I remember being 7, and sitting there looking at that blank piece of paper. I was searching corners of my mind for an idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I tried to think of people I knew, and jobs they had. My Dad, worked at the milk plant, and hated it. I decided I probably did not want to work there. My Mom was up early in the morning, and was working at L.B.'s donuts with her Sister. I think she liked working with her Sister, but that was it. Most of the people in our neighborhood were retired, I figured that wasn't an option either. There was a milkman down the block with a penchant for Pabst Blue Ribbon. Every house on our block had a metal box on the porch, where milk was delivered, the boxes were also a great places to keep things you found outside. I had used the metal box for many a turtle, frogs, rocks, even pretty leaves. I didn't think I would make a good milk man. I didn't know of any female milk men anyway. One of my Mothers Girlfriends worked as a hairdresser, she always had her hair done, and she had her own chair at a shop down the road. However I had tried my hand at hairdressing numerous times and it never seemed to work out well for anyone in the end. My baby doll was missing a couple of chunks of hair, my Barbies suffered the wrath of my bad haircuts as well, and could never find a dates. I had even tried to give a couple of neighborhood boys hair cuts, that ended in a phone call, and a spanking. I also used sewing shears to cut a girlfriends hair, it didn't turn out well either. I think I got the belt for that one. I even tried giving myself bangs....All failed attempts. I guess hairdressing was not in the stars for me. The only professionals I knew were Teachers, and Nurses, but I didn't really "KNOW" them, and I was always amazed when we ran into them at the grocery store. I had no idea teachers and nurses shopped and ate food just like us.
So I sat with the empty piece of paper in front of me and drew an easel, with a little girl with a painting smock on. The caption read "
I want to be an Artist". This was possible after all. I had won a few blue ribbons at fairs, sold my first painting for 5$ to my teacher. I could be an artist. I am not sure what happened, but I looked around at all of the other children in class, and looked at their drawings. The girls had drawn teachers with hair pulled back tight, standing in front of chalk boards. They drew pictures of nurses with pointed white caps, putting children arms in slings, although a couple of patients had oversized leg casts on. . The boys had drawn pictures of cop cars with blue and red lights , and shootouts. There were pictures of fire trucks with men standing with black hoses with bright blue water pouring out onto red fires
I crumpled up the picture of the artist, and began a new drawing of a veterinarian giving a dog a shot. I could be a veterinarian. I loved animals. I looked around again, and crumpled up the paper. I drew a teacher in front of a black board, I tried to draw it just like the rest of the girls in class, but I wasn't really sure if I wanted to be a teacher.
I sat in my chair and tried to think of the happiest person I knew. That woman on "Laugh In" looked happy all of the time. She was always happy, and smiling. She knew Dean Martin and danced, she was on TV too. I think I would love that job. So, I took crayon in hand and I drew a woman dancing on stage in green swim suit, with a 2 piece suede fringe costume overlay. Tall suede boots completed the outfit, and there was a colorful curtain behind her, and stage lights in front. I tried to draw the figure dancing, and the hips were jutted out to the side, and the fringe looked like it was moving. I captioned the picture, with this. "I want to be a GO-GO dancer".....
Imagine my parents pride when they showed up that night at parent teacher conferences to see my life goal, taped up on the wall on the far left side at parents eye level.
I wonder if that drawing is still in my scrap-book at my Dads house? If it is, I would like to see it. I wonder if the fringe really looks like it is moving? If it is, maybe I should have been an artist.