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September 13, 1999 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need



Replaced by a lapdancer!

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend and I were madly in love for five years; we had a great, fun relationship and were best friends. Finally, he broke it off with me because he could see us getting married and wanted to sow some wild oats before that happened. (He'd had a lot of fun before I met him but was faithful to me.) One month later, he became involved with a stripper/lapdancer. She spends every night at his house; he's met her parents and her eight-year-old daughter; and they went away for the weekend together to a romantic place that he and I had been to. Why is he so fascinated with her only ONE MONTH after meeting her? He comes from a stable family, went to a good school, and is now a graduate with a good career ahead of him. I'm a recent graduate trying to get a career off the ground. I'm so annoyed at being replaced so quickly: she gets the hugs, the evening glass of wine and chat about the day, the bedtime snuggles, and the kisses in the morning. Is this normally how a guy sows his wild oats? It just seems so serious! Why does she spend every night at his house? How can they do the familiar, intimate things like going away for the weekend together when two months ago, it was he and I who were going away? Does this sound like a commitment-shy guy? How could he go from me to a woman who does nude private dances for men all day? (I used to play "striptease" just for him in the privacy of our home; I just didn't ask him to pay me for it!) How can I stop this from bothering me?


Dear Steffi,

It would be easy for me to tell you that in this case, you're the one who's going to have to have the heart of gold. Then we'd go through the Strippers are People Too, thing -- as, no doubt, will the Shoutouts that are being written right at this moment. I'd also gently chide you about the "he went to a good school" comparison, 'cause so did some strippers.

And everyone involved would be absolutely right.

But. Of course I will allow that the world's, oh, third oldest profession is also about the world's, oh, third least respected, right down there with poachers and oh, teachers. Reality. So of course you're all: "How could he dump a nice girl for a ho?" Yeah, it is that blunt.

Then again: your situation, unlike Michael Flatley's, is actually not about the dancing. It's not. Think about it, Ms. Trying to Get a Career off the Ground: how much would you hate it if he were "so fascinated" with "a graduate with a good career ahead of" her? In a way, that might even be worse.

And about the "oats." Oh, I don't know: in many cases, the first oat is a rebound. In many cases, "wild" simply means "other." And in many cases, "I can see us getting married and want to sow some wild oats before that happens" is, well ... a Line.

In this case, I'm really not sure which applies. Maybe a little of everything. But I am sure, Steffi, that there are a bazillion reasons why all this would bother you. More than "bother." I know this really, really, really smarts. So why provoke it? I mean, I guess it's normal that you might know something about whom he's seeing, but it sounds to me like you have more than enough data about their brief history and cutecouply habits. I'd say that for the time being, you should limit your contact with him, if any at all, to occasional stiff "Great, you?" coffee summits. And, for the time being, concentrate on your newest profession.

Breakup Girl



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