5.13.2010

Missionaries probably shouldn’t be jealous of strippers. But sometimes they are.



So, the other day I boarded a plane from Reno to San Francisco, and I was stoked because there was no one else in my row, and I wanted to read People magazine, but I would never want anyone to see me reading People magazine because I have a serious aversion to freaks who carry on weird, one-sided relationships with famous people. (What!? People is the fastest way for me to see how out-of date my clothes are. That’s all. That’s why I read it. Sheesh, let it go...) ANYWAY. You can imagine my dismay (and also how quickly I shoved Sandra Bullock’s tragic smile back in my bag and pulled out Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day) when someone stopped at the end of my row.

It was a girl, and she was wearing one of those tight black velour matching two piece sweatsuits with fake Uggs. When she turned around to shove her crap in the overhead, her butt said “Juicy” which, in my opinion, has about the same sexual appeal as having the word “Pfffffft” stamped across your rump. But, I'm old, so what do I know.

Despite her fashion sense, the truth is, she. was. gorgeous. GOR-geous! Like, twenty years old, with perfect skin and teeth and hair, and glossy, fake nails on soft, smooth hands. And her body was long and lean and seemingly flawless.

And I immediately did not like her.

Now, I’m not generally a jealous person. Seriously. I don’t really get jealous. I more, like...covet, but I don’t really get jealous, as in envious. Sometimes, I want things that other people may have. I want more money, I want a smaller butt, I want to be 5’9”, I really, really want a maid, and an admin, and a personal masseuse. And if you possess those things, I will probably covet them. But I usually don’t harbor feelings of hostility or rivalry toward people that have what I want, and that’s what I mean by jealous. It’s just not one of my go-to character flaws. Or maybe it’s just not as well developed as my other junk. Either way, it’s not my main thing. But this time, this time I was having these wild, crazy, JEALOUS thoughts. Mean thoughts. Cruel thoughts. Thoughts that were turning this girl, with whom I had never even shared a single word, into my mortal enemy.

I was busy hating her in my heart, when I turned on my overhead light and opened my book, and as the plane started to taxi toward the runway, my stupid light burned out. Then, that awful girl looked over and offered a sympathetic smile, with her perfect, plump lips, and teeth like gleaming white chiclets. We both reached up and started pushing buttons and twisting knobs, trying to get my light to flicker back on, and she yanked on something a little too hard and the whole plastic casing came off in her hand. We looked at each other with huge eyes like “Oooh damn!” and then we both started snickering like third graders in the principals office. Snickering became giggling, and giggling made way for laughter, and by the time we were in the air, we were howling as if it was the funniest thing that had ever happened in the history of the world.

I know, it's not that funny, but that’s how I became instant BFF’s with a stripper from Reno.

We began a conversation that was mostly stupid and boring and, occasionally, intensely personal. And yes, she really is a stripper...I mean, ”dancer"?. She was on her way to California to visit her sugar-daddy. (Which, technically, I think makes her something other than a stripper, er, dancer, but whatever.)

We both pulled out our trashy magazines, and poured over the clothes of the rich and famous. We talked about our lives, as different as they are. And we talked about God. And when we didn’t talk, she pulled out her Sudoku book, and I thought, “Oh, awesome. She’s prettier AND smarter than me.” But, I noticed (because, apparently, I’m kind of a creeper) that when she got bored with her puzzle, she would scroll her name in cursive, again and again, along the edges of the book. Practicing her autograph? Signing her first name with some guy’s last name? Trying out a flashy new stage name? I really don’t know. All I know is that she was daydreaming as she wrote that name, all fat and swirly, over and over and over again with a glittery pink gel pen.

I was struck by how sweet and girlish this was, and it reminded me of how I used to do the very same thing when I was younger. In high school, my friends and I used this stripper name formula to decifer our pole dancer personalities : First family pet + street you grew up on = your stripper name. 

Mine is Heidi Oaklawn.

Maybe it sounds weird, I mean, since I’m a missionary and everything, but I could totally relate to this stripper, with her Juicy pants and spray tan. El Chupacabra and I have a little running joke that if our lives hadn’t turned a certain direction at a certain time, today he would be in jail and I would be in a nightclub. We laugh about it, but we know that it’s really not that funny...but it's probably not be far from the truth. If things had gone differently, you could be reading the blog of Heidi Oaklawn, the Very Worst Stripper right now. Or maybe you wouldn’t be. Or maybe you would....

Anyway, when we parted ways in San Francisco, it was clear to us both that we shared some sort of connection. Call it stripper’s intuition, but there was something there, between us. We hugged and quickly said goodbye....*sigh*

Juicy disappeared into the crowd, and as soon as she was gone, I realized that all of my envy had melted away, and only one thing remained. Before we'd gone our separate ways, I wished I'd told her something that had been nagging at me as we talked; I wanted her to know that God is jealous for her.

And that I was jealous for her, too. Not jealous of her, and not the envious kind of jealousy that makes a missionary act like a bitch on an airplane when a hot stripper starts to sit next to her. But jealous for her. Jealous in a different way. Jealous with a longing, loving, hope filled kind of jealousy.

I was jealous for her to know that she’s worth more than the dollar she gets for swinging around a pole in clear, plastic stilettos, or the thousand that she’ll get for spending a weekend in San Francisco with some dirtbag she met on the internet. Jealous for her to feel love apart from sex. Jealous for her to daydream about her own name in a way that didn't have to include fame, or fortune, or dancing naked for men. Jealous for her to know that, if she can do Sudoku? She can do anything!

This is the kind of jealousy that begs for a change in direction. 

God is jealous for us to turn away from the distractions of this world and turn toward him. He’s jealous for us to let go of the false identities we hold onto so tightly, and to align ourselves with Him. He’s jealous for us to relinquish the things we allow to define our worth, and grab tightly to our value in Him.

Our God is jealous for her. 

And for you.

And for me.



......................................................................

So, the obvious question is, what would your stripper name be?

90 comments:

  1. Great post and Cowboy Timberland

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  2. Wow! That's the most beautiful stripper post I've ever read. The only one, but still.
    And I'm Fuzzy Fowler. I kinda like it.

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  3. Patches Meadowhill.
    and i still don't know why you call yourself the worst missionary. it's so obviously not true...

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  4. ummm...mine is Suzy McGowen...is that weird for male missionary to have that as their stripper name?

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  5. Welcome back by the way.

    Sincerely,
    Jola Winona

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  6. ROFL My friends and I have done that too...or was it anonymous strangers on Facebook? One of those. Anyway, I'm Snoopy Green...and if that doesn't bring in the customers from far and near I don't know what will. I'm going to need more than long fingernails for this one.

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  7. Schnuck Mount Grace Road probably wouldn't cut it as Male Stripper's name.

    Don't let anybody stop you being honest!

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  8. Bear 52nd street? umm my name sucks... I vote for a new stripper name formula please? somebody second that ?!?!?! im pretty sure nobodys lining up to watch "Bear 52nd st" strip to the floor... :)

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  9. Osky Oakley here. Great post as usual. My wife hasn't commented yet, but she also hasn't missed a post of yours since I told her about your blog. There's good love and prayers coming at you from Nashville. And now they're headed the stripper's way too.

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  10. I agree with you Nick. Mine would be Tom Hwy 29. Not very good.

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  11. Charlie Brooks. Which, not bad really.

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  12. Bessie Rock...I think I will pass. Although I have to say that I made another batch of your cookies and have eaten about half of them all by myself. Love you!

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  13. ya charlie brooks is pretty stripperish... or porn star or something close to a carreer in nakedness... lol.. and laura, Tom Hwy 29 and Bear 52nd street are pretty much like the best naked names around... except for like, all the other ones lol ty for confirmation :)

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  14. I think that would make me Fudgie Meadow Green. I'm going to go cry now.

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  15. Sabrina Walton...sounds too much like someone FROM the Waltons - and that's WAY to pure to be a stripper name. Although I could use the second part of my street - so here's to Sabrina Way. Now THAT's more like it!

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  16. i have always thought that with my stripper name i would make it big! ready???? baby candylane.....oh yeah!

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  17. Tavy Greenwood...interesting...

    Jamie, you don't know me, but my brother is a blogger for the World Race (matthewsnyder.theworldrace.org) and he introduced to me your blog this March, mostly because he said we're almost the same person (okay, so we're not the same person, but we do have creepily similar senses of humor). I hate blogs. A lot. But I'm a faithful reader of yours and this is probably my favorite post of yours to date!

    Keep on keepin' on!

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  18. And the hits just keep on coming....:)

    Sean Larkey

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  19. Hello, Pebbles Rte 19 here. Sorry, now you're probably jealous of my awesome stripper name aren't you? Even better, my husband is Fluffy Pennypacker. Yeah, You can't make that stuff up.

    Anyway, loved the post & now I have a purely non sexual girl crush on you b/c you were reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day". I can't think of many less appropriate authors for us missionaries to love than David Sedaris. Fluffy bought us tickets to one of his readings for my birthday this year - BEST GIFT EVER.

    Cheers!

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  20. Nubbin Oakhurst. Yes, Nubbin. Doesn't bode well for the reveal!

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  21. Ginger Irene. Hot, right?

    Great post, by the way.

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  22. Pierre Prentice. Awwwwweeeessssome.

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  23. This is, by far, the funniest run of comments ever on the VWM!!! I LOVE IT!!

    Thanks, Jessica, er, Baby Candylane, for coming out of hiding! and Welcome!! :) I always enjoy knowing that there are people out there that "get" me and my whack sense of humor.

    And thanks to all y'all for your support and encouragement, and especially for sharing your stripper names - Freaking Hilarious!!

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  24. I love this. You are just beautiful.

    -Kitty Union

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  25. I have a question, define first family pet and street you grew up on, what if i moved a bunch of times and not sure exactly what my first pet would have been (we had a bunch). I'm not cheating, but here are some possible names: Circles Alexander; Scruffy Four Mile Run; Buffy Clay Pike; Fluffo Shupe; or Rosalina Gross! I could go on, but I already got more than my fair share.

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  26. Uber funny. Mine? Tweety Cabrillo

    Love you, Jaime!

    Connie

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  27. Bumper Brentwood.

    I was going to post it before you even asked, so thanks for asking :)

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  28. It grieves my spirit to read this one. Without meeting God somewhere along my path, I don't even want to know where I would be. I will pray that your seeds will get watered and, someday, this beautiful girl will come to know the depth at which God loves her. Who knows? Maybe one of her FB friends will post a link to Jamie the V...

    Polly Santa Rosa OUT.

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  29. Princess Del Rosa.

    I miss you! I loved the Armstrong and Getty post too. I just recently started listening to them because my bff's on 100.5 the zone morning show, are gone. I'm so mad at them for just leaving me. I loved Mark and Mercedes, and they just left me, with no explanation. So I started boycotting The Zone for taking away my morning friends, and now J&J are my friends, along with Dr. Laura, and Michael Savage. Anyway, love you and miss you!

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  30. I love your blog!!

    Sincerestly,
    Daisy Hiawatha........that's right.

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  31. you know the other day i was doing my usual perusal of various and assorted strippers' blog posts on my feed reader... and i came across this one author who was writing about a recent encounter with a missionary lady who sucked at sudoku, but liked people magazine. and now i happen on this, your post? the gods must be smiling...

    sincerely,
    oscar shamrock

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  32. Good stuff once again, Jamie!

    As for my stripper name using your formula: Chase Macy

    As for my stripper name using my awesome formula: Chip Leatherthong

    Yep, you're welcome...

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  33. Rex Country Road here...

    Jamie, This is a great blog. My favorite so far...

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  34. Muckluck Glenn Highway... Horrible. I blame it on growing up in Alaska. Great post by the way.

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  35. Jack Garfield, which I think would be a pretty sweet name if i was a stripper or not. Maybe that will become my alter ego. I use to tell people my name was Steve Jaguar, but now Jack Garfield might take over.

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  36. Couldn't resist answering your question. My first pet was a cat named blackie. We lived on Cherry Street...that would make me Blackie Cherry.

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  37. twilight dodge park.

    i just found your blog and LOVE it, am telling all my friends!

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  38. Smudge Stafford. Has a ring to it, right ...

    Keep up the good work.

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  39. I've found my new favorite blog! SCORE!
    My name would be Pepper Ensley

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  40. Dear Ms. Oaklawn,

    Sox Mockingbird

    Yours, Lee

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  41. Penny Bradley. I think I could make it in the biz with that one.

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  42. It's 9 at night and I should really be in bed but I'm in tears I'm laughing so hard about the "butt title" comment... I can barely see. I totally agree.

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  43. Hi Ms Oaklawn,
    You don't know me, but a friend of mine (Erika Weigand) posted your blog, and i couldn't resist the tease about missionaries and strippers. This was one delightful read for more reasons than one. Hopefully, you will write a book about your experiences; it could be a best seller. Thanks for sharing. You are now on my prayer list.

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  44. I remember fearing the day when I became a "has been" . . . a middle-aged woman outshined by "Juicy" and all her counterparts.

    Something happened, though, as I rounded out my late-twenties. I grew up and realized that I wanted to be loved, not worshipped like an object. Then I realized I AM LOVED, and that is enough.

    My heart goes out to these women. They lead desperate lives,grasping for validation which simply evaporates as soon as they touch it. I know, I was one of them. (Not a stripper, mind you)But for the grace of God I would be, sincerely,

    Juliet Merrill

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  45. My husband and I were JUST laughing last night about how I went and applied for a job as a burlesque dancer (we live in vegas) and I was TOTALLY not qualified AT ALL, but imagining myself doing sexy little dances wearing pretty outfits every night brings a smile to my face.

    After I didn't get the job-he left me 50 bucks in a card to go buy a pretty, sparkly bra to be his personal burlesque dancer.

    One of my best friends is an EX-dancer and some of her stories would blow your mind. She has really given me a different perspective on the business and I have a lot of respect for her.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.
    Your blog is amazing.
    I will def be following now!

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  46. I am the above mentioned EX "dancer. My stage name was Orion but my pet and street name would be...Rambo Owens, which is just weird. I quit dancing the day I found out I was pregnant and have never (really) looked back. It was a fun period of time but in all reality I was the WORST stripper EVER. I had no game and no hussel. Two very important things to be a "successful" stripper. Anyway. Great post and I will be following you from here on out.

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  47. P.S. my daughter (10 months old) would be Bailey Paradise...now THAT is a stripper name. LOL.

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  48. I am jealous... that you such an awesome blog. i want one of those. i always love your insight and your sense of humor.

    sincerely
    sugar la riviera

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  49. Drawing the quite a bit these days... what are you at now? give it 24 hours lol...

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  50. No joke, mine is BJ Central.... *sigh*

    Dearest Jamie, thanks for keeping it real. Europa is nice but your blog is still the highlight of my day!

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  51. I love your blog. I read it this morning at work while drinking coffee instead of working. To my credit, its 30 minutes until staff meeting, and I can't get 30 minutes into a task and stop, right? Its Monday. I'm never productive this early on a Monday.

    You know, despite the fact that I'm seminary educated and that I grew up in a church and that I know God...we all feel like strippers on the inside sometime. We all feel a little cheap, and a little used, and a little like we are in need of salvation and grace. Well...at least I feel that way.

    Great post!
    Benji Pinelea

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  52. Coco 26, signing off...

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  53. Awesome, Jamie! I honestly thought that I was the worst missionary...

    Hansi Wabash (transvestite stripper)

    Brock

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  54. Tramp Arrowhead. (not kidding)

    AMAZING post.

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  55. Jamie,

    You and Steve gotta come with the boys up to visit us soon in Alaska.

    - Dingo Silverton.... I win.

    My kids will be Buddy Goodell

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  56. Just came over from Grit and Glory... and I have read 3 posts back to back... AND subscribed!

    I LOVE YOUR BLOGGING and WRITING STYLE... made me grin and laugh and I had to pronounce 'procrasturbate' out loud...

    Awesome writing... looking forward to more....

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  57. This is the funniest blog I have ever read. Not post, overall blog. There. I said it.

    James LakeFront.
    Could work, but don't read into the whole "front" thing. I don't do that.

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  58. Wow! Thanks AJP aka James LakeFront! That's so nice of you to say!!

    Also. If you ever go into a career in stripping, you should go with James LakeFrontal. Minor change, major impact. :)

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  59. Smokey Ray or Muffin Seven Mile... decisions, decisions. My kids Pat Alvina... hmmm, I guess picking a fish name that could be either sex can lead to touchy customers.

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  60. Moses Windward.

    Sounds kind of Amish... right?

    Thanks for your blog posts, Jamie. I recently stumbled upon your blog through a friend of mine and have read all your posts back to the beginning. I work in the church and one of my beefs is that people here aren't REAL. Thanks for your very refreshing honesty. Many blessings to you in your ministry in Costa Rica.

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  61. i just found your blog and i LOVE IT!!! you are so funny and real:) i laughed out loud a couple times reading this:)

    my name would be Tiffany Lorane. really cute. lol

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  62. I have to use a different formula because we got three pets all at once (Samson, Cocoa, and Brockamoddy----later we had Rocky and Cuddles) and I grew up on lots of different streets (Main, Hunter, Blacks Corners, Lorie, and Double-O to name a few).

    I guess we could go with Cocoa Double-O.

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  63. thank you for digging into the ways ladies sometimes think of each other (especially in the Christian morals mentality, that sometimes lacks grace).
    love the blog, keep 'em coming!

    Happy Walnut

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  64. love this post. funny, honest and gracious all in one.

    love,
    Tilly Cambridge

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  65. Chip Walnut. It's not a very good stripper name for a girl, but there you go. We didn't really have pets. I just had the one fish until college, and then I had...2 more fish. The end.

    And I just have to say...This is my first visit to your blog, and (a) I think we are already BFFs, and (b) I'm jealous of how many comments you get. I get like 4.

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  66. Just found this blog via The Bloggess. Love it! Especially since my husband just finished his first year of seminary! (We're both over 40, so this is a second career for him).

    Pojo Mobile

    That sounds really dirty...

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  67. I found you from The Bloggess, too. Couldn't pass up that blog name, and I'm glad I didn't!

    Puff Alice here...sounds like a drug reference, but we named our puppy after Puff the Magic Dragon. My dd's would be Angel Mallard, which works better. Funny aside: she named her bunny Angel when we thought it was a girl because certain bunny parts can be slow to descend. A couple months later, she picked him up like a baby with his hind end towards me and I said "Um, that's NOT a girl bunny!" She wanted to rename him, but I told her that Angel is a Latino male name, and giving the bunny a new name would be confusing for him, so Angel he stayed.

    Word verification: Cowgood, which sounds like it was selected for this post!

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  68. Sorry I know I'm late to this, but I laughed so hard I had to share my super sexy stripper name:

    Jet Yo Pitts

    (yo pitts was the abbrev of a really long un-stripperish name)

    Love your blog and look forward to following you in the future!

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  69. I love your blog! I found your blog a while back from Stuff Christians Like. You are amazing! I love your honesty and humor, and being a former missionary and working with lots of missionaries, I SERIOUSLY DOUBT you are the very worst one!

    ~Baby London (aka Carrie)

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  70. Came across your blog today and will probably end up commenting on a ton of posts, and then I'll get annoying and then we'll never be BFF like you and the stripper.

    But, uh, I've never had a pet besides fish (and a rock I named Pebbles when I was like 8) so I would either be Pebbles Scaup or Travesty (Travis) Scaup.

    Both of which. . .sound like diseases.

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  71. Adoring your honesty, Jamie.

    Sincerely
    Blackjack Love

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  72. I enjoy your blog so much!

    -Capitan 19th Terrace

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  73. Comanche Johnston.

    Now THAT is a porn star name if I've ever seen one, and yep, it's been mine for years now.

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  74. Beau Horizon

    Nice blog. Keep up the good work.

    ... and you're not the worst, but you might be the most honest and insightful. :)

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  75. I just read your blog for the first time today. LOVE IT!
    My name would be
    Higgins Longbrook...pretty terrible name :)

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  76. I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND I think I might love you too:) Charcoal Red Oak, ridiculous and a little dirty all at the same time;)

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  77. such a good post.
    do you know about "Jesus Said Love". they are out of texas i think ministering to strippers. they have a t-shirt that says "jesus loves strippers", that what i thought of as i read this post.
    thanks for sharing something that needed to be shared..the Lord's grace has a funny way of sneaking up on us, doesn't it?!

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  78. I always thought my stripper name was the greatest- "Kitty Imperial". I think it means I'd be a high-class stripper.

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  79. Penny Williams.. haha doesn't sound like a stripper at all

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  80. Hi, Tabatha (Tabby for short) Blanchard here (sounds more like a soap opera character) ...

    I JUST wrote a post the other day about jealousy. Like you, it's not something I usually struggle with at all, so I've been surprised lately by these feelings. My post didn't wrap up nicely with how God would want me to deal with it ... I just kinda left it hanging that I AM dealing with it, so thanks for the advice. I needed that right now.

    Oh, and I love Sudoku (I'm kinda nerdy like that), so I guess I can do anything! Whoo hoo! Good to know. ;)

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