This is a tough story for me to share. It is one that I am not particularly proud of, but it is important to write honestly.
A few years back, I was drunk in Minneapolis (as usual). I had spent the night out with my buddies bar hopping and drinking too much. After bar close, we walked to my friend’s apartment. We left ourselves in that all too familiar late night drunk predicament… hungry with nothing to eat.
Of course, the kitchen is empty, restaurants are all closed, and no pizza place will deliver. The convenience store down the block closed an hour ago. The room is starting to spin and I am desperate for a solution.
Now, the old adage is, nothing good happens after midnight. The best thing to do is to just go to bed. But, that is an impossible rule to follow when you are so drunk that the world seems to have tipped on its axis and it feels like you haven’t eaten in days.
Finally, somebody comes up with the only possible solution for food at 3AM. It is less than ideal.
“We can go to Deja Vu, they have hot dogs, but it’s a $19 cover…”
For those of you who are not familiar, Deja Vu is a strip club.
I know, I know… we were desperate.
As we are walking to the club, I have that guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Should I call my wife and let her know what I am doing? Will she be mad at me if she finds out? No, she will understand the situation that I am in. Besides, I am literally going there for the food and nothing else. But, I will definitely end up seeing boobs while I’m eating. But, it will make her mad if I call and wake her up… Well, I just handed the bouncer my money so I guess there is no turning back now.
I am not a huge fan of strip clubs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing naked women, I do. But, every time I have gone to one (which is very few times, Mom), I get anxious that I am going to run into an acquaintance. You know, one of those people that it would be uncomfortable to see in a normal restaurant, let alone in a dimly lit room full of naked women.
Plus, it always just seems like a waste of money.
Not on this night, though. On this night, nineteen dollars for a hot dog seems like a bargain. We made our way in and got our required non-alcoholic drink.
The club is dark. It smells like stale cigarette smoke and perfume. Men are scattered around the stage sitting alone, intently watching the performance on stage. Loud music blares from the speakers, only to be abruptly interrupted by the DJ announcing the next dancer to the stage.
The hot dogs are on the second floor and, upon reaching the second floor, I discovered that they provide a self-service hot dog bar.
Things get hazy here.
Next thing I know, I am getting out of a cab at home and walking into the house. The guilt crushing my chest.
My wife wakes up as I clumsily enter our bedroom and squints at me, “what time is it?”
“Four thirty… AM” I say as if AM needed to be specified.
“Did you have fun?”
I sigh, “Yes, but… I went to the strip club.”
“Okay, what happened?” she is worried that I am about to deliver bad news.
I want to tell the truth, but instead, I say, “Full disclosure, I ate two hot dogs.”
My wife laughs and asks, “is that all?”
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
I pass out.
The sun wakes me a few hours later. I roll over and look at my wife in a deep sleep. Just like that, the guilt is back. I lied to her about what happened at the strip club. The haze has cleared through morning sunlight and I can remember exactly what I did at the strip club. And now I have to tell her the truth when she wakes up.
Nothing good happens after midnight.
She stirs, her eyes flutter, and she wakes up as if sensing my guilt in her sleep.
“How are you?” she asks.
“Fine…” I sigh, “but, I lied to you when I came home…”
She is suddenly wide awake, worry takes over her face, “what did you do?”
“Well, I didn’t actually eat two hot dogs at the strip club last night… I ate four.”
See, when we got up to the second floor of the strip club and I saw that it was an all you can eat hot dog bar, I lost control. I got two hot dogs my first trip, telling myself that they would be enough. I loaded them up with ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and onions.
They were just so beautiful and they smelled so good. As I sat eating them, staring at another patron getting a lap dance in one of the VIP sections, it became clear to me why people get addicted to going to the strip club. I could empty my bank account for these hot dogs.
The temptation is right there in front of you. Warm buns just waiting for a hot dog to slide in.
As I finished the fourth hot dog, I was snapped back to reality when the dancer in the VIP room aggressively shut the curtain (apparently, VIP lap dances are not for spectators). Little did they know that the only skin I was interested in on that night was the snapping on the hot dogs as I bit into them.
Look, I am not proud of this story. I understand if you unsubscribe to this blog and never read another thing that I write. I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
Admitting this to my wife was difficult, but in the years that followed we found a way to work through it and she has forgiven me.
I hope that you are able to do the same.