Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone wants to be an astronaut; it's so overdone!

My mom took me to a child psychologist when I was 4 because my (childless) aunt thought I was too moody. Maybe I was, or maybe she knew nothing about little kids and I was just prone to crying fits. Either way, Mom took me to the shrink.  I went for a month or so until the guy wanted to meet my dad and my dad gave the whole "I aint goin to see no damn shrink and the kid don't need one either. She just needs to get her ass spanked when she won't quit bawlin," speech and then the bill came and dad saw it and we never went back.

I don't remember anything about the shrink except his name (Dr Houk, which I always thought was dumb because somehow I decided it was Hawk and he was just saying it wrong) and that his office was in a town an hour away and had a deli right by it. And every time we went my mom would take me to the deli if I behaved and talked to the guy. I loved that deli! I loved the high stools at the counter and the bagel and cream cheese she bought me. I felt so sophisticated and metropolitan. I felt Jewish.

See, when I was little all I wanted to be when I grew up was a New York Jew. Brick buildings with doormen, bright yellow taxi cabs, delicatessens, Yiddish in everyday conversation, cocktail parties. I wanted all of it! Apparently at some point I'd seen Annie Hall ( my parents never waited until bed to watch TV) and been profoundly influenced by it, which is probably the least damaging Woody Allen movie for a very young child to be profoundly influenced by. Which is why I loved the idea of being in therapy and of eating at a big city delicatessen. A bagel with just a shmear of cream cheese, please.  I didn't even know what Jewish meant; I thought it meant grown-up, or interesting. I was a preschooler and all I wanted to be was Woody Allen. Not Diane Keaton. Woody Allen. Which is actually a pretty great considering that by third grade I wanted to be a hooker.

Yep, a hooker, because all I knew about sex was that it was a beautiful thing for two people to do together and all I knew about hookers (did my parents never censor what they watched with the kids in the room?) was that they got paid to have sex. Seemed like a win-win to me at the time. Plus, hookers get to stay up all night!  When I found out it was illegal to be a hooker, I switched my career goals to private detective, because I liked Scooby Doo. I wanted to be Shaggy because he got to eat cake all the time and hang out with the cool talking dog. Fred and Daphne never actually did much, Velma couldn't ever keep her damn glasses on her face so she struck me as pretty useless, and so I picked Shaggy. That's right. My lofty childhood ambitions were to be Woody Allen, a hooker, and a half beatnik-half hippy who ate dog treats in exchange for going into the dark, monster-filled basement first.

Take that, ballerinas and firemen! My career day drawings were way more interesting (and disturbing during the hooker phase) than yours were.

1 comment:

Lua Morris said...

I wanted to be a ballerina and then the first female president of the US. I knew someone that wanted to be a garbage man. Lofty goals we all have.