In the category of weird legal news, we have this: “Lawyer turned stripper to pay the bills.”
(No, we don’t have pictures to prove it, and by “it” I mean that she is a stripper, or a lawyer, either, for that matter…and just like that, 99% of the readers who found this blog while Googling “stripper lawyers” have stopped reading.)
I’m going to guess the latter. But in any case, you decide. Here’s “Carla,” explaining her dire straights:
“Did I ever think I’d be taking my top off for rent money? No. I was in my mid-30s and had never danced before,” said Carla, who asked that we use her stage name and withhold her identity and some personal details. “As a little girl, I never thought to myself, ‘I just want to grow up and be a stripper,’ or, ‘All I ever wanted to do in life is climb in the lap of sweaty stranger and take my top off.’
“But, with our economy the way it is, especially in smaller cities … you strip or you starve,” she said.
Strip or starve…strip or starve… Well, when you put it that way, it’s obvious!
On the other hand, some people have jobs and have money—otherwise, who is paying to watch you shake it?
Apparently, strip clubs are a recession-proof business.
Even in the middle of a recession, when money is tight for pretty much everyone, managers at Déjà Vu say they are still seeing more than 1,000 customers a week.
“I would say we are doing very well considering what’s been going on with the downfall of other companies,” [Déjà Vu manager] Martinez said.
But I digress. Back to “Carla” and First Coast News:
As her prospects grew dim, she went back to school to earn a master’s degree, hoping to bolster her credentials. But her financial aid came in lower than expected, her credit was battered and she struggled to find part-time work in her new town to keep her afloat.
Can you feel your empathy levels rising? Because First Coast News is piling it on pretty thick.
Everything is happening to her, beyond her control. She is the victim of less financial aid than she planned, low credit (due to late payments or no payments to creditors…the only reason credit drops), and not finding a job in a “new” town (which, as she notes in the story, is a “small” town). But none of that is her fault. It’s the economy, it’s the credit agency, it’s the lack of jobs, it’s government, it’s everyone but her!
She was at rock bottom.
“I went around to see if could get a job as cocktail waitress, but there was not a single retail or waitress job. No one was hiring, except for the topless places,” she said. “It was an act of desperation.”
She started out serving drinks as a waitress, but moved quickly to dancing “because that’s where the money is, and that’s what I needed.”
Uh, huh. Can you see the gun to her head?
Pardon me if I’m a tad less than sympathetic here. The details of Carla’s practice, her pre-recession spending habits, and how she put herself in a place where she couldn’t afford her lifestyle are obscured by the pasties limited facts provided.
Even with what is given, I can’t figure out why Carla resorted to a career she finds so objectionable. As an “act of desperation,” I expect dumpster diving, joining the Army, moving to a bigger city, or even declaring bankruptcy so you can start all over. Between practicing law and working retail there are a lot of employment options, even in this economy. At least, she could have left the small town for a bigger market. Whether you stay in law or try your luck elsewhere, well, that’s up to you. But to go to something you find as distasteful you find stripping?
“Sometimes it sucks, it’s degrading and I hate it, but it is necessary right now and I’m glad I have the option of doing it,” Carla said. “My parents and a few friends know and they were horrified at first. But now they are proud of me for sucking it up and doing what I have to do.”
Turning to stripping as an act of desperation? Sounds more like a lack of imagination or effort.
If nothing else, maybe this will end up being a cautionary tale to upcoming law students preparing to take on enough debt to finance a small home. Be careful how much debt you take on, because some day you might end up in an “act of desperation,” and you never know what that might be.
I’m just sayin’: do we really need one more lawyer stripper in this world?
For that matter, do we really need one more sensational story from the news?This isn’t journalism, First Coast News–its salacious tabloid trash.
Despite Carla’s admonition (last paragraph) to never look down on someone in the “industry,” as she calls, it, I’m more embarrassed that someone as educated as her can’t find a better way to make a buck than taking it off.