We had been dating for three years and were set to get married a year later when his company sent him to London on a project for eight months. I was sad, of course, but it was just a matter of eight months and I was sure we would make it through. Late night video calls became the highlight of my day for the first three months. Of course, they were super taxing but we didn’t really have any other option to stay in touch. Until, one day, my parents suggested that I should go and visit him in London. ‘You’ll have a place to stay and someone to take you around. You should go and meet him while he’s still there!’ My parents suggesting this made things so much easier! I had been saving up money for a while now and he, too, had some moolah saved up. So we both pitched in money, got me a ticket.I applied for a month off from work and before I knew it, I was on a plane to London.
It was absolutely beautiful being with him! While he was at work, I’d take strolls out on the streets, sitting at quaint little cafes. And when he was back, we’d go out drinking, club hopping and exploring new places. One fine night, on a whim, we decided to visit a strip club. It was somewhere near the apartment that he’d been given by his company, a small dingy looking place with a red brick wall. I was a little sceptical at first but we were both young and a little tipsy and thought, ‘Well, why not?’The room was lit in a mixture of red and pink lights. We went and sat at the bar which had two poles coming out of it. There was also a disc-like area in the centre with another pole. It was really not all that crowded. There were a few men and women but there was no one dancing on the poles as I had expected.I wondered how much strength it would take for women to actually slide up and down those slippery looking poles and I remember telling myself, no job is easy. After we had a couple of drinks, I excused myself to visit the washroom. When I came back, I saw my boyfriend sitting with a man. A very handsome looking man, at that. And even though I sincerely loved him, I couldn’t help but give my hair a little flip as I walked back to where the two of them stood. His name was Paul, a real estate novelist who lived nearby. He was super friendly and kept asking us questions about life in India and how we were enjoying London so far. I was utterly mesmerized by his charm and good looks but even so, it wasn’t like I was going to ditch my husband-to-be for the prettiest face I had seen in my entire life.
After a while, my boyfriend excused himself to go to the washroom. That’s when Paul leaned in and asked me ‘Hey, do you mind if I get a dance?’ I looked at him, giggled in a shrill voice and said, ‘Oh, Paul! I don’t think you know that I am about to get married!’ He smiled and replied, ‘Actually, I was asking about him!’ pointing towards my boyfriend who had just stepped out of the washroom and was now walking towards us. For a minute, I was very confused, I looked at Paul then at my boyfriend and then back again. Never in my life had a man asked me if he could get a dance with my boyfriend! Don’t get me wrong, I was not homophobic but the situation just left me...perplexed. I mean, the last thing I had expected was for a man to hit on my boyfriend at a strip club!I was still thinking about what I should do when another very handsome man walked out from behind some flimsy looking curtains...in his underwear, and started to dance on the pole! It took me a second but then I laughed out loud! It was a gay strip club!By this time my boyfriend was back to his seat. I kept laughing before I replied, ‘Well, Paul, here’s the man I am getting married to!’
It was absolutely hilarious! Eventually, all three of us were laughing about it and the night ended with all of us getting up on the bar poles! However, my husband still brags about how Paul chose him over me! Of course, neither of us can forget the night we visited a strip club.* Names changed to protect privacy.Images: Shutterstock