Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What are you going to be when you grow up?

“What are you going to be when you grow up?”

If only I had a dollar for each time I was asked that. And another dollar for every time nurse or teacher was suggested. Those were the only options I remember hearing. No one ever suggested astronaut, scientist, doctor, or airline pilot. Never. Nurse or teacher. Pick one kid. Stick with it.

Actually, no one ever suggested “mommy.” I guess those folks thought they were being forward-thinking by suggesting I have a career as a nurse or teacher.

Let me get something straight, though. There is nothing wrong with being a nurse or a teacher. These are some of the most worthwhile jobs out there. Crucial jobs at that. Where would we be without nurses or teachers? Sick and stupid. But, if you were lacking a penis, well, your options were pretty slim. Or so I thought.

I did not become a nurse or a teacher. I’m guessing that this might be the reason I feel that I have never grown up. I didn’t pick one of the two choices I was told I could be when I grew up. Those two jobs were not for me. So how could I possibly grow up if I didn’t pick one.

By not making a choice, I pretty much became nothing. And here I am. NOT all grown up. I still think the word booger is funny. I like cartoons (especially Charlie and Lola). I have a collection of children’s books (that I need to add to). I find a box of fresh crayons exhilarating. I hate peas and lima beans. And if I could find the same kind of paste I used in kindergarten, I would eat it.

Would I have become an artist if someone would have suggested that option when I was a child? I could have received an art degree. Then I could spout all sorts of meaningful words about how the world is reflected in my art instead of just kicking at the ground when talking to someone about my artwork.

Why have I spent 46 years defining my life with some limited options given to me by a few fools back in the 1960s?

If I could get into a time machine and go back to my childhood, with the (limited) knowledge I have now, how would I react to that damn question? Was I sarcastic back then? Could I have given someone a smartass answer and a withering look? I can do both of those now.

When I grow up, I want to be sarcastic and give withering looks.

Look! I’ve grown up!


  1. I hope I never truly grow up, that would suck. The good thing about getting older is you care less and less what people think. I did laugh at this post because my very anti-feminist MIL does drive my crazy when she suggests to my daughters they should be either nurses or teachers (in which I add, or doctors or professors if they'd like). She also thinks all girls should learn the piano but not read too much, like we're living in a f**king Jane Austen novel. Oi.

  2. Funny, but no one ever suggested "nurse" or "teacher" to me.

    And still somehow I ended up becoming one of them (the one in which you don't have to use a rectal thermometer). Oh....yeah, ok... I meant "teacher."

    Growing up sucks anyway, don't you think?

  3. "To be sarcastic and give withering looks." Don't get me started on teachers' wisdom from the sixties.

    I wandered over from Paula's. What a cool blog you have here.

  4. Oh your posts are exhilerating!!
    You are such a brilliant writer. So when you grow up why don't you try your hand at writing.

    I, on the other hand never want to grow up. I love cartoons, eat food that has been dropped on the floor, talk too loudly etc etc etc.

    I will be back to read your next gem!!
    Peggy xxxx