Working at the Car Wash
Growing up, I wanted to be a prima ballerina and a marine biologist. Then I wanted to be a lawyer for about two minutes. Then came the long period of wanting to be a Duran Duran roadie followed by an even longer stint wanting to be an archaeologist. And then I thought about revoking my citizenship to become a Greek philosopher. Finally, I settled on being a journalist. I carried the dream of being a reporter all the way across country to college where I landed some very juicy internships that only proved to me that I didn’t have the stomach for “getting a story” at any cost, i.e. my dignity. So I thought, maybe I would become a writer. A writer like Virginia Woolf, a writer like George Eliot, Kate Chopin, or even better, I would become a writer like Judy Blume. Maybe not. Or maybe I would do something grand.
And then came the defining moment of my life, the moment when the earth opened up and a hand dragged me into the underworld, transforming my destiny and making me the woman that I am today.
I remember it all so clearly. I was at the end of my junior year in college having coffee with a professor who I idolized, feeling like a student at Aristotle’s knee, except, we were women sitting in some West Village pseudo intellectual haunt and it was still the Clinton era.
Anyway, this young professor asked me what I was planning on doing with my life and I said that I wanted to travel around the world looking to join a worthy cause that came with some really hot rebel soldiers and fight a great historic battle against the powers that be from some remote jungle location. I would fall in love with the tragically romantic populist leader (think Che as played by Gael Garcia Bernal) and together we would win over hearts and minds across his developing nation. He would rule his country with me at his side. A bloodless coup would oust him and all our comrades. The people would be in tears. Fabulously wealthy leftist Europeans would take up our struggle and my rebel lover and me would live in exile in Paris. We would become celebrities among young idealists everywhere. From our country house in Aix en Provence, Gael and I would charm them with stories from our combat years. Our children, precocious and beautiful, would play at our feet. The birds would sing.
A relatively easy and achievable dream, one would think.
But the professor lacked my faith. Playing the part of mentor in an Oscar winning performance, she started messing with my plan. She planted the seeds of doubt. She corrupted my soul. She showed me the dark side. Basically, she murdered my spirit. And years later, I would come to find out that it is just like her to do that. Of course, my evil twin sister was so on to her, but did I listen? No. Anyway, being young, impressionable and on that day, most likely suffering from a hangover, I took a big bite from her carrot.
Without going into the painful details, I followed a career path that the professor laid out for me with all the aimlessness of a Zombie looking for dinner. Truly, I was never happy doing what I did for many years with middling success. And yes, every once in a while, I would look up from my desk and in the reflection of my computer screen I would see a hint of the woman that I could have been.
And why am I thinking about all of this now, many, many miles away and several years after the fact? Obviously, this is a symptom of having too much time on my hands. So what I am saying here people is that I think I may need an actual J-O-B. I don’t mean this phantom job that I call myself having as I slog away on the computer day after day. I mean an actual get dressed in the morning (or at night should I decide that I could peddle my wares on the street) grab a cup of coffee and head out the door kind of job. I need a job that pays. But with 10 million Americans out of work, I figure I may have some competition. What can a girl do with skills that include: public speaking, surfing the web, in-line skating, master spin artist, expert pillow tester and chocolate taster?
I am racking my brain trying to figure out which jobs I might be qualified for so I thought I would open it up to you— my one loyal reader. You keep me blogging for better, for worse. Thank you.
Anyway, go for broke. The person with the top three suggestions will win a pretty tin of almond cookies—sent directly from Hong Kong.
**I decided to stop offering the can of tainted milk and toxic toys as no one seemed eager get in on that action.
And the cookies will be store bought, don't worry!