Before you say it, no, I have not been prostituting myself. At least not in the carnal sense. I do call myself a Corporate Whore, as I will sell my content writing skills to the highest bidder, rather than do something that matters to me or is meaningful. I'm like that. But when it comes to the more traditional sense, no. Hell, I can't even give it away, let alone sell it.
I have also never hired a prostitute, and have no intention of ever doing so. In fact, living in the suburbs most of my life, my sole encounter with a real live prostitute (prior to the incident I am about to describe) is limited to once, many years ago, being stopped at a red light and having a woman make some vague offering gestures in an attempt to get me to roll down my window and discuss the matter further. I did not roll down my window, and began studiously watching the traffic light until it turned green.
Recently, however, I had a much closer encounter.
My nephew Mike and his wife Nicole were up from Texas, visiting for the holidays. Mike had organized a night out at a local casino to visit with as many of his friends as possible while he was in town. The missus and I attended, and I had a couple of drinks. A couple of drinks is all I can have anymore, due to the blood thinners I am on now. The medication combined with the fact that I was drinking on an empty stomach sent the booze right to my head, and I was a bit drunk.
I wandered off to the restroom at one point. On the way, two young women in very (very) short dresses walked by me. This was notable as it was freezing cold outside and all the other women at the casino were wearing pants. Being a man, I turned to watch them walk past.
One of the women noticed me looking, and turned around and said, "Hey, don't I know you?"
Then she motioned to her friend to come over.
I replied in the negative, and she asked if I worked there. I again replied in the negative. "Oh, you look just like one of the guys who works here, so I thought I knew you."
I shrugged. She said, "I'm Chelsea, and this [indicating her friend] is Ashley. So what are you doing tonight? You winning?"
I was drunk, so that made me chatty. "Actually, I'm just hanging out with family. My nephew's in town from Texas, so we're having a night out and visiting with friends."
"Your nephew?" Ashley asked, a perplexed look on her face. "How old is he?"
I get this reaction a lot when I speak of my nephew doing adult things like bartending, gambling, or being married. People always assume "nephew" means "child."
"He's 34," I said.
"And how old are you?"
"37," I admittedly, painfully. "My oldest sister is 18 years older than I am."
They gave an "oh, that makes sense" type of response. Then Chelsea said, "How 'bout I give you my number, and you can call me when you're done visiting? Maybe we can hang out."
I don't get hit on generally, so I figured something was up. I don't have a look that says "hot." It more says, "sits on the couch playing Xbox a lot." I believe in truth in advertising, I guess. I have been hit on many times, by attractive women, when I'm wearing a kilt - but I was wearing pants this particular evening. (An aside: many of my male friends who don't wear kilts don't believe me, but it's true. A lot of ladies love a man in a skirt.) When a young woman flirts with me, it's usually because she's looking for a sucker to buy her drinks for a while.
My response to the phone number offer was, "Yeah, well, I don't have anything to write with..."
At this point, she starts tickling my belly. I gently pushed her hand away and said "That tickles!"
"What is that?" she asks, poking at my belly button. "Your belly button?"
"Yes," I said, "but you probably hit my scar. It's from an old surgery."
"Ah," she says. "So are you staying in the hotel here?"
"No, I'm local."
Chelsea got a puzzled look on her face. "I thought you were visiting from Texas?"
"No, my nephew's visiting from Texas. I'm local."
At this point, her disinterest became visible. "Well, we're going to go get a drink. You can find my number in The Stranger." Then they walked off. (For anyone not local who's reading this, The Stranger is a local "alternative" newspaper.)
I went about my business, and what she was getting at just did not seep in. Again, in my defense, I was drunk. I returned to our group, where my nephew was testing out some silly Roullette theory he had. (The tests would later disprove his theorem.)
I told my wife, "I got hit on by a couple of young women while I was on my way to the bathroom."
"Go you, you animal," she said with a grin.
"It was weird. She said she'd give me her number, then she said her number was in The Stranger, and I'm just confused, but whatever."
My niece-in-law Nicole, who is very sweet and has led a far more innocent life than I, piped up and said, "They were probably prostitutes."
The light dawned, and pierced the cloudy haze of my drunkenness, and I knew she was right. The fact that this realization came from sweet-natured Nicole and in her Texan drawl just made the whole thing that much more surreal.
The rest of the night went on in a fun way, but was fairly uneventful. We did walk by the Ladies of the Night at one point, and I pointed them out to my wife. Her comment was, "Well, they're dressed for it."
6 months ago