While in high school, Tom Conway, a senior recreation and
tourism major, said he had an intense addiction to Canadian strip
clubs. Growing up in New York, he and his friends would often drive
to Canada to visit various clubs.
“We would always go to this one, the Tropicana Gardens, because
there was a dancer there named Monique who was the most gorgeous
woman I had ever seen. She was a wicked-great dancer, too,” Conway
On one trip Conway and his friends had consumed a little too
much alcohol and upon Monique’s entrance on stage Conway was
overtaken with her beauty and agility.
“She was so animated and hot,” said Conway, who decided to
propose to her.
“She had just finished a little bend and snap number and I had
to have her. I had been reading a lot of Jackie Collins and
Nietzsche and that combination of romantic ‘will to power,’ plus
Monique’s physique was too much for me. I called her over with a
twenty and as she was giving me the best lap dance of my life I
proposed to her. She just stared at me, finished the lap dance and
walked away,” Conway said.
As the club was nearing closing time, Monique made her way over
to Conway and took him by the hand.
“She led me out of the bar, and I wish that I could remember
more of the night, but I was so smashed. We talked about our
dreams; Monique was saving money to become a hairdresser. We made
out in her Buick before going to some twenty-four hour wedding
chapel. It was right next to an all-night fish shack, so all I
really remember is smelling fish and puking on the justice of the
After getting married, the two went to Monique’s apartment to
celebrate with a bottle of pink champagne.
“I really don’t remember much of the night. I woke up extremely
hung over, we went out for waffles and just kind of stared at each
other. We didn’t talk about getting married. I wasn’t sure of
exactly what happened at the chapel. We exchanged numbers and
addresses, I then phoned my friends and they came and picked me
Conway returned to New York, where he was a senior in high
school. Two years passed before he received a packet from Canadian
“I flipped through the packet to discover it was divorce papers.
I was initially confused because the name on the papers was Francis
Madenda. Monique must have been her stage name. Anyway I signed all
the papers, but noticed that there was a section that were
guidelines for alimony payments.”
Conway then researched Canadian marriage requirements and ended
up making a trip to Canada to prove that the marriage wasn’t legal
because he hadn’t supplied his birth certificate at the time of the
“I never saw Monique or Francis … whatever, again, but it’s
always fun beginning a story with ‘My first wife,'” Conway