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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Middle Mother’s Day Naked

While Mother’s Day may have been last weekend, in the US, it’s next weekend in France. But since my mom is in Paris this weekend, we split the difference and celebrated last night.

When I asked my mom what she wanted for a Mother’s Day gift, she asked me to take her to the Crazy Horse.

“Mom, do you know what the Crazy Horse is?”


“There’s a lot of naked women.”


Flame-Haired Angel and I had been before. It’s one of two famous Paris cabaret show-clubs we’ve been to, the other being the Lido. The Lido is all sequins and dazzle and engineering marvels masquerading as feathered head-pieces. And tits, of course. A stage full of dancing tits.

When Flame-Haired Angel’s parents visited us, a year and a half ago, we took them to the Lido. Personally, it left me with a good idea of what the show would have looked like on the Love Boat, but in the hands of a gay director with a bigger stage. And a penchant for breasts as scenic adornment.

Despite the boggling quantity, however, you get the impression at the Lido that tits are granted about the same stature as sequins and feathered head-pieces: just part of the spectacle. Not something you’d see walking down the street, but also not as remarkable as the ice-skating rink that rises from below the stage, or the jet plane that descends from the ceiling to discharge the lead for the next musical number. While statuesque, bare-breasted dancers would struggle to be un-erotic – and these women really are major-league stunning – at the Lido they become simply part of the aesthetic backdrop. The dancing tits are key to the spectacle, but they are not the spectacle. There’s a whole lot else.

Even so, the effect on Flame-Haired Angel’s suburban Australian parents was profound. With a full stage, her dad hadn’t seen that many tits in his life. His Champagne glass hovered, hand frozen half way between table and lips, stuck in the moment the first line of chorus girls crossed the stage, straight through ‘til intermission.

But if the Lido is Playboy – like the apocryphal article readers, you can leave claiming you loved the show and hardly noticed the skin – the Crazy Horse is Penthouse. At the Crazy Horse, the naked women aren’t scenery. They’re the show.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great show. It’s gorgeous. Not strip club at all. Not even close. But it’s very, very sexy. And there’s almost nothing but naked women. Excepting two interstitial magicians, it’s just twelve scenes of blatant eroticism one after the other.

This was what my mom wanted for Mother’s Day.

I’m not sure what it says about my relationship with my mom that, to celebrate her maternal love and sacrifice, I took her – with her husband and my wife – to watch naked foreign women dance. I say we do it again, next year, and call it a tradition.

(One thing I do know is that it says good things about my love affair with Flame-Haired Angel that, both times we’ve been to the Crazy Horse, we’ve spent the entire show oohing and aahing and comparing notes on which dancers we found sexiest and why.)

At dinner, afterwards, still celebrating Mother’s Day, the conversations move from a T&A postmortem to the subject of motherhood. “Shit,” my mom said at one point, “how could you survive it without drugs and booze?”

After childhood, what more could you ask of a mom than such total candidness: the unabashed living of her life in full view of her children.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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All the photos are from the Crazy Horse. It says a lot about Paris, I think, and a lot about the show, that the audience is very evenly mixed, women and men, and spans a range of ages limited more by the ticket price than anything else.


Comments on "Middle Mother’s Day Naked"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:49 AM) : 

The absolute best Mother's Day ever!!!! It was raw beauty tempered by light and color accenting female beauty. It was exciting and gorgeous. hm


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