Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I'd Really Like To Be When I Grow Up

Most people my age no longer get asked what they want to be when they grow up. This probably has something to do with the fact that most people my age have already grown up and are very much looking forward to the day that they no longer have to be whatever it is they became.

But, of course, I am not most people. I have yet to settle into a career. Don't get me wrong, I've had tons of jobs, just no career. Nothing that makes me want to attend my high school reunion and hand out business cards like they were Altoids at a garlic festival. Mostly I've served alcohol to drunks or been on the latex glove end of a pap smear. In either case, nothing to brag about.

For this and other reasons (like not wanting to live under a bridge in my golden years) I've decided to go back to school. I even shot a promotional video for the community college I attend which you can see right here. Because of this, I still get asked what I want to be when I grow up. Okay, they ask me what my major is, but we all know that's what they really mean.

I learned that people made assumptions about the kind of person you are based on how you answered that question. When I said I was working towards a nursing degree, they'd assume I was this selfless Florence Nightengale-esque care giving type. Or maybe they thought that, like Nurse Jackie, I just wanted to score some primo drugs. Neither was correct. I was in it for the three day workweek. Turns out, it was too much work for a degree I never really wanted in the first place. Now, when I say I'm an English major, I hear, "Oh! You want to teach!" I can see myself in their mind's eye, patiently imparting my wisdom to younger generations and igniting in them a passion for British Literature.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

Honestly folks, all I want is to work in my pajamas in the middle of the night and update my Facebook page during the day. I admit even this is something of a sellout. If I were to make a Top Ten List of What I'd Really Like To Be When I Grow Up, it would look like this:

10. Shamu's Trainer - Admit it, you can't watch a Shamu Show without sharing this fantasy with me. In my fantasy life, not only am I Shamu's trainer, I also look nothing like Shamu in my wetsuit.

9. Supermodel - The clothes! The make-up! The dieting...uh, nevermind!

8. Poet Laureate - This is in addition to from my pajama-wearing, Facebook trolling writer aspiration. I say "in addition to" rather than "instead of" because, although being a Poet Laureate gets you into some ultra posh White House dinners and gives you super literati cred, it only pays $35,000 a year. I neglected to mention that I want to surf the Web from the comfort of my own New York brownstone. I'll need waaaaay more than $35,000 a year for that.

7. Pastry Chef with my own show on The Food Network - Oh Food Network, how do I love thee! In a perfect world, Paula Deen would be my mom, I'd be married to Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray would be my BFF. I'd focus mainly on cupcakes. Some folks have animal totems. I have a pastry totem and it's the cupcake.

6. Vegas Showgirl - What girly-girl doesn't love dressing in feathers and sequins? The only drawback I see here is the relative anonymity. I've never really been an ensemble kinda girl. Give me the spotlight baby!

5. Cirque Du Soleil Performer - Like a showgirl but the costumes are more exotic and I imagine that the, um, dance moves would transfer quite nicely to the boudoir n'est-ce pas? Ooh la-la!

4. Designer - I love making pretty things. My apartment in San Juan Capistrano was a pussycat girl cave. Lately though, I don't seem to have as much inspiration for creating this kind of art as I used to have. So, I will leave it up to my sister Debi Beard to make the world a prettier place.

3. Stand-Up Comedienne - I like to imagine a room full of people doubled-over in laughter as I share one brilliantly clever insight after another. Sometimes I fantasize about being so funny that I have to pause and let them recover lest someone laugh themselves literally to death. Yes, when I dream, I dream BIG!

2. Rock Star - Do I really need to explain this one? Nah, I didn't think so.

1. Actor - This is the big one for me. This is the dream I would sell my son into black market slavery to attain. I want to be stalked by the papparazzi dammit!


  1. Anonymous1:18 AM

    i really liked this, but i was wondering did you really mean graduation or reunion?

  2. Ack! I meant reunion. It's been changed. Thanks for pointing it out!

  3. I had about four of those but when I found that a women can be the adventure of a life time, I stay with the women and the hell with life.

  4. Janina, just found your blog while enjoying a three-hour long bout of procrastination and web surfing. I like to think of it more as my "creative juice restoration time." LOVE your musings so far and had to go back and read every entry. (Told you, I'm a serious procrastinator - almost professional really.) You've got me hooked. Thanks for the laughs. I can now add you to my blame list for not working when I'm supposed to.

  5. Thank you Laurie and welcome! I'll be honored to be your enabler for as long as you need me to be.