In popular blogger Victoria Fedden’s independently published memoir Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat, Victoria was having a tough time. Just when she thought everything was going fine, her long-time fiancé broke up with her, stole her house (yes, apparently that is possible), sued her, and moved in with another girl. Twenty-six, heartbroken, homeless, and swamped with legal fees, she had no choice but to leave Atlanta, Georgia and move in with her eccentric parents.
Unfortunately they live in South Florida; those who read her blog Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds know South Florida is a very… interesting place. Once there, Victoria is pushed by her parents to accept a job as a hostess at the Bubblegum Kittikat, South Florida’s “klassiest” gentlemen’s club. Though somewhat shy, and more than a little nerdy, she decides to go for it, needing both the money and the distraction. There she meets the patrons, the doormen, and the dancers, each with a past and a story.
As a longtime reader of Fedden’s hilariously weird blog Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds, I was both excited and impatient to read her first book. When I heard it was going to be about her time working in a strip club, I just about danced with joy. Like many people, I am fascinated by the darker sides of society. What would make a woman be willing to take of her clothes for money? Is there only one type of body type at these sorts of clubs, and what was it like behind the stage? I was hoping the book would be filled to the brim with weird people; I especially wanted to read more about the people who are just on the fringe of the sex industry. The bouncers, the bartenders, the hostess, the waitresses, the managers, and how they viewed things. In most novels that have strippers, there is actually very little about them, while strippers are portrayed as heartless whores who would do anything for more money, and while at times that was true there was far more to it. They are human after all.
Speaking of human, while her book is about the club, it is still solidly a memoir. Fedden is known as a funny blogger, and in this regard she never fails. However, the book it is not all glitter and crazy stories. While working and shopping to her heart’s content, Victoria is looking for love in all the wrong places and for mostly the wrong reasons, all of which she admits and goes over in painful detail. Throughout the book the reader can feel her frustration and the perfect clarity of hindsight is punishing, but like any good memoir, it has lessons that she learns and the reader learns along with her. She makes mistakes that many women can relate to, if only because the events really happened (and can potentially happen to anyone). Victoria goes on dates with guys who are arrogant, creepy (one had a mullet), and some who seem okay, but turn out to be strange in some fashion or another.
These dates are some of the best parts of the novel and though they often made me cringe, they also often made me laugh the most. As a warning there is some intimate partner abuse, swearing, some premarital sexing, undressing, and other things that people may be offended by, but it is all entertaining and nothing is unnecessarily embellished for the sake of storytelling. Throughout her memoir, I wondered if Fedden would succumb to the seduction of greed and “glamor” and finally get on the pole. Does she dance? You’re going to have to read the book to find out. It is currently available only in the electronic version on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but the printed ones are sure to come soon. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!
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