Bellies, Poles, and Po’Boys

Paul’s buddy, Dave, was in town late last week for a conference and brought down his awesome wife, Shelley, for their First Ever Time Away from the kids. We met them for lunch at Bayona on Friday, before giving them a tour of the city and stern lecture on “The Real New Orleans” — which is so much more than what you see on COPS. Hours were spent explaining that we’re not a city filled with sex-obsessed exhibitionists, that Mardi Gras is really a family holiday, and that we spend a respectable amount of our lives both sober and responsible.

Good thing we spent all of this time drilling those important facts into them. Otherwise, Shelley may not have had the proper perspective when she agreed to accompany me to an event Friday night while The Boys went out for po’boys and beer. It was a fundraiser, for women only, focused on exercise and self-improvement — all in the interest of raising money for a nonprofit preschool. The title?


Held at a yoga studio equipped with a stripper pole.

In other words, it was a totally and completely appropriate way to cap off what Paul and I had been yammering on about all day.

The class was taught by a board member who happens to be (in addition to having a MA in childhood education) a professional belly dancer. She taught us specific belly-dancing moves most pertinent for, ahem, private moments, punctuated by descriptive words like “all fours,” “oral,” “shlong,” and (our personal favorite) “Love Tunnel.” (No, really, it deserves to be a Proper Noun.) In addition to Shelley, my favorite local Moms were there for the bonding experience. Appropriate amounts of wine, delicious food (donated by Slice), and Italian chocolates and gelato (donated by La Divina) were also in attendance.

The class itself involved a mix of yoga, stretching, isolations, undulations, and shimmys… with explanation, tips, demonstration, and use of scarves. The move with the best name went to “The Umm-mee” which is a small rotation of the hips (knees not bending) in a box. The move with the best bang for the buck, so to speak, was “The Camel;” I’m pretty sure that the spouses of any of the women attending would pay good money for a thorough explanation of The Camel (we’re not talking). Roughly half of us attempted the stripper pole; the rest of us were quick to claim those with the most impressive pole-action as dates for the upcoming Indigo Girls concert.

I think that we are all agreed on one thing: belly dance is pretty cool, waaaaaay harder than it looks, and no one is sexier than a belly dancer. No. One.

Photos are being held for my own protection. Except for this one.

Paul and Dave picked us up at the end of class, greeting us at the studio door with blushes and smiles. As we got into the car, we mentioned that the classroom held a stripper pole, to which Paul exclaimed, “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have gone inside and tried it, because I CAN TOTALLY WORK A STRIPPER POLE.”

As the wife, I didn’t know what to do with that… at first. Now, I have plans to put all that home improvement hotness to work. I’m booking Paul into clubs in the Quarter. I’m guessing that tool belt can hold a lot of dollar bills….