The Right to Choose

“When people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.”

Madeleine Albright

I am so utterly disgusting, having spent the entire day in bed. Winter has finally descended upon us with rain non-stop since yesterday. Choosing to deny reality, I have simply remained under the duvet all day with my creature comforts and my laptop. The electric blanket is on and a plume of smoke is collecting on my ceiling as I refuse to open the window. I now understand how Linda Evangelista felt when she said “I wouldn’t get out of bed for less than USD 10,000”. Alright, I’m not Linda and probably if I were offered that amount of money, taking my latest bill from the receiver of revenue into consideration, I most definitely would get out of bed. It’s an apt metaphor for how I feel right now but don’t take me literally.

I don’t know what it is about Saturday’s but I always receive the most ridiculous phone calls on a Saturday. This is why I prefer married men, they’ve all been vetted at least once before but on Saturday’s the lonely hearts singles club and drunks come out to play. Some of these people are single for very good reason and when I decline their offers they just get angry at me. Sometimes yelling profanities at me over the phone. I suppose my reaction just confirms for them their attitude towards women and so they choose to unleash their wrath upon me. But then, what am I supposed to do? Accept the offer? Even when my clam is yelling no, no, please OMG no. Unfortunately I don’t have the ability to achieve such a disconnect.

Some people feel that I am a dark stain on the profession because I chose my clientele. They think that if I advertise my services like any other business that I should offer that self-same service to all. The reality is that I am not one of the “gifted” companions who are able to offer a one size fits all service. I spend time with my gentlemen and get to know them. My speciality is dinner dates and extended bookings, if I am unable to strike up a rapport with you then I am wasting my time and yours and compromising my integrity and reputation by taking your money.

If I decline an appointment, it should not be taken as an insult. There is somebody out there who is especially designed for you. In order to do what I do, I convince myself that I am on an actual date. This is how I deliver a natural, seamless girlfriend experience (for that time, I am your girlfriend). If you are not a person whose company I would enjoy in ordinary life, it is difficult for me to perpetuate that fantasy in my own mind. I do realise that I am fortunate to be able to choose and am grateful for my gentlemen every day.

Long-term, I’m hoping that somebody will see through my scruffy but lovable street urchin ways and wife me. I am not a career courtesan, this is a detour for me and that is why I’m building this website. So that one day I can move more towards the writing and advisory aspect of this industry. I am not one of the girls who laugh in the face of people trying to save me from my job; the tragic reality is that nobody considers me worthy of being saved.

So, until such time as I meet Mr. Right I will be chugging along on my own merry way, doing things in a way that work for me. I hope that my Saturday callers are able to understand my point of view or at least respect my right to have a point of view. Maybe if I say no thanks, they will speak more gently to the next person that they call. I’m sort of the Joan of Arc of industry. Teaching crass men how to behave properly so they can go on to treat other women properly, never reaping the direct benefit of my own labour.

I am however working very hard to improve myself in every way. Staying in bed and doing nothing is phase two of my diet strategy – fasting. Having spent the last two weeks toning up, I have come to the conclusion that if just keep still and don’t eat I will be more successful. My housekeeper agrees with me. She is the only person who isn’t afraid to tell me when I’m fat or I have a zit on my face. “Eish Claire, you’re getting fats.” Quote, unquote, word for word. Her feedback was positive today so I feel I’m on the right track. For the next six day’s not a morsel of solid food will pass my mouth. I feel hungry already just thinking about it.

I once met a man who came to see me because his girlfriend had asked him for a monthly allowance. He felt a bit disgruntled and decided if he was paying for it he’d come and see me instead. I won’t mention what the allowance amount was, but let’s just say I’ve already spent that on personal maintenance and beauty alone this month and we’re only halfway through the month. Maybe that man should have taken that offer while it was still good. Last time I checked, we were in a recession but the costs of “outer” beauty keep on rising. Prince charming had better find me quickly before I go bust again.