Thursday, February 9, 2006
We could hardly look at how we love in Mississippi without a tour of our own red-light district. Despite the conservative religious climate of our state, we have no shortage of exotic dance clubs and business is brisk.
Mayor Frank Melton's recent raids on Center Folds have made club owners very reluctant to draw the mayor's wrath. At the request of these dancers' employer, we will not mention where they work, nor did we ask them questions regarding the mayor's recent raids. In fact, considering that raid, we did not use the dancers' real names, not even their stage names, lest they be subject to a "very good lecture" from the mayor. For our purpose here, the names of Greek nymphs will do. And what is that purpose? To take a look at the underside of love, if you'll pardon the pun.
What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day?
Rhoda: I love Valentine's Day.
Maia: It's a holiday. What about it?
Lara (blank look): Hey, that's this month, ain't it?
What do you think of when you think about Valentine's Day?
Rhoda: I think Valentine's Day is great. I've always loved Valentine's Day. That was one of my best nights last year. Maybe it'll be good this year, too.
Maia: No, we get a lot of broke-ass college boys on Valentine's Day. They don't tip.
What do you think of love?
Rhoda: Love is good, if you can get it, but there ain't any in this place.
What do you think when you're doing your job?
Rhoda: I think it's just a job.
What if the guy's good-looking?
Rhoda: Are you using my name in this?
Rhoda: It don't matter if he looks like Wesley Snipes. He's just money.
Rhoda: I've been doing this a long time, and when you've seen it all, you don't get excited much. I mean, love is good when you can get it, but this ain't where my love is. This is just a job.
What do you think about marriage?
Maia: I am married, but I don't believe in it anymore.
You don't look married.
Maia (laughter): We're separated. I left that (expletive deleted) last year. He was a (expletive deleted) psycho. I mean, that fool was (expletive deleted) crazy. I had to leave town after we broke up, because he probably would have killed me. I had a good job there, too, that piece of (expletive deleted).
What about you two? What are your thoughts on marriage?
Rhoda: I'd like to get married one day. (Rhoda is jabbed by Lara.) No, I'm serious. I want to get married one day. Probably when I'm 30. I'd make a good wife.
Lara: I'm with Maia. I think marriage is a joke. Do you know how many married men we get in here on a Friday?
How many wedding rings do you see when you work?
Lara: About 80 percent of the men have rings on. I'm not kidding. (Rhoda and Maia nod emphatically.)
Maia: Probably more. And you know some of them take their rings off.
Rhoda: There are guys who bring their wives with them. Those are weird sometimes, but mostly they're cool people.
Lara: Not me. If my man tried to come here after I married him, I'd kill his ass. That's my money he's spending on some girl. (All laugh; Maia and Laura high-five.) He ought to be spending that money on me because he ain't gonna find anything better here.
Maia: No, we get a lot of broke-ass college boys on Valentine’s Day. They don’t tip. So adam did you tip? Or did they just do the "interview"?Did they take time off or were they working