Friday, December 21, 2007

Burlesque To Make You Brave Enough To Proffer Your Country To Old Men.

When I signed up for Burlesque for Self-Esteem class I had a very specific conception of what it would entail. I figured we would maybe get topless, learn some titty-shaking moves and compliment each other profusely while basking in a joyous aura of girldom. The "self-esteem" aspect of the class title, I assumed, was merely a side effect of the main course, Burlesque. I was wrong.

It should have been called, "Hate UrSelf? Let's Talk About It, Get Naked, and Cry!"

The space was hot and smelled like the inspiration for that rap song "Get Low". At some point there had been a lot of sweat dripping down a lot of balls in there. I wanted to scream from the windows to the walls and then promptly crawl through them, but the teacher, World Famous Bob, made us take our shoes off so there was no escaping. It's a fact that if you're in extreme inhumane conditions like boiling hot, ball-sweaty rooms you'll become more introspective and willing to cooperate-- it's the same tactic they use at Guantanemo!

World Famous Bob is pretty greatsies, and she saw me nakesies

When we entered the room there was funeral organ music playing and candles lit. Bob was weeping in mourning garb by the door hugging each of us as we passed through. It was, we soon discovered, a "funeral for our insecurities." I would have bolted at this point but my shoes had already been confiscated, and Marmsies was with me.

After the mock funeral, we sat in a circle and started introducing ourselves and explaining why we were here. I didn't want to be like, "Uh, I thought this was a DANCE class" after everyone had poured out their darkest insecurities, so I said that I was having a hard time adjusting to the attractiveness of New York peeps and I sometimes feel grossish compared to all the freakin size 0 models walking around the city. While this may be true, I'm usually too busy to dwell on my comparative fattitude, and I live in Brooklyn so most of the time I'm around baby mommas in hempseed jumpers, not models. Hemp clothing, I believe, was created solely to benefit the self-esteem of those not wearing it.

The thing I hate most about the activity of self-esteeming is that it necessitates one conjure up their insecurities that are otherwise quarantined off in an unconscious section of the brain not bothering anyone, and bring them to the forefront, like "What is it that I hate about myself again? Oh yeah!" and then you start to feel actively bad about it. I mean subconscious manifestation is a defensive mechanism for a reason. It works wonders.

The whole vibe of the session felt like couples counseling for a polygamous matriarchal hippie co-op. We got a handout with, like, 8 different definitions of the word "genius" and we read them aloud REALLY SLOWLY. Then we talked about our feelings and what we like about ourselves. The lesson of all this somehow was "there's a genius in every one of us." I was like, Duuuuuuuuuhz, I already think I'm an LOLgenius, can I leave now and go to the Burlesque Class For Vanity?

After the genius exercise came the humilation exercise, wherein we had to write what we hated about ourselves on little slips of paper and put them into a hat in the center of the room. Bob drew each slip of paper and read the body part listed, then we had to display said body part to the group. Seventy-five percent of the females wrote "stomach." So when stomach was called, we all lifted our shirts, with thighs we all pulled down our pants, with boobs we all lifted our shirts and pulled down our bras. People started crying, which made me, in contrast, feel relatively at ease displaying my goods.

By this point, I was already pretty sure that what came next was what was coming next. We picked a "prop" that called to us out of a pile of items that may or may not have had semen on them at one point. I picked a fur muff. Marmsies chose a classy gold clutch. Bob turned off the lights, lit candles, and told us to get fully undressed-- we were going to dance naked with our prop down the makeshift runway to a Lil' Kim song. Finally, sweet! In one of the only statements that made sense to me the entire evening, Bob told us that this experience would serve as a reference point that we could draw to mind later on a day we were feeling LOLbad. Like, "I have a job interview and I'm nervous, but remember that one time I danced totally naked with a fur muff in front of a bunch of strangers?"

I was a bit nervous, but I envisioned myself as a sexy LOLcat with a wig, and took off down the runway with my muff, and also my muff.

Oh haii, dis iz mai muff. U like mai muff?!

(I'm actually lying about picturing myself as an LOLcat with a wig, because I hadn't yet seen the website with cats in wigs. This is called fictionalized memory, and it happens a lot on this blogz!)

A few days later I found myself mingling with the commies at The Nation holiday party and on my way to the bathroom I spotted Calvin Trillin sitting in a chair eating a gross-looking appetizer. My heart stopped, and I almost passed by him without a word, but then I remembered my nuditude (reference point!) and summoned the bravery to say, "Omgz, I wuv woo!! Your New Yorker essays on your deceased wife are so sweet they make me wet my panties!"

Which, in actuality, came out of my mouth as: "What's that your eating? Looks great!" and then I ran away before he could answer.

But, as Bob said, baby steps. Every day. Baby steps.


WendyB said...

I'm speechless!!!!

alissa said...

you are a pervert! but hilarous. I made my friend dave read this and now he has a crush on you :)

LauraLbi4 said...

A. This is hilarious.

B. Blog some more!!!!!! X-mas vacation is over, lady!

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Anonymous said...

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