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Saturday, June 18, 2011

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Recently I heard someone talking about how few people there are who remember what they wanted to be when they grew up. I have always wanted to be the same thing so it's an easy question for me, but for a lot of people, it's surprisingly difficult to answer. Maybe you wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut or a teacher and maybe some of you lucky bitches got to grow up and be just that. (Like there's really an astronaut reading this lame ass blog.) But for a lot of us, we are either still striving for it or we simply don't recall. I asked my mom what she wanted to be when she grew up and she had no idea. “Oh, I don't remember. Maybe a secretary or something.” How could she not know what it was she wanted to grow up to be? I have wanted to be an actor my whole life and never stopped wanting it. Over the years I've gotten lazier about making it happen, but I never stopped knowing that is what I want to be. There were some other brief career aspirations; commercial artist, sign maker, teacher, writer, but actor was always the one that persevered. One career I never dreamed about having was waiter, but look what the fuck has happened. Or maybe I did want to be one somewhere deep in my subconscious.

When I was about 13 years old, my parent felt I was mature enough to stay at home for a few hours at a time and babysit my two younger brothers. It was a real big deal. One summer, the three of us were all at home and I was responsible for making lunch. I spent the whole morning creating menus so we could play restaurant. I pulled out my calligraphy set and some fancy paper and crafted two menus for my brothers. What kind of kid was I that I had a fucking calligraphy set and fancy paper? I was the same kid who had pencil sets and stationary, that's who. When it was time for lunch, I called my brothers into the kitchen and asked them to sit at the bar. They were presented with menus and they got to choose what they wanted for lunch. The menu consisted of Kraft macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Steak-umms®. For beverages, their options were water, milk, or Kool-Aid and for dessert I probably offered Chips Ahoy or Popsicles. This was some fine dining shit. With my mom's apron wrapped around my waist, I tried to take their orders. They were not having it.

"This is stupid. What are you doing?"

"We're playing restaurant and I'm your waiter. What can I get for you?"

"Whatever. This is dumb," said Chad who never had any problem telling me that something I was doing was a stupid waste of time or as dumb as fuck. He was ten years old but he could cut me to the quick like nobody's business. Of course they didn't want to let me take their order and then have to sit there and "play restaurant" while I was making their Steak-umms® and Kool-Aid. They just told me what they wanted and got up to go play knowing full-well that I would call them when lunch was ready.

"But wait, you're supposed to sit and let me serve you," I cried out as they ran off to play Atari or with their Matchbox cars. "I made calligraphy menus," I screamed, putting the final nail in the coffin of my restaurant game. Chad laughed at me and then the younger one laughed too because he did whatever Chad did. I was alone in the kitchen. The menus were left on the bar and I felt stupid for even spending time making them in the first place. They went into the trash can and I took off the apron. I was just the older brother again making lunch for two unappreciative brats who just made fun of me. But lunch was made, they ate it, and I cleaned it all up. It was the first time I ever served food to someone who was mean to me and then didn't leave a tip. But God knows it wasn't the last time.

Did I ever say, "I want to be a waiter when I grow up?" No, I definitely did not. But it happened anyway. Sometimes we just end up being something even though we never planned on it. Did the lady at the DMV plan that when she was ten years old? Doubtful. Did the postman check that box on career day? Probably not. Did I go to school to be a waiter? Nope. But here I am. And here you are. Is what you are doing for a job what you expected to be doing when you were a kid? I wanna know.



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23 comments:

Vee said...

would have loved to go to med school and become a doctor

Jake said...

Do you get along with your family now that you are older, bitchy?

As for the growing up part - I am 21 and 2 years into college and I'm still not 100% positive. Going to be a high school German teacher...

Practical Parsimony said...

We played school all the time. Since I was the oldest of five and the only one who had gone to school yet, I got to be the teacher. Even when they started school, I pulled rank as oldest and smartest and was the teacher. I am a teacher.

carmar76 said...

when i was really little, i thought i would marry gil gerard or david hasselhoff & have babies, while being a nun. (obviously i did not understand that nuns married God & didn't have kids!) i went to school to be a high school english teacher.

i now work in HR, and i love it, and it's the perfect job for me.

who knew??

itswhatiam said...

I wanted to be everything from a Broadway star to a veterinarian to a lawyer to a teacher.

Now, I just want a job that doesn't wear me out and that I don't dread going to.

J.L. Scott said...

I wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized I'd have to put animals down. I wanted to be a doctor until I realized blood would likely be involved. I got my degree in Anthropology because I figured I couldn't do anything to hurt someone who's already dead, but there's no market for anthropologists in this economy. So I work in HR and it makes me want to murder someone. Or eat myself into happiness.

Instead, I choose to write. It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it.

ChiTown Girl said...

I've wanted to be a teacher since I started Kindergarten. Now, after 20+ years, I'm starting to rethink that career choice. Sometimes I think I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe I just don't want to grow up.

Mind Of Mine said...

That story is so cute.

I wanted to be a teacher all through primary school, but when I hit highschool and saw how much all the teachers there hated their jobs. That was nixed!

watergirl said...

I wanted to be a lawyer. I hated the judicial system and how unfair it was. I still do but somehow I ended up doing computer programming and graphics. I loved what I used to do, don't get me wrong. However, some part of me still remembers that "I want to make the world right" feeling.

:huggles:
~watergirl~

Tammy said...

I wanted to be a teacher, and yep, here I am molding the minds of the generation that will take over for our old asses one day. Don't worry, I won't fuck 'em up too badly!

Jamie said...

I always wanted to be a novelist as a kid. My parents didn't think it was a realistic dream and tried to convince me otherwise. In high school I wrote my first and only novel and realized after spending a year of my life on it that it wasn't what I wanted to do at all. Now I'm enrolled in culinary school... it's funny where life can take you.

Barsola said...

I wanted to be in the operating rooms one day. I knew I didn't want to be a doctor, but though it would still be interesting to be a Physician's Assistant. One day I job shadowed a PA and found out that it was not what I wanted to do. I found the nurse's role to be much more interesting and found that a nurse can also work in an operating room. Went to nursing school and am now a nurse in the OR. I set a goal for myself and achieved it.

purplegirl said...

I've never, ever known what I wanted to be. Except Morten Harket's wife. ;) It fucking sucks to have absolutely no direction. Makes it much too easy to just float along in the fucked-up currents of the restaurant world.

Lorenza said...

When I was little I wanted to be a ballet teacher, then a veterinarian, but then I found out about interior design in highschool. That seemed like the perfect fit because I was constantly rearranging my dollhouse when younger and my bedroom as well. I shared a room with my sister and I used to measure all the furniture and cut it out of graph paper and play around with different layouts. Sometimes people would tell me it wouldn't fit but I always proved them wrong. So interior design it was and that's what I went to school for and do now (though I've bounced in an out of serving as well). Now that I'm actually doing what I thought would be so great I realize it kinda sucks. It's mostly sales which I hate and you never get the complete vision because you're spending someone else's money. It's like be an artist but always being told what to paint, typically by someone who has no taste and that's why they hired you to begin with... So we'll see where I end up I guess. Hopefully things turn around...

SharleneT said...

I always knew I wanted to be in business for myself -- whatever that was -- I couldn't bear the idea of not being able to take care of myself if no one came into my life. (I was raised in a rest home of forgotten people and that scared the beejeebies out of me!). Someone did come into my life. We raised a family. He passed away over 30 years ago. I did run my own businesses and am now retired, taking care of myself.

California Girl said...

In so many ways you are the actor you wanted to be. The stage may be the restaurant and your audience the diners but I prefer to think of wee, your readers, as the audience and your ability to craft a funny, memorable turn of phrase(s) into readable blog posts a great acting job.

Toni said...

I'll be graduating college next year with a degree in accounting. It's taken 7 years since I've been working the whole time. About 3 years in, I got a job as an office manager for a real estate company. It's pretty much what I always pictured myself doing when I was little. And I love it. But I'll be finishing my degree anyway because it seemed like a waste of $30,000 not to. Even more of a waste than having a degree and not using it, which is probably what I'll do since I love my job and don't even want to be an accountant. Oh well, I guess. If only I'd just never started college in the first place... (How often do you hear someone say that?) Oh and your brother sounds like a douche bag. I hope he got better when he got older.

michelle said...

I've wanted to be so many things over the years and somehow serving is what I've done for the past fifteen years. I left six months ago to pursue business ideas and swore I'd never go back to serving. Now that I'm broke and thoroughly frustrated, I'm going back to serving! Worst feeling in the world!




www.serversdontretiretheydie.com

FPGIRL said...

I used to play restaurant with one of my friends. Peanut butter & jelly or tuna sandwiches and soup or chips. We would take turns being the waitresses. And now I'm still doing it! Such is life. But I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I do study the ocean, but just for fun and personal knowledge.

Maria said...

Of course I was too young to know anything about prestige, cost of living, or the nightmares of retail, but when I was younger, I loved walking into the grocery store, a restaurant, or any place where they used those chalkboards & whiteboards hanging from the ceilings to advertise their sales and specials.

I couldn't imagine a better life than shading bananas and creating different fonts for "49 cents/lb."

Kat said...

Hi BW! Just recently discovered your blog, so of course I am now reading everything you wrote, backwards. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an OBGYN, then a vet, then a handful of other things. Now I want to be an Labor and Delivery nurse, working toward that now. What I thought might interest you is that the first thing I can remember wanting to be was a prostitute! I swear! I was 4 or 5, and didn't really know what it was, but dang it, that's what I was going to be! lol, I have managed to avoid that particular job though. Love the blog!

jMAN5 said...

I wanted to be a mathematician when I was little and then I realized how much math sucks...I am now an undeclared college student/server and proud!

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