“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!