That One Time I Was Mistaken For A Stripper

Last night, as my chakras were buckling under the weight of the Christmas dinner I’d just massacred (seriously, when I eat too much I get sharp pains in my left shoulder blade), I thought about the last time I sat at this table two weeks ago, before I answered the call of the New York wild. I was sitting in the chair closest to the fridge (my regular seat, for obvious reasons), with a glass of red wine (my regular counterpart), half laughing and half crying to my sister about the phone interview I’d just botched while my über-cute-but-heathen nephews were bouncing off the walls in the background.

Earlier that morning…

It’s Monday. I’m painfully excited to have a phone interview with the Managing Director of an ad agency out of SoHo. I envision the life I could lead should things go well: crossbred between Mad Men, Sex & the City, and The Devil Wears Prada. Just a New York lifestyle of hustle and flow and creative bravado. Isn’t that why everyone moves to the big city?

But in the back of my mind, I think, “Don’t get your hopes up. I mean, what are the chances?”

“Now is that any way to talk?” [asks the other counterpart to my internal dialogue] “You’re never gonna get anywhere with that attitude! Just be yourself. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?”


The interview is going suh-wimmingly. But at the start, he asks me, “So…are you based in New York?” He asks me twice. I confirm (lie). We talk a bit more, everything’s going great, and then, “So, what are you doing now? I mean, obviously you’re looking for a job, but what do you do?”

“Oh, you know, I freelance (coulda just stopped there), nanny, wait tables, cocktail…just things to keep me afloat.”

“Oh that’s cool. I mean, people here have waited tables, worked as baristas…that’s great. So, where do you cocktail?”

I can’t—for the life of me—remember where my friend cocktailed in SoHo, which would still be a potentially dangerous lie, given that this man’s agency is in the same neighborhood. Was it ‘Rhino’ something? No. I’m thinking of The Rhino Gentlemen’s Club. Where my aunt lives in Torrance, there’s a billboard for the club just off the freeway exit that’s been there for as long as I can remember.

“Uh… [half laughing] I kinda don’t wanna tell you…” Stupid response.

“Haha what? Wait, you’re not … because we don’t …”

Holy shit, this guy thinks I’m a stripper.

“NO! No! I’m not … It’s nothing shady, I promise. I just … obviously I’m not going to put ‘cocktail waitress’ on my resume.”

Did I just recover from that? I hope so. I am, at this point, absolutely MORTIFIED that this guy might possibly think that I’m Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (love that movie, though).

The conversation continues with relative fluidity, though my face is slightly burning from embarrassment. Only I would be mistaken for Coyote Ugly.

“So, to wrap up, is there anything you’d want to ask me?”
“Just one: is there anything on my resume that discourages your faith in my ability to perform this role?”
“Wow, that’s a really smart question. No one’s ever asked me that before. Uh… well I guess not knowing where you cocktail.”



He did, eventually, invite me for a second interview, in person, possibly to test whether or not I actually lived there. I met him at a Le Pain Quotidien and found him rather douchey. So no, he will not be enjoying the skillset acquired from my imaginary moonlighting gig.



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