Monday, March 07, 2005

Strip Clubs

Today, while having my lunch break from jury duty, I was reading the New Yorker, the issue that came out just before the Oscars. One article was particularly intriguing and it immediately triggered a memory of mine which made me giggle out loud which, in turn, caused another juror (different case) to turn around and look at me with suspicion, as though I were laughing at his sandwich or the magazine he was reading or his haircut. How do you tell a person you’re not even vaguely interested in talking to him just because of what he's reading. What was he reading? Well, it was an Us magazine. No, not U.S. News & World Report, but Us. What kind of man reads Us in public, even if it is free and he found it in the jury waiting room? I wouldn’t read Us in public and I’m the kind of person who devours Hello! (HOLA! in Spain) magazine but is too cheap to ever actually buy one. It must be understood, though, that I do not read these magazines in public, just in the privacy of my own house and preferably when my husband isn’t watching. He’s the kind of man who, I’m quite sure, is disappointed that I even have any interest in reading them at all. So, the man reading the Us is either so completely confidant that he doesn't gave a tinker's damn what anyone thinks of him or too dimwitted to think there's something wrong with reading Us. All that aside, I'd rather write about him than talk to him.

Anyway, the article in the New Yorker that caused me to give a muffled giggle was about going to a strip club en the 50s. While my family never went on such an outing, Francine du Plessix Gray’s family did. Not only did they go on such an outing, but HER PARENTS invited her boyfriend…something I can’t even begin to imagine. Apparently, strip clubs had been banned in Manhattan a decade earlier, but not in New Jersey. Racier families considered it an enlightened family outing.

I'm not sure if the Lubinski’s, my host family at an Anglo-French school I attended in Paris during my senior spring in high school, thought about it one way or the other. I think they just thought this was a Parisian sight not to be missed. We went to the Moulin Rouge and, while I initially felt uncomfortable with naked women swinging upside down above my head on rose-covered swings, in no time at all I was puffing on one of my 14-year old host sister's Gauloise. I couldn't stop being surprised by just about everything young Kiki did. She was remarkably cool for her tender years. It was a great trip. My host family owned a hotel not far from the Opera where I had Room 210. How cool is that?


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