I was accepted to THE Ohio State University. I filled out my application, turned in my paperwork, got my room assignment, learned the name of my roommate and received an Ohio State sweatshirt for a graduation present, I was ready. Unfortunately, I would never step foot on that campus.
My mom handed me the phone, "Meredyth, telephone..."
"Hello, this is Meredyth"
"Hi, this is Christine, I am your roommate at Ohio State."
"Oh, hi Christine, um, I really appreciate you calling, but I am not coming to Ohio State...I'm really sorry, um..I gotta go..."
I handed my mom the phone and cried for hours.
You see, I got decent enough grades to get in, I filled out all the correct paperwork, I did my job, the problem was, nobody knew they were paying...including me.
I was 17 and to get a loan for college, you have to put down your parents' income and they are technically responsible for that student loan, and well... none of my parents were willing to do that. Ya see, everyone thought everyone else was paying and well, nobody was paying.
When your parents are divorced and these things aren't decided, you are without a country, at least when the tuition needs to be paid. I was without a country and nobody told this to me until the day that the college tuition deposit was due, and that is when I found out, I wasn't going to college.
So I was 17, everyone was going away to college but me and I had no future. I was officially screwed. I couldn't even fill out a student loan form, I couldn't pay myself and I hadn't planned for this..so I did what any other 17 year old would do....
I applied to be a stripper....
I put on my dark khaki knee-lengh shorts, my Gap paisley button-down shirt and my Bass penny loafers, complete with shiny pennies and drove with my friend to The Crazy Horse. We parked her Mercedes Benz in the parking lot and marched in with the full expectation of an on-site hire.
You can't be a stripper when you are 17 and a half, "come back in 6 months, you can tryout then."
After learning I had 6 months before my on-stage debut, my friend and I went to a stripper bathing suit shop. They have stripper stores ya know, they sell string bikinis and stripper shoes. I tried some bathing suits on, I had to get ready for my new career. I didn't buy anything, I didn't want to get ahead of myself.
I never went back to tryout, and I laugh to think how naive I was. Who was I kidding? I was wearing penny loafers! It is funny what you will attempt, when you feel like you have no options. Who knows what would have happened if I had been 18 when I walked in there? Maybe I would be an ex-stripper right now instead of a stay-at-home mom? Or maybe I would be an ex-stripper, stay-at-home mom? I felt hopeless, helpless and without a focus. I didn't know how to do anything and nothing in my life told me I was NOT going to go away to college after graduation, so I didn't know what to do.
I remember wondering, what I would do if someone that knew me came to the strip club? I always am amazed by people in the adult entertainment industry, how do their parents deal with that? How do they handle their dad's buddies looking at them "that way?"
My mom offered to pay for community college, and I went there for a year, barely earning good enough grades to stay there, my heart wasn't in it. All my friends were away at school and I was working at a car dealership and taking English 151 with a bunch of 40 year olds trying to reinvent themselves...I hated it.
Eventually my dad paid for two years at Kent State...but that is a whole other story.....
I did learn from this, when I got a divorce, college tuition was address in the divorce papers. If you are getting a divorce, make sure college tuition is addressed IN the divorce papers, because years from now when everyone is remarried and has NEW kids, your kids, the ones without a country, may want to go to college, so even if you have the kids pay for college, make sure everyone knows who is filling out the student loan papers.