I was at the gym earlier trying to sweat some some ojas into my winter-weary body, and of course every TV screen was blathering Anna Nicole Smith Dead, and not one of those sniggering hair-heads could summon up a nice word to say about her. Now, I can't say I've ever given Anna Nicole two thoughts myself, but it still hacked me to hear them call her stupid, and greedy, and messed-up and crazy, because this is the shit they always talk about strippers. Like they even know.
Everywhere I got in the last two days I overhear another scrap of her biography, and it kills me how it could be any story I overhear in the dressing room while glueing on my eyelashes and don't really listen to because, really, I hear enough sad stuff in a night. I know, I know. You're from shitsville Mexia, Texas and your fry-cook boyfriend at Jimmy's Fried Chicken knocked you up when you were 17, most likely bent over the front counter after closing one night between cashing out your register and mopping up the floor, and you got married but it didn't work out and then you worked at WalMart but it wasn 't enough money and besides you've got a kid, so here you are shucking for bucks and you know how it goes. I read on Wikipedia that poor old Anna -- then "Robin" -- was too heavy to work the night shift, so the management made her work days. Of course, it turns out days are the when the oil billionaires come in, so it worked out. So this wheelchair-bound octegenarian offers to take her away to a life of luxury. Who in her place would have said no?
People like to say she was a gold-digger, and of course, she was. But they say it like it's a bad thing, like it's a dirty secret they themselves figured out just now. Like a rich man marrying a beautiful woman isn't the fairy story we tuck into bed with our children every night. Men make money and women wear lipstick in the half-remembered hope that this story is still true. They like to say her husband was misguided. No way. His ninety-year-old wheelchair-bound self got to parade that hot blonde stripper around for four whole years, and probably even got to fuck her a few times, which is a few times more than you've ever fucked a Playmate of the Year, so lay off.
Men go to strip clubs looking for women who are for sale. Really, completely, for sale. As a stripper, three different men have asked me to marry them. As far as I could tell, they were serious. Mentally ill, maybe, but serious. They wanted a girl they could just buy outright and take home. I'm not that girl. (So far. Then again, no one's ever offered me a billion dollars.) Anna Nicole was.
"Tragic," everybody says with a sneer. But then again, can anybody squint their eyes and see the twisted Cinderella story in it all? It's too bad about the drugs, and the lawsuits, and the drugs, and the paternity suits, and the drugs. It's really too bad. But she lived a certain kind of dream -- Playboy, and a billionaire husband, her own TV show, a certain status as an infamous household name, and finally, her early, tragic death plastered all over television and tabloids, the biggest thing since Brangelina's baby. For a too-fat, dayshift stripper from Mexia, Texas, that's something. And if in the end it was a hollow, stupid dream she lived, well, she's not the only one who ever dreamed it. That's all.