DIARY of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression

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September 10

Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.– Ayn Rand

I am so ecstatic that Simon is finally working that I downshift my job search just a notch and upgrade my time writing. I am committed to my own happiness, as Ayn Rand so eloquently articulated. It’s so luscious to be able to work on my projects from the comfort of our apartment on my own schedule without having to rush out of bed, put on make-up, get dressed and rush to work.

So, after I’m done with my writing and job search for the day, I call Lisa and see if she wants to join me in trying a pole dancing class. A studio recently opened nearby and they’re offering free lessons to first-timers. She’s all for it as a way to liberate herself from the hubby and kids for a night.

So, I put on a sexy outfit – tank top, short shorts and stilettos – and meet Lisa at the studio. We’re ushered into a room that’s bathed in soft red light, like a boudoir. The instructor, Shelly, is very buff and the first thing we’re instructed to do is take off our shoes. I’m feeling less sexy already.

Shelly proceeds to lead us through some light stretching and then, finally, we get to do some work with the poles. And, it’s not easy! These poles require a lot of arm strength, which I definitely need more of. Spinning around the pole takes a lot more coordination than I thought. And, lifting myself onto the pole? Fuggedabout it! I take a look around the room, and while some are also having a tough time, Lisa seems right at home, like a frickin squirrel the way she’s nimbly climbing up and down her pole. Maybe she has a secret pole at home that she practices on? Every 5 minutes, Shelly encourages us, very enthusiastically, to embrace our Inner Goddess. She is very patient and helpful and assists us all.

At the end of the class, Shelly turns on some music and encourages us to just do our own thing. So, I try to combine everything I’ve learned in class, and for the grand finale, finally manage to hoist myself up the pole. I’m up there for what can’t be more than 5 seconds, when I lose my grip, and come crashing down, right on my butt. The whole class turns around and I feel myself turn bright red. At least, it’s a small group. Lisa comes over and helps me up. My Inner Goddess has beaten a hasty retreat. I probably won’t be installing a dance pole at home any time soon.

Lisa offers to buy me a drink on the way home, to ease the embarrassment. So, we hang out and have some girl talk. She tells me she’s been fantasizing about having an affair with a neighbor, because her marriage has grown stale, but she doesn’t have the guts, especially because her maid is best friends with their maid, and she knows how word gets around. And, she doesn’t really want to hurt her husband and kids. She just craves some adventure and excitement. So, she says she’ll stick to pole dancing for now.

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