and acknowledge their blessings. I count them, i give thanks for them, i even try to share them with others. I'm a nice sadist (so i've been told).
As i've reported here many, several, numerous times, my girl and i are connoisseurs of the raging neo-burlesque scene. We had been having so much fun at shows, that eventually, my girl caught the burlesque bug. She started taking classes at the New York School of Burlesque, and because she is an incredibly ambitious creature, she soon found herself performing at the very venues her and i had been frequenting.
Flash forward through the past 6 months. On the weekends - sometimes every weekend, other times she'll skip a few - you can find my girl teasing her butt off somewhere in the city (this is actually the explanation as to why there has been very little in terms of updates on Kitty's site - for those who've been wondering). It's quite wonderful.
That's it. That's the story.
Not enough? Think i'm leaving something out? You're wondering, what's all this "i'm so lucky" song and dance disclaimer? Fine. I'll proceed.
A lot has happened to Deity throughout his girl's metamorphosis from spectator to performer. It's not a matter of not supporting her desire to do this, in case some of you are wondering if that caused any shrapnel in this process. Quite the contrary. I'm incredibly supportive. Any time she gets another solicitation for a gig, i'm the one who offers her excitement and praise. However, the reasons for my support have shifted over time.
Admittedly, when the notion first arose that she would dive into the feathery and glittery world of burlesque, i was all agog about spending my weekend evenings exposed to all that girly shake, shimmy and sway. I thought, "Wow, i get to see hyper, ultra-feminine nudity on a weekly basis, AND get free drinks (that's right, spouses of dancers are often comped on cocktails)? How could i lose?"
***To pause for just a moment, it is important to note that although it may come across as explicit here to my readers, it was not directly assumed that i would be in attendance to all of my girl's performances. And there have been a few occasions where i've not been there in the flesh while she struts her stuff up on stage, but there hasn't been a single evening where i haven't met her at the bar/cafe/lounge after her show, and escorted her home. This is where my motivations to support my girl's passions dramatically shifted.***
Two facets emerged. The first one is the easiest to describe. It is one based on an entrenched desire to protect my girl. I'm not sure how other girls do it, but in this city, in order to maximize your dance card, you pack in as many gigs as possible in a night, and shuttle between them via the subway. In order to do this efficiently, you must be fully glammed out, which of course attracts attention (both polite and unwanted). I understand that women attract this kind of attention on a daily basis, but when you are wearing 2-inch long fake eyelashes, a dress that is 120% about glamor, and patent leather stilettos, you tend to receive a year's worth of wolf whistles in an entire evening. Once this reality was in place, it became quite clear what fed my motivations to support her art - to make sure she wasn't harassed.
But, it turns out, there are not just wolves in the strangers on a train, or those in attendance at a show. There is shiftiness in the producers and curators of the various showcases she pops in and out of. Because i receive a great deal of fulfillment from manipulating and cajoling others with my charm, i naturally slid into the role as my girl's manager. This entails me whispering into the patron's ear during intermission, regaling an engrossing story to the bandleader, or chatting up one of the other dancers - all for one purpose: booking another gig for my girl.
All this activity means that some sacrifice had to occur. Last night, that sacrifice made itself very evident. I'd stationed myself at my "usual spot" at the bar - near the maitre-d, but not too far from the barkeep. It was during a conversation i was having with the restaurant's owner that i realized my own desensitization/assimilation. We we're chatting about my girl's upcoming number - what volume level the track should be, etcetera - and the whole time i hadn't even realized that just five feet away from me, world-class strip-teasing was taking place. It was true. When i took a moment to reflect on it, i confirmed that during other shows, where the silky flesh would otherwise have tantalized me, i was too concerned with finding the best spot to film my girl's act or worried that the lighting wasn't carried out correctly.
Here's my exit. I should grab it while it's clearly within my grasp.
There have been a few occasions, mind you, where she's been made to feel uncomfortable by one of the (usually drunk) patrons, but i won't go into detail about how i responded to those moments (not just yet).
For the most part, i relish the fact that i get to say this is my life (although, i don't get to say it to too many people - another post?). As i said, i'm very grateful, but i'd be deceiving you if i led you to believe that this was what it would be like to have a burlesque dancer lying next to you in bed.