I could tell it was a bachelorette party the second I spotted them huddled in Rockafeller’s parking lot. They were all dressed and coiffed and bubbly with girls’-night-out gaiety. I’m not supposed to carry more passengers than I have seat belts, but I couldn’t bring myself to stifle their exuberance. They were only going a few miles to a house in Croatan, so I allowed all five to cram into my little Toyota.
The bride-to-be was granted the front seat. I assume they’d all been drinking, but she was the most obviously intoxicated. She was clearly troubled by something. The back seat girls yapped and giggled until they noticed her dejection.
“I thought I did good,” she said.
“You did! You were great!” someone said. The rest echoed the encouragement.
“But I only made twenty dollars. I wanted to make some money.”
“No, twenty dollars is good! That’s really good,” they reassured her.
“And it all came from just that one guy,” she said. “I thought it would be lots of people. I was trying to be sexy.”
“You were sexy! You were very sexy. Don’t worry about it.”
“But when that other girl got up there, she made lots of money.”
“But that’s what she does. She’s a dancer. She’s a professional. You’re a nurse, not a pole dancer.”
“I thought I was good though.”
“You were so good. I couldn’t do that good.”
“Me neither. You were awesome!”
“But I only made twenty dollars.”
I decided to weigh in. “You know what I think?”
“Maybe tonight was just confirmation that you are supposed to be a nurse and not a pole dancer. Next time you’re at work helping sick people and you start to wonder if you’d be better off dancing on a pole, just remember what happened tonight.”
“That is so sweet,” said the bride. “Thank you.”