Ginger Stripper

When it comes to sex and girls, the Boy and I have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The Bear does not share this policy.

She sticks her nose into every part of his “relationships” like they are unguarded honeycombs. She started when he was in the 2nd grade. “What’s her name? What kind of gifts does she like? Where are you going? Why won’t you answer me…”

He learned 20 years ago not to talk with the Bear about any girl, so that shit keeps falling in my lap. The Boy and I make up nicknames for each ex-girl, so I can keep them straight. Most of the nicknames are self-explanatory, but not this one.

A few years ago, he was temporarily living with us. I can’t remember if he was still in college or fresh out. I’m working from home and typing away in the living room.

He comes bounding out of the bedroom we let him use. It’s not his fucking bedroom — he didn’t pay for it. I wish all you goddamn parents would stop using possessive pronouns with your kids and rooms, homes, cars and food. When they pay for it, they can claim it. Until then, they are just squatters and free loaders…

Anyway, he answers the door before the bell rings and steps back out of the way. A very tall 20-something girl with long (sorta) red hair, a very short dress and very high heels walks in. She’s surprised to see me.

“You will have to excuse me,” she says to me. “I don’t normally dress like this. I was just doing a photo shoot.”

“OK,” I say.

“Really dad, she is a model,” the Boy chimes in like he is coming to her defense.

“I believe you,” I say. “I just always look like I don’t believe anything anyone is telling me.” No one laughs.

The Ginger slips down the hall without any directions. She’s obviously been this way before and the Boy follows her.

The Bear would have jumped up and run into the room with a ton of questions. I went back to typing and turned up the TV.

I write a couple of emails (10 minutes tops) when the girl emerged, and quickly moved to the door. The Boy followed, said goodbye in the driveway and came back in.

“Who’s the stripper?” I ask.

I don’t remember his answer. But he said she had a name and it wasn’t “Candy” or “Jade” or anything that came off stripperry.

“Any more questions?” he said.

“If you were having sex in there, that had to be disappointing.” Again, no laughs. No comment from the boy. Apparently, I was violating the don’t ask, don’t tell policy, so I stopped there. That’s how most of these interactions go.

Later a couple of his friends gave me shit about asking about the “Stripper”, so I know he shared my comments with his friends.

To this day, I don’t know that girl’s name, and I never saw her again. I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup. She wasn’t really a red head and she wasn’t an actual stripper. But just so I know which one he is talking about, we call her the “Ginger Stripper.”