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“I mean they don’t grade fathers, but if your daughter is a stripper you f*cked up.” – Chris Rock
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If you’ve never placed a bet in your life, it’s a pretty safe one to assume most strippers have issues.
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Every g-string diva has a story, and I can only speak for mine, which is your garden variety text book tale of father abandonment, followed by step-father abuse. This isn’t to say I’m playing The Victim in my personal Lifetime Movie of the Week, nor do I seek pity from you readers. It just was what it was. I played with the cards I was dealt, and kept rolling the dice.
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Every Father’s Day, I find myself in awe of my male friends who not only take on their parental role, they actually engage in the lives of their children. I know men who coach soccer, volunteer at swimming practice, sell Girl Scout cookies in the office, and organize Boy Scout Camping weekends. One of my buddies is so involved with his two boys he can’t help but beam with pride in every Facebook photo he posts. You can see it in their eyes; the savoring of every moment caught on camera, moments that fly so fast, it makes you wonder where the time went.
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Time, for a father is precious. I know some dads who put in 14 hour days at the office, when not traveling the globe for their career. The moments they have with their children fall by the waist side, becoming casualties in their war with the clock.
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Balancing Life with children, for any parent is tough – but as a sole breadwinnng father – it can seem damn near impossible. It’s no wonder some men throw in the towel and bail. Only the strong survive, and only the selfless remain.
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I may never have the experiences of father-daughter dances, or feel the strength and security slipping under his covers after a nightmare, but I get immense joy in knowing there are fathers out there who are getting it right.
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A little something I wrote, for a card I made for a friend:

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From the outside looking in

From a girl who never knew

The strength in knowing he’s on your side

The feeling of being true

 

The safety in blind faith

Knowing he’s got your back

That he’ll pick you up, help dust you off

When you sometimes fall off track

 

Bedtime stories, pancake mornings

Singing songs off key

Cannon ball days, and popcorn nights

Every moment, golden memories

 

From the outside looking in

From a friend who knows your heart

I wish you the happiest of Father’s Days

From Goodnight Moon’s to shooting stars

– Christine Macdonald 2012

So tell me: How are you celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday?

13 comments

  1. I'm sad you never experienced the support of a father. I'm impressed you didn't search for a father figure and end up getting married too early, following the same pattern. Stripping may not have been an ideal path but you managed to break the cycle! That is a big deal.

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  2. I love your poem..I have my own daddy issues. My dad was there; my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary last year. But..issues. Lots of issues. I'm working this Father's Day and I'm totally fine with that. I did get him a card, and I got a card for my niece's husband who is celebrating his first Father's Day and, I believe, is going to make a wonderful Daddy. Other than that, I'm not feeling Father's Day this year.

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    1. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt Father’s Day. Although, I did manage to drink a little too much wine, and when telling my therapist “I don’t know why”, she just shook her head and laughed – with me – when we realized why. xo

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  3. My wife and I joke, to each other, that my job is to keep our three girls “off the pole”. I don’t mean that in a judgemental way, but it a loving way.I have three daughter, 16, 9, and 8. I want them to achieve great things inside themselves. I think my teenager will end up being a counselor or social worker. There’s NO money in those professions. Nor is there any fame. But her heart is such, that she’d be amazing.

    I’ve been to strip clubs, and it always breaks my heart that behind a pair of siliconed boobs or a cheetah g-string is someone failed by a man who wasn’t there for her cheerleading practices or karate class or dance recital.

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    1. Lance, your last sentence is a tad assuming and ill-informed. I know you mean well, but girls get into the industry for various reasons and plenty have healthy relationships with their dads. My dad raised me well in a great suburb that has outstanding public schools. He paid for me to do a year of private high school and then financed my undergrad career; thus giving me the tools to succeed in the “real world” without having to do something like strip. He did the right “tough love” thing by cutting me off at 22 and was very upset when another stripper outed me and he had to hear what I was really up to during my “bartending” shifts. I got into the biz out of financial desperation and I don’t blame my father one bit for forcing me to be financially independent; he just isn’t happy with the way I chose to stay afloat financially. We are not in a good place and my outing by another stripper (combined with a massive robbery by her) was the point of no return, but it’s largely my fault; Because I’ve come to discover since age 23 I’m bipolar, I struggle to handle certain jobs and stripping is instant cash with less accountability then most jobs (I mean we get drunk, get naked and dance! I’ve worked with some seriously high-functioning junkies…as well as not-so-high-functioning.) Our relationship is also estranged due to my alcohol abuse and mental health problems (disagreements about my being on meds and my level of care etc) so as Christine said, most strippers have baggage, it’s just not always Daddy-inflicted so much as self-inflicted, in my case.I won’t 100% blame myself cause I’m apparently wired for bipolar and alcohol addiction, something I need to work on, as my judgmental family knows.

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      1. You’re right. That was assuming. I didn’t mean it in the way it was taken, by you and I apologize. I just mean to say that even if my daughter or anyone else’s goes into a line of work like dancing that they will be doing so with the right attitude and strong constitution.

        again, I was being glib when I should’ve been earnest and I apologize. Thanks for calling me out on it.

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