I Think We’re Due For A Sunday Post, Don’t You?

Well, the hotel has new lobby furniture, but otherwise, it’s business as usual.

Case in point, at 8:00 A.M. this morning I rolled my luggage cart past the most obvious hooker I have ever cast my bellman eyes upon in sixteen years. Seriously, folks, the only element missing from this girl’s appearance was a “THIS SPACE FOR RENT” sign on her butt.

  • Platinum blonde hair with a partial bowl cut in the front topped the ensemble off but was far from the only noteworthy aspect.
  • Ridiculously-tight, grey-as-my-uniform-jacket-pants enveloped her lower section.
  • An open black leather jacket adorned with chains covered a painted-on top.
  • Eight-inch black with white polka dots stilettos put the whole outfit over the top and the resulting clomping sound they produced preceded her by sixty-seconds at least.  

She met my gaze with a genuine, but awkward smile that screamed “Please, please, don’t judge me. I may look twelve, but I swear I’m legal and I know what I’m doing.”

And so I won’t. After all, everyone is someone’s child and every hooker is still a little girl deep inside. Don’t ask me why but I’ve seen a sliver of innocence in every prostitute I’ve encountered in my career. The young lady in question rose from her perch on a lobby bench, checked her phone – no doubt double-checking a room number – and made her way to our south tower elevators. I watched her disappear into the shiny metal box and after the display screen ceased its ascent at the eight floor, I made my way back to my desk with my cargo.

“Hey, Hook!” our Valet supervisor, Vic, greeted me with his usual zeal. “Did you see that hooker? She looked like she was eleven-years-old! Did you see where she went?”

“The eighth floor, buddy,” I answered, before launching into a routine that left me feeling somewhat guilty, “Which make sense really. Eight in the morning, the eight floor and most likely, eight diseases contracted.”

We laughed while shaking our heads but I couldn’t escape the feeling that I had crossed a line. Years of combat in the hospitality trenches makes a person immune to the reality of certain truths. In this case the truth is irrefutable.

No matter how much we may disagree with others’ life choices we risk severing our connection to our own humanity by standing in judgement of them.

I’ll always find humor in the absurd – and trust me, starting your day by paying a stranger to engage in the most intimate physical act of all is as absurd as it gets – but I’ll always look deeper while doing so.

(I had some things to say about the horde of hockey families leaving the hotel right now: “The parents should be the ones wearing helmets, not the kids!”, but I suddenly find myself too sullen to be amusing.”

Besides, why I should I start now?

See you in the lobby, boys and girls…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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90 Responses to I Think We’re Due For A Sunday Post, Don’t You?

  1. As “Daddy” to 11 & 6 year old daughters, I can’t fathom what that poor girl must have gone through to reach such a place in her life.

    It’s easy (and highly human) to look and judge, but, Hook, you said it so well…she’s still somebody’s “Little Girl”.

    So damn sad.

  2. There is something icky about making ‘fun’ of someone. And the whole thing about hookers which you pointed out so well/sullenly/sadly/truthfully, which is; yes she exists but also someone requested her. Its a crazy, crazy world.

  3. Ned's Blog says:

    Maybe she was just playing dress-up, went to get a continental breakfast and got off on the wrong floor. Yikes… I that didn’t sound any better…

  4. Bloody excellent post, Hook.

  5. There’s a song called “I Think About You” by one of my favorite artists that says, “I think about you; 8-years-old, big blue eyes and a heart of gold.

    When I look at this world I think about you and I can’t help but see that every woman used to be somebody’s little girl.” He’s talking pretty much about what you just mentioned in your post. That song always had a way of getting to me. It’s too easy to get cynical and desensitized. Maybe that’s part of what’s wrong with the world, too.

  6. T. Dawn says:

    I commend you for recognizing that girl for more than the prostitute she appeared to be. Knowing the disastrous recipe that creates girls in that “profession” it is always difficult for me to see and hear things like that. It’s just so sad.

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks for weighing in.

    • bfg666 says:

      Why should it be sad to sell sex for a living? As long as she’s doing it on her own free will and doesn’t fall prey to a pimp, she’s entitled to use whatever assets she has, as she sees fit. Some have their brains, some have a talent, some have their bodies. Also, there are just as many reasons, good and bad, to get into prostitution as any other profession. Dr Brooke Magnanti did it to pay for her studies and it brought her great insight on human psyche. Is it sad? I don’t think so. Finally, it’s a very useful profession for some people who don’t have the chance to get a real girlfriend. It’s a public service that shouldn’t be stigmatized, marginalized or outlawed.

      • T. Dawn says:

        Are you fucking kidding me? Pardon the language but what exactly do you suspect lands 99% of women in a place where they devalue themselves enough to let a perverted, stranger benefit from her body. A guy that can’t get a girlfriend?????…are you kidding me.

        Someone TOOK power from these girls and they have learned to sacrifice themselves to survive. I’m so glad the woman you spoke of was able to profit from her pain and then use her new educated position to give us all “insight”. A public service???…

        Again… Are you effing kidding me. Good God man. I hope you never, ever have a daughter.

      • bfg666 says:

        1) How dare you judge someone who hires the services of hookers? Perversion is in the eye of the beholder, luv…

        2) Sure, there are all kinds of misery and abuse in this profession, precisely because it is outlawed, thus leaving the door wide open for mafias. Remember the outcome of the Prohibition? This is why it needs to be legalized and strictly monitored. I’d even go as far as saying that hookers should be directly under the employ of the government, in order to facilitate controls and ensure their well-being.

        3) The notion that sex workers are devaluing themselves is incredibly shortsighted in this day and age. On the contrary, it may elude you but know that many porn stars are feminists who use their job precisely as a means of empowerment. After all, it is common knowledge that sex is power.

        4) Please care to know what you’re talking about: Dr Magnanti neither got into prostitution from pain nor got harmed by it. Like most of those who willingly choose this path, it was in no way an ordeal to her.

        5) Yes, public service, I stand by my statement. Whether you like it or not, these girls are social workers. For some people, paying for it is sadly the only way they’re ever gonna have sex.

        With that judgmental mindset of yours, I sincerely hope YOU never have children to inflict your views upon…

  7. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    AND…….Were back to the “Hookers”….Lol. Isn’t sad that young girl has to feel the only way to make a living is to sell her body. Kind of makes me wonder what type of *Family* background she has come from??? Because I’m a firm believer that “old wounds and hurts” of our past can resurface and we find ourselves not knowing how to “Process” them in a Healthy manner.

    Hence, me and my past. My addicted gambling & too many cocktails at times, was linked back to my own childhood traumatic events as a little girl. It added fuel to my addiction. All we can do is say a prayer for this young lady and hope god is listening. All our paths are different. I think you connection of feeling with *Hookers* could be knowing you have a beautiful daughter of your own.
    MAYBE? Great Post “Hook”!
    Hugs & Blessings! *Catherine* 🙂 Xo

  8. joesard says:

    …..you can smile or you can be upset about this episode, but who are we to judge, this is just the by product of this mad world we have built for ourselves; the rat race in which everybody loses at the end.

    As always our warm home fires are burning at somebody else s expense… all we can to do as individuals is to endeavor, for as much as we are capable of doing, to make the world a better place for somebody else. Even just a brief eye contact, such as Hookey relates is a start, its that «I understand» look that many of us parents know how to deploy, it isn’t much but its far more than indifference or worse than scorn.

  9. My Muted Voice says:

    Oh, Hook…..what a loving soul you have. I love that see the innocent girl in a prostitute. Who knows why she’s doing it or what took her there, but most likely, it’s not good. I know there are some that say they like it and like the money, but of that’s true, they are the minority. No one likes feeling less than.

  10. Mich-in-French says:

    So sad and one has to wonder how she got into the role of hooker and who she really is inside or who she was – a great post Hook as always and that is why I am awarding you – I hope you accept.

  11. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am picturing the lobby scene from “Pretty Woman” now. Maybe she’s his niece?

    Of course, I know it is nothing like that Hollywood fairytale, but still.

  12. I so dislike the words: whore, hooker, prostitute. In any language. How is it these are so degrading and demeaning?
    It warms my heart you have not become desensitized by the distinctiveness of some in the human race.

    • The Hook says:

      Me too.

    • bfg666 says:

      “How is it these are so degrading and demeaning?” The answer is quite simple: because religions have a tendency to deem anything related to sex as something “evil” and like it or not, our so-called secular society still has strong religious ties. I won’t get into a sociological debate here, suffice it to say that putting shame on sex is one of the most efficient ways of control the ecclesiastical authorities have ever devised.

      • linaThumbe says:

        I guess there’s more to it than that, but I thought it was worth mentioning that it’s only certain kinds of sex that are frowned upon (it’s a lot worse for a woman to have numerous sexual partners than for a man, same-sex is a big no-no, sex that’s not intended for procreation is somehow less pure according to some…). The bigger issue at hand is that we’ve let these views of sex rule so much of our interactions in everyday life (sex is designed to make babies, so men must always have their orgasms and why would women seek sex just for pleasure? women are just baby-carrying things!). The broader definition of safe, consensual sex as the right kind of sex to have has yet to reach the greater audiences.

      • No doubt about it. Still the words always hurt my ears.

  13. Touching piece. It is really too bad you have to be there when the obscene sights go by. Gotta remember …you didn’t call her to your room.

  14. It is so sad…. But we have never walked a day in her shoes. Being human is hard. The many surprising twists and turns of fate and where they can land us at certain times can be interesting.

    You said it so well, Hook. We can’t judge, because we don’t know her story. That’s just it, everyone has a history and a sacred story that ripples not only through the individual, but through a long line of those involved with her human experience and possibly even further back than that. We all judge sometimes…. We are human and sometimes our egos like to have conversations with themselves…. I think it’s so beautiful, Hook, the way you caught yourself and took the time to acknowledge her humanness.

    You know, when I see someone I consider in a bad situation, sometimes, I simply send them love or an energetic hug. Like you could feel her pleading not to be judged, I believe she could also feel the love…..or when I feel myself going into a space of judgement, I make eye contact and say (silently), “Namaste” or “god bless you, I love you”……

    Anyway, great post.

    Have a nice Sunday.

    Here is a video that this post sort of reminds me of….. And anyway, I like to watch it a lot- just because and share it with whoever will watch it. 🙂


  15. I think most prostitutes come from abuse. It makes me sad for them more than anything.

  16. Robin says:

    I couldn’t do your job. I would try to save every poor soul who has fallen into this kind of path. I pray she was not trafficked like many girls, and I pray that her life does not continue to be a trajedy. My heart hurts for all of our children who have been abused or neglected, for they have no chance of having a real “life”.

  17. Twindaddy says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with prostitution, but I’d rather a dude pay for the services of a hooker than get so sexually frustrated and desperate that he sexually assaults someone. It’s easy to judge a hooker, but what about the dude engaging her services?

  18. Wicked piece my friend. And this… “No matter how much we may disagree with others’ life choices we risk severing our connection to our own humanity by standing in judgement of them.” Was just killer.

  19. Jennifer says:

    It’s Monday morning and for once I am not laughing at your words. Again, your way with words is brilliant, I’m now sitting here, looking out my window, feeling a little sad. Thoughtful, (sweet) post.

  20. 1jaded1 says:

    I can only say this post is heart wrenching. No one enters this world on day one saying they want to be a prostitute…addict…etc…when they grow up.

  21. beautiful Sunday post. It is not easy to look past a persons choices to see the person underneath. That is one of my life’s rules that I try and keep attuned to!

  22. TK says:

    Kudos to you for not judging. I don’t think many would even try.

    I have to ask though, what kind of place to do you work at? This is an honest question. I always associated protestuites with… well, with scary looking places. But it sounds like you work in a pretty high class place. Maybe I’m unintetionally judging… It may be that people in that profession find there way to all kinds of different places.

  23. Nicole Marie says:

    You really are in the perfect position to get a glimpse at another side of these girls. It really makes you wonder what’s going on inside of their heads, or what decisions lead them to where they are. And like you mentioned on my other post, about sympathy….I know you know what the deal is, Hook.

  24. You are sometimes too hard on yourself, Hook. For the most part your humour about the people you meet is harmless and never done with malice. The occasional slip over the line into judgement is only human. The thing is, you recognize it the second you do it and immediately reign it in. Considering what you witness on a daily basis, I think you should cut yourself some slack.

  25. kerbey says:

    I think it’s okay to judge someone if what they’re doing is illegal. It is illegal to sell sex where I live, but I also know there is a huge underground sex trade, where children are sold into the lifestyle. I hope she wasn’t a part of that. It seems crazy to me that prostitution is legal in Canada. If it’s a legit career choice, then it makes it even easier for a husband to rationalize breaking his vows when he’s doing something as legal as getting a massage. Gross! Why would you want to have sex with someone you haven’t met? What if he looks like the Elephant Man? Do hookers there just pass around the hepatitis C and AIDS and all that and then the govt pays for shots? I’m so confused.

    • bfg666 says:

      No, it’s not OK. Not one bit.

      One of the foundations of democracy is the duty to rise against the government’s shortcomings. What you should say is: “It’s OK to judge the government if what they’re doing goes against freedom.” The fact is, making hookers illegal is a real shame that throws liberty and justice down the drain. On the contrary, this profession should be legalized and strictly regulated to avoid any backfiring (pimping, trafficking, STDs, etc…).

      Sex workers should be treated on the same basis than any other social worker. You seem to forget that some people have no other choice than having sex with strangers for money. Yes, you’re quite confused indeed!

    • The Hook says:

      I share your confusion in this regard, my friend.

  26. Lindsay says:

    A good friend of mine was an escort and put herself through University that way. She was not ashamed and shared this info with all of us (her friends, not her family) and said that SHE was the one in control, not the man paying her. She had decent clients and laughed all the way to the bank and now doesn’t have any student loans (I’m totally jealous…about the loans, not the man sex, lol). I’m sharing this because not every escort – or “hooker” – is a victim. Some of them choose that job for a brief period of time to get out of financial dire straits or get a leg up.

    No matter the how or why, judging her is the easy thing to do. It’s also the ignorant thing to do. We don’t ever know anyone’s circumstances or story, even if we’d like to think we do.

    • The Hook says:

      “I’m totally jealous…about the loans, not the man sex, lol”
      Hilariously you, Lindsay!
      Thanks for stopping by and weighing in.

  27. Coming from experience, my role is not rescuer. I come to the world with an open heart and open mind, with love and tolerance, compassion and empathy. I am in no way, shape or form in a position to judge. I know it sounds all high and noble and all that. We all know that, but do we all practice it? I fail, believe me! Plug me in and point me in the right direction, get a good head wind and put the right folks in front of me and I can be a judgment machine. But, like you, I get that itty bitty twinge…that tiny voice emenating from the static letting us know that it’s probably not a groovy idea to do it. It goes against the grain of our humanity.

    I wasn’t far from becoming a bum on the street. As an active alcoholic for 25 years, I did some crappy things, found myself in places I shouldn’t have been, and looked like hell and incoherent and unshowered and just a right mess. People may have judged me, but I remember the people that smiled at me, or asked me if I was ok, or helped me up. Sometimes when I work with newcomer alcoholics in recovery, I smile and shake their hand. You’d be amazed what that does for a guy or gal who has been in the dirt. No self esteem. Perhaps like that girl-woman you saw. I don’t know her story. Maybe she is, as a commentor said, working her way through school. Is in charge, is proud of it, is empowered. or no. I have no bloody idea. Perhaps I can, like you, see through that uniform of hers and connect with her own humanity. Smile. open the door.

    I don’t know.

    Great stuff.


  28. Aussa Lorens says:

    This makes my heart hurt. I’ve seen my fair share of prostitutes and women and children in the sex trade overseas but there was one girl in particular who I watched come into my hotel in Battambang, Cambodia… she looked to be about 13 or so and I will remember everything about the way she was dressed, how she walked, and the look on her face when she went in and when she left. It broke my heart.

  29. Jennie Saia says:

    I like you, Hook. I like that this is what went through your mind, and that you fessed up to making the joke so you could then talk about why it felt wrong.

  30. Breaks the heart to read about this kid

  31. Chatty Owl says:

    Yeah… Who are we to judge, right?

    That lobby is such a fun place to be for you, isnt it? Maybe one day i’ll be fiddling with my luggage over there and be lucky enough to see the hook in person!

  32. wisejourney says:

    what tales you tell Hook!

  33. curvyroads says:

    Hook, you are a wise and kind observer of the human condition.

    As I grow in years and (hopefully) wisdom, I hope that I can stop myself just short of judgment, having no idea of the person’s story or circumstances. I think that is a step in the right direction, just as you took.

  34. Brenda says:

    This breaks my heart, especially as I have a 12 year old boy, and his friends are just children. Babies, still. Anyone messing with a 12 year old is a pedophile.

    • bfg666 says:

      Actually, a pedophile is interested in pre-pubescent children. The word you’re looking for is ephebophile. Who says this girl is underage anyway? She might look young but still be of age.

      • Brenda says:

        Are you defending the prostitution of young girls? Does it make it okay that perhaps she was 18? And okay for whom? The purchaser?

        Anyway, she was described as looking 12, and many 12 year old girls are pre-pubescent. I’m speaking for the child here. A sad looking child going to do a job she did not want to do. It breaks my heart that some girls feel they need to do this, our culture is broken.

      • bfg666 says:

        You assume way too much, Brenda! How the hell did you read that I was “defending the prostitution of young girls” in my comment? And how the hell did you read she was a “sad looking child going to do a job she did not want to do” in Hook’s post? You might want to reassess your reading comprehension…

        Also, like I said in my previous comment, it’s not because she LOOKED underage that she WAS. Many girls over 18 look 12 and conversely, many 12-year-olds look legit. And though it’s true that some 12yo still are pre-pubescent, not all of them are. In fact, studies have shown that the age of puberty is decreasing and it’s less and less uncommon to find sexually mature humans of 9-10yo, even younger.

        And yes, of course it is OK for a woman to do whatever she wants with her body, PROVIDING SHE DOES IT WILLINGLY, and it’s also OK for the “purchaser” to hire her services. Why shouldn’t it be?

        Lastly, this has nothing to do with my original comment but considering your borderline psychotic response, I have no choice but to address the issue: ADULTS NEED TO STOP INFANTILIZING TEENAGERS! Seriously, this madness about legal age has to end somewhere and the sooner, the better. It has done enough harm already. When anyone, boy or girl, becomes sexually mature, as long as he/she is equipped with the mental tools to deal with it and HAS RECEIVED PROPER SEX ED (instead of the joke that is called sex ed now), they should not be hounded like sex was some sort of perversion. It’s a perfectly natural and healthy impulse that shouldn’t be leashed unless we want our kids to risk facing potentially destructive psychological problems later on. Our culture is broken indeed!

  35. Pingback: Once Upon A Time, I got Hooked. | The Whimsy Art of TJ Lubrano

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