The Time I Cried At A Strip Club.

So I cried at a strip club this one time. Let's start from the top.

Breakups are pretty horrible. I think anyone who's ever liked anyone can attest to this fact. When you get dumped, it feels like an amalgamation of:

- Not getting picked for "fill in the blank" team sport in middle school.

- That feeling you get when a basketball hits you square in the nose and you feel like your face just fell off.

- When you stub your toe and run around in a circle for a minute because human beings are reduced to small children in this moment, making jarring weird body movements while yelling, "OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW owthathurtowthathurt *sttttthhhhhh*"

- The feeling you got when your first goldfish died and you realized that YOU DID THIS, YOU DID THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T CARE FOR HIM ENOUGH AND HE COULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WHEREVER IT IS THAT GOLDFISH LIVE IF IT'S NOT AT A CARNIVAL OR IN A VERY SMALL CIRCULAR OBJECT.

Add all of those things together, throw in emotional instability and you've got yourself the general makeup of what it feels like to go through the end of a relationship.

So when this happens, it's safe to say there are a few things you should avoid doing, and/or there are a few things a person generally tries to avoid. These include (but are not limited to):

- Drinking alone.

- Drinking in public, where you will inevitably become emotionally unstable and irrational when that song comes on that was your song with her and you'll start mumbling things like,  "oh my god guys I'm sorry I'm crying, I know we're at a bar and I know I said I wouldn't talk about her all night but it's just..things are really hard right now."

- Drinking with people you don't know that well.

- Drinking.

Somehow, I think I did every one of these things in one evening. And the one I added in for good measure that's not on that list? Priceless.

I was in the middle of the two to three day arc of a breakup. The part where you just make weird noises crying and crap like that. Needless to say, I wasn't doing that well and was certainly not game for being good company and/or being a functioning human being in society.

So of course this was the exact moment that my team at work decided that it was time for us to stage a huge evening out with a large vendor we worked with. We were friends with the guys, it wasn't that out of the ordinary...but like, really? What are the odds. I was told that I needed to buck up because it was important I was there. So, you know, hooray. I figured I'd probably just pout in the corner like a small child at a family dinner until they told me to go to my room. That was the plan. It kinda went that way, except my kid's bedroom was called "blackout."

Going out when you don't want to is hilarious. It's almost like you're Richie Tenenbaum taking off your socks in the middle of a championship tennis match: you quit before you even got there. This was me. With a crew of about 15 people (about ten I didn't know so well) I was practically taking my socks off at my table. However, they were doing one thing I really liked: drinking. Drinking things you only drink when you're trying to buy the liquor off the fourteenth shelf of a bar. And I was a fan of that. Maybe too much of a fan.

(Spoiler alert: I may or may not have finished the entire fourteenth shelf of the bar.)

Let's just fast forward about three hours to the part where you're at a bar and you can't feel feelings anymore.

As I'm slowly plotting my exit, a few guys decide this would be a great time to go to a normal guy's dream home: a strip club. Here's the funny thing: I'm not a normal guy.

It's not that I'm "so cool" or "can't believe how demeaning strip clubs are." I'm awkward. I've been terrified of strip clubs since the time I was old enough to attend one. The reasons are more comical than anything, because they predominantly explain who I am in general. Frankly? Strip clubs are actually fairly like sex: you've seen video of it, but once you get down to it, you have NO idea what you're doing. Naked people are flailing all over the place. Horrible music is playing. But here's the (pun intended) rub of a strip club: it costs money, and there's no price tag and NO one tells you how much anything costs. One just assumes you know how much it costs for a woman to gyrate on you. It's not like you're at Target. Seriously, ma'am, I think you are attractive and you look fantastic naked, but I'm awkward and have no idea how much I'm supposed to pay you when the Def Leppard song is over.

So I'm sitting at this strip club lamenting my failed relationship when one of the guys from the other company buys me a lap dance.

I remember thinking in my head..."Don't be weird...don't be weird...just act normal...you're totally into anyone BUT (broken up girl) right now. This is AWESOME."

Guess what: Drew's inner monologue wasn't faking him out.

The last thing you want after getting dumped is yet another person pity dry humping you.

Great. More "not sex".

The woman sits on my lap and begins to do her really attractive naked woman thing. And at start...I just kind of sat there. The funny thing is? Most guys would be stoked. Being a neurotic Jew, all I could think of was, "HOW much does this cost? Will I offend her? I'm so sorry, attractive naked woman who is just doing this to get through law school. I'm emotionally unavailable for the Motley Crue song right now."

The rule of strip clubs and lap dances is simple from what I've gathered. You sit there, give this creepy smile that all males give, and just go with it. Whatever you do: Do not talk to this woman about anything but how she's hot or whatever.

Me? I looked like a kid who got thrown into the ocean when I had no idea how to swim.

Midway through, the girl asked me if I was enjoying myself (which for the record is an oddly creepy question).

Ready for this?

I began to talk about my ex.

I began to rattle off how I was just having a rough night. How I was, you know, kinda bummed out. I wish I had the conversation tape recorded, because I'm fairly certain drunk Drew told her all about the courtship and how it went from there on out.

A woman was naked and dancing on my lap. And I somehow found a way to discuss my feelings. I blow my own mind.

By the end of it, the woman turned around, and the most amazing thing occurred.

I was CRYING. A NAKED stripper was GYRATING on my lap and I was crying. I was five seconds away from being the next American Pie film. Like. This was happening.

The song ends, and the woman legitimately turned around and stared at me.

I was crying at a strip club. I was crying in front of a naked woman who WASN'T sleeping with me (sidenote: you shouldn't be doing this if a woman is sleeping with you). Is this even possible?

She looked at me. After discussing the girl with me for a moment, she actually (ready for this?) patted me on the head.

"Go home, sweetheart. You're too nice to be here."

And you know what? Sadly? I wanted to kiss the bejesus out of that stripper. Because she somehow gave me a way to go home. And hey, stripper: thanks for that.

So yeah. I cried at a strip club. I have cried to the song "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard. Which I think is a feat reserved for only me and a few white trash women from middle america.

And you know what?

I'm just stoked I got to go home.

The moral of the story is: I need to learn how to go to strip clubs.

And everyone else should be able to laugh their ass off at that story for the rest of their life.

Rock on, Def Leppard.

Drew Hoolhorst

San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

I have a black belt in feelings.