I should really explain the context of that last statement.
At the age of 5 (and largely to this day) I never really honed in on what I NEEDED to become. I had wanted to be an actress like many other little girls: getting ready for close-ups and pretending to be other people, trying on fancy dresses and attending premieres. Or a ballerina like my ballet teacher (to this day I am still obsessed with ballerinas)--the problem was, I knew there were no curvy ballerinas, so I was going to have to give up pizza and ice cream. At age 5, this was a deal breaker.
|This is not a body that enjoys pizza or ice cream. Beautiful|
So, I thought maybe I could become a princess because I had watched too many Disney movies. However, even at age 5, I noticed that the princesses didn't really do anything--they sang and folded laundry and inevitably became sick or injured by an evil force. This bitch wanted a career, not an escape plan.
No, I would have to find inspiration elsewhere. In the real world, I could see something I liked. Hmm... What did I see that I liked? Oh yes, a waitress.
|Yep, waitresses again. Let it sink in.|
JEAN HAD A GOLDEN GIRLS' CHILDHOOD: When I was little, I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house, who lived with her three sisters.
|My Aunt Dorothy even looked like Bea Arthur, true story.|
My elementary school was in Chicago, close to their home, so they could take me to and from school, via public transportation (none of them drove). This afforded me lots of people-watching time and adventures. This also made our commute less than direct and therefore taking up more time.... leading one of my aunts to always believe I must be hungry so we should eat something after picking me up from school. (Or they were hungry and blamed it on me, who knows.)
There were two restaurants (and a McDonalds) in between my school and home that we often visited. If you visit the same places over and over, people begin to know your name and face. Usually, these people are waitresses.
Hence, I often saw and talked to the same waitresses. They told me how pretty my big green eyes and strawberry blonde hair were (of course I loved these women). One even went to Walgreen's on her break and bought me chamomile lotion when during my linner (lunch-dinner) when we discovered I had indeed contracted chicken pox. Waitresses are humanitarians.
Many of the waitresses also told my aunt(s) and I stories of celebrities they had served, upcoming vacations they were planning to take and generally interesting chatter. Also, they always wore sparkly jewelry, bright colored makeup and teased hair. I thought they were the most glamorous people on the planet. I wanted to be one of them.
|See how pretty!?|
My parents, although they might have thought it cute, were concerned. I did not waiver.
Around this time, I was ready to graduate kindergarten. A segment of our graduation skit was that we needed to tell the audience what we wanted to be when we grew up. I knew what my answer was. I was sure of it. I did not feel the need to rehearse with the other misguided children. (Astronaut? Bitch, please. You eat glue during Arts & Crafts.)
At graduation, I was excited like everyone else. And I did tell the audience I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up. I don't remember if anyone laughed--as a child I had the confidence of a serial killer and couldn't have cared less. What I do remember is the boy next to me, whom I will call Jason (that's because Jason is his real name and the little brat doesn't deserve protecting) whispered, "A waitress? You're stupid."
BACKSTORY: Jason was a jerk. He was also a pervert. He would show all the girls his penis during story time. He and his penis were usually not in close proximity to anyone, so the girls would scoot away from him on the story time carpet. HOWEVER, he once showed me his penis during Spelling and offered me candy if I touched it, while sitting at our desks, and since I could not easily scoot away from him I did the only reasonable thing: I punched him the face.
When the teacher told my Aunt Audrey I punched Jason she asked me why I did it. I told her (I had not told the teacher, embarrassed) and she said "Good. I hope you do it again."
BACK TO GRADUATION: Jason was being a jerk again. He was trying to crush my dreams. So I did the only reasonable thing: I punched him in the face. Again. At our kindergarten graduation.
This time, no one noticed or had grown sick of Jason. I didn't get in trouble as he held the side of his face and cried during our rendition of "Here Comes Mr. Sunshine."
Somehow his judgment bothered me. Were my glamorous, exciting, kind waitresses stupid? No! But, I decided I needed a big sample size before filling out a job application.
|This is likely the kind of waitress you'll find in her 20's|
Also, somehow this once-loved career became a phobia. As an adult, I am terrified to work in the food industry. I cook well, and like to have dinner parties, but don't want to do it for a living. Somehow becoming a waitress seems like a terribly difficult job, full of missteps and judgment from people who will most likely be rude to you. How odd and sad.
My 5-year-old career ambition has become more of a quirky story than a game plan. And now I'm trying to figure out the real thing.
Here are some other career paths I have considered:
- After visiting the Renaissance Faire I decided I wanted to be Queen of the World (since my first name is Jean, Queen Jean had a nice ring to it). --My mother informed me the world had no absolute government system so perhaps I should aim to be President of the United States of America. No, if the world is not willing to call me 'Queen Jean' I am not willing to govern it.
- After seeing Honeymoon in Vegas (Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicolas Cage and James Caan's masterpiece) I wanted to be a Las Vegas Show Girl. --My father informed me I probably wouldn't be tall enough. I decided to put this aspiration on the back burner until seeing what height puberty afforded me. At about 5'8, I think I can pull it off if I take more dance lessons.
- After enrolling in DePaul University to finish my college degree, I was at a crossroads whether I should finish up in Journalism, or get what I heard was a better writing and interpretation degree in the English department. Or, go crazy and head over to Commerce. Confused, I walked towards my first class in the English building. Once I opened the door I saw two students break dancing in the lobby and a man dressed as Waldo from Where's Waldo running up the stairs distributing flyers. Yes, I thought. I belong here. With my wackadoos. I am the proud recipient of a bachelor's degree in English with honors.
- After seeing Mary Louise Parker on "Weeds".... well, you know where I'm going with that.
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