You think you know people. Well, maybe not people, per se, as in people in general, but you do assume that you know your friends. And some of that stuff you know about them is very basic stuff. The identifying and quantifying stuff, where they grew up, marital status of parents in childhood, where they went to school, what they studied, what they do for a living, and very importantly for this particular post, what they did for a living, or to say it more clearly, what they wore or didn't wear for a living.
It all fits into the mental file cabinet of classification and categorization. But sometimes, through no fault of your own, you learn that the contents of your files are all wrong.
Tonight was one of those times for me. I learned that some of what I thought I knew about a couple friends is as foggy as an airbrushed photo of an exposed breast. Turns out that one of my friends who referred to those days in her past as her hostess job, actually entertained. And it turns out that another one of my friends who previously was slotted in the 'used to dance' category in fact never set spiked heel on stage, much less bare breast or thonged ass. From what I could gather tonight, she only stepped into a topless bar one time and that was to retrieve a garage door opener from her now ex but at the time her soon-to-be husband's bachelor party. Or so it goes.
Someone interrupted her explanation by saying, But S can't dance! [Name removed to protect her newly reclaimed innocence.] Well, that's the breaker apparently. And it never occurred to me, the dancing skill bit. Because I'm thinking that if you have the body and you just move it like the elusive scent of seduction, then it's not like you're in a dance-off against Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo that actually requires you to know any one-two, one-two-three sort of skill.
But it doesn't matter what I think because I was made to promise that I would set the record straight tonight - right here. So, for the record, one of you needs to tell the other not to assume that when your mother says that her daughter danced in a topless bar that your mother is speaking about you. And, it has to be said to S, YOU COULD HAVE TOLD US THAT YOU HAVE TWO SISTERS because we knew it wasn't her, so IT HAD TO BE YOU. Oh wait, that's what was said tonight. Well, there you have it.
Still, I said I'd set it straight. So, let me clarify: IT WASN'T HER, okay? If you think you recognize her in line at the dry cleaners or the grocery store... wait, that's way too public for the non-existent job. Ahem. If you're having dinner with her and you're all up in your thinking that you know this dirty little secret of hers, then you need to step back seven or eight years and pull out your bottle of white-out because when you were told that she danced, well that wasn't right. At all. There is no dirty little secret. At least not one that involves pasties and stage names.
But, seriously, apparently all that had to be said (or experienced) was that if you've ever seen her dance, you would have known that something was up with the story from the get-go.
File cabinet. Re-classified and re-filed.
[Personal note to the non-dancer: Yeah, I know. I have to make a set-it-straight phone call to Vermont. I'll get right on that in the morning.]