The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: 21st Celebrates Different Kind of Birthday Surprise

3 min read


I had my first legal sip of alcohol this weekend. However, my friends and I weren’t really celebrating my 21st birthday on Saturday night; we were celebrating the third anniversary of my first encounter with male genitalia.

Sept. 19, 2006, Mason Hall, first floor: Freshman year had started out rough, and I was spending my 18th birthday in a homesick sulk. After a botched birthday dinner in which the Fred bus abandoned me and my friends in Central Park, I was ready to spend the rest of night in my dorm room on the phone, crying to my high school friends.

When I tried to retreat to my room, my hall-mates dragged me away, insisting that they had a surprise for me. I walked into my friend’s dorm room to find a group of 20 girls, seven of whom I actually recognized.

“Sit here!” they squealed, gesturing me toward a streamer-wrapped chair directly in the center of the room. Everyone was standing behind me. I just wanted to go home.
Suddenly, the door burst open. A policeman ran in.

“Someone called to report underage drinking in here. Which one of you is Susannah Clark?” he said, cocking his brow.

I froze. Before I could stutter a defense, he was removing his uniform. A boom box appeared out of nowhere, blasting “Bad Boys.” He inched toward me.
“Time for some real enforcement.”

Yes. My friends had hired for me, the girl who was too shy to say hi to her crush on campus walk, a male stripper.

It was totally legit: my hall-mates had cleared it with both the RA and the director of judicial affairs. Apparently, Mary Washington has no official policy prohibiting exotic dancing on campus.

His name was Danny. Beneath his police uniform was a florescent turquoise thong. He had a spray tan and little red razor burn bumps on every inch of his body (and I mean every inch). The DayGlo monster in-between-his-legs flailed aimlessly. There was talk of stuffing.

I buried my face in my hands. I had two options: I could run out of the room embarrassed, or I could suck it up and try to enjoy myself as Danny thrust his neon crotch in my face. After a fit of laughter, I chose the latter.

Danny gave each girl a lap dance, though mine was the most…extensive. We cheered and stuck money in his thong straps. The performance ended with a game: my friends laid me down and placed $1 bills on principal parts of my body. Danny proceeded to remove them with his mouth.

Sure, I felt uncomfortable that night. But I also felt extremely loved. These girls had known me for less than a month, and yet they spent over $200 for an hour of blushing and gyrating. All for me. Three weeks into freshman year, I had already made lifelong friends.

Or maybe they just wanted an excuse to hire a stripper.

Either way, I’m glad I didn’t run out of the room. College became a lot easier, and a lot more fun, once I started trying.

Oh and one more thing: that turquoise thong never came off. And thank God.