Growing up in Melbourne, most of my classmates’ mothers had boring office or labour jobs that made you stretch with a yawn the moment they opened their mouth to talk about it. Well, I suppose it’s natural to find those jobs boring as a kid, but imagine the surprise on all their faces when they I said “Mommy is a Strippers!”
Well, that’s not quite how it happened. At school, we had to draw pictures of our parents at work — my submission raised some eyebrows among the teachers as Mum unsuccessfully tried to convince them it was a picture of her trading stock.
Anyway, she was an absolute powerhouse as a stripper-mum. Contrary to the opinion of my complete prude of an auntie, Mum carried out her job with class and was the perfect parent to me and my little sister. Despite working late on a regular basis, she made plenty of time for us kids in between shifts and brought us up to be responsible people.
That said, the nature of her job meant I had to keep a close eye on my mates. Whenever they came over, they knew I was watching them like a hawk — any flirting, glances at her body or questions about work were met with a swift jab in the arm and a look that could send them out in a body bag.
How did I find out? Well, I’m afraid there is no funny story there. My friends like to tell people that we bumped into each other at a mate’s 21st when she was gyrating over the top of him in a sparkly thong, but the truth is that she told me from a young age. That said, I’m not sure that she ever did spell it out for me — it was always just “working late at the bar” until I was old enough to put two and two together.
The thought of telling my best mates daunted me at first, and I avoided mentioning it for a short time after meeting them. However, I could see them all casting admiring glances at my Mum whenever they came over (she kept in shape) and it was difficult to miss the extravagant outfits she had lying around.
Overall, the fact that my mum is a stripper hasn’t affected me too much. My piece of advice for anyone in the same situation? Set some rock solid ground rules before your friends get any ideas: no flirting, no eyeballing and no questions about hiring her for their next party!