Daughters, Worlds Apart
I recently read an interesting article entitled ‘Sex is Sex. But Money Is Money.‘ The short story centers on a young 24 year old female Russian immigrant, Svetlana Z, who supposedly has quit the New York City escort business after a 5 year run. She goes into detail about how she became a self-employed prostitute, her life while turning tricks, and where she is at now. I couldn’t help comparing her life’s path with that of my own daughter’s and how their two tales are a metaphor for everyone’s decisions on which life paths we will ultimately follow.
This article is an interesting insight into a murky part of the world that typifies the depravity of chasing money. It’s an insight into how damaging it is to the human psyche when people worship the All Mighty Dollar as their pagan god. I mean no disrespect or judgement but this article could just as easily been a cautionary tale titled, ‘Confessions of Those Who Sold Their Souls’. Svetlana and the people she had as clients had holes figuratively and literally to fill in their lives. They tried to fill those holes with soulless wads of cash. Didn’t work.
I too have a 24 year old daughter. They are both intelligent women, my daughter has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and Svetlana ran a successful escort service. Both her and Svetlana are pretty and built about the same. My daughter’s blonde hair doesn’t come from a bottle and her physique comes from playing team sports like hockey, roller derby, and baseball. She doesn’t have to pay a personal trainer to motivate her to stay thin, she has supportive friends, teammates, and colleagues. She eats a well-rounded diet with a higher caloric intake then that of a bird. My daughter already has her degree and didn’t have to literally prostitute herself to gather enough money to educate herself. Instead of jerking men off as a young girl she applied her talents and work ethic to school, sports, and Air Cadets. She, like Svetlana, also didn’t want to stay tied to the town she grew up in. This was mainly because many of her female contemporaries that did stay just gave up on life to become pot smoking party girls who had dumbed themselves down to attract a man. At the age of 24, she didn’t have to have sex with hundreds of men to be making $100,000/year at this point. She is able to show her face in public pictures and she has no need to put up slutty photos of her labia. I won’t be publishing a photo of my daughter connected to this discussion. Svetlana’s photos in her story are intended to attract certain types of men. My daughter’s image will not be available for that type of consumption.
My daughter also doesn’t have to lie to her father about where her money comes from. She’s proud of her future as a pilot and military officer. She’s proud of her boyfriend. She surrounds herself with ambitious, talented dreamers who apply themselves. She is happy with herself.
Contrast that with Svetlana, who is broken at the age of 24. I doubt she’ll ever have a true, loving relationship. She might heal herself with time but the lure of easy money could easily drag her back into the escort lifestyle with the first rough patch she hits. It’s interesting how she slags Illinois in her writing. It’s a well-worn chestnut but home is where the heart is. Sure, there are nice places to live but if you have to sell your soul to be there, it’s not worth it. To be honest, I felt that NYC had no soul compared to other cities I’ve visited around the world. It was just big but for me, full of emptiness. To think that the Big Apple is the be all and end all of existence is just as empty as the mindless, endless pursuit of money by all those lonely bankers and Svetlana.
There’s a reason the older bankers were using her services. They were using up the last of their spark. They were coming to the end of the road and realized there was nothing. Money was all they had and all they knew. It could get them a moment or two of pleasure. Of course, they would plead to have Svetlana as a kept woman. At least she’s smart enough and had enough self-respect to realize that she might as well have been a bought and paid for Animatronic sex doll if she had taken one of those offers. Sure, you would have a comfortable life but an empty, soulless one just like the city she lived in. (Just to be clear, I’ll couch my opinion of NYC being soulless with the fact that there are plenty of soulless people inhabiting its boroughs. Similar to Toronto, the city has oases of vibrant life but contains too many dead zones IMHO.)
Svetlana describes an immigrant’s perverted, twisted vision of the American Dream and capitalism. She described how she initially instinctively shied away from easy money for sex. She doesn’t say how young she was when she got to America but I would guess too young for a girl to be off on her own just on the strength of a phone number. It’s a good example of why parenting is so important. My daughter didn’t come from a privileged family with money opening doors for her. She did come from parents who were strong in their support and encouragement. She got to where she is all on her own. Svetlana also got to where she is all on her own but can’t show her face and is trying to pick up the shattered pieces to live a ‘normal’ life.
Chasing money is an empty lie. Much of the West and particularly in America, people are lured into this lie and forget how to live an honest, happy life. That’s why Svetlana doesn’t understand the magic of a baseball triple or why men will brag about their children. She will probably never know the magic of making love to a person you truly love. You can’t buy any of the stuff that truly matters in life. Maybe Svetlana will figure that out sooner than later and not be a washed out husk by the time she’s 40 or less. There’s no need to be publishing photos such as those in her articles if she’s trying to get out of the sex business. It’s her hook that she’s known for so long, she won’t give it up.
This ‘Tale of Two Cities’ or daughters is an interesting contrast in the choices we all face. Do we chase love or money? Do we sell our souls for an ‘easy’, glamorous life or ‘settle’ for a humdrum one? Is it possible to just sell a little bit of my soul and walk the line?
To quote the immortal Robert Frost, ‘(My daughter) took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.’
Blair is a personification of a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None’. He has held several careers and has all the T-shirts. Time to add the title Blogger to the list.