Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Because I’m Pretty Sure That Opera Singing Is Out Of The Question


(boring housekeeping crap is below the extra-awesome entry. Because on a scale of 1 to 10, I am super great)

I’m thinking I could maybe sue my parents or something maybe, for not being more supportive and helpful when I was Trying To Decide What I Should Do With My Life. Whenever I told them what I was going to be when I grew up, they absentmindedly gave me the parental equivalent of, “Yes, Dear,” without so much as looking up from their New Yorker or Atlantic.

If they batted an eyelash when I swore up and down, at age 8, that I was going to be a world class ballerina (while I routinely walked into walls because Grace is absolutely NOT my middle name), I’d happily eat my own tongue, slathered in mayo (!!!). I got the same reaction as if I swore I was going to become a serial killer who began her killing spree by murdering her parents or swearing that I was going to be the next Cover Girl model.

I couldn’t raise a pulse in either of them no matter what I tried. They toed the line between being “free-to-be-you-and-me” and comatose.

In the 5th Grade, I remember sitting around in a circle at the end-of-year picnic and one by one we were supposed to say aloud what we were going to grow up to be*. Always the overachiever with the answer normally on the tip of my tongue, I was baffled beyond belief. So I did the only thing I could think of: I copied other people. When it got to be my turn, I took the previous two answers and nearly shouted them, “I’m-gonna-be-an-actress-and-a-secretary!”

Never mind I’d never shown the slightest aptitude or desire to act–unless it got me out of making my bed–nor did I have the slightest idea what a secretary did. My own mother, at the front and center of the feminist movement, who had her degree in chemistry, would have shuddered if she heard me.

But hey, it was a reaction.

As I got older, I continued my quest to determine what the hell I wanted to become. My high school is sort of like a small college, so there were any number of courses and tracks you could take to go wherever you wanted. Figuring I’d become a doctor like everyone else in my family, a noble profession, I didn’t give much of a thought as to what that really meant.

And then I had Ben, freshly 21 and a single mother. Medical school was out, nursing school was in. So I became a nurse. In order to make it through a program that I hated so much that I spent the first day of nursing school sobbing (always with the dramatics!) on the way back to the train, I told myself that I would Do Something Else when Ben was older.

Then I met The Daver, retired from nursing, and waited.

I’d juggled and jiggled the small kid, the spouse, and school before and it wasn’t fun, so I figured that once I closed the doors to my uterus, and my youngest was old enough (old enough is to be determined), I would start to do all of the things I’d been unable to do.

In essence, I’m getting very close to being able to do the things that I want to do again and I can taste the freedom and it is flipping sweet. I don’t have a huge long list of things, nor do I plan to have some sort of crazy timeline, because that sort of thing is setting yourself up for failure, and being a parent is like living a lesson in failure every single day.

Opera singing is out, however, because desire isn’t everything, and you kind of do have to have a talent for something like that because we can’t all be astronauts or opera singers.

But next week, I’m going back to the gym (imagine that sung to “Going Back To Cali”) to begin training for, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…

Roller Derby. Stop laughing. I have a perfect Roller Derby name. “Becky Sharks.” And how rad would I be? Stop laughing or I will punch you. Then, I’m going to tackle boxing. No, not kick boxing or some boxing aerobics class, but real mouthguard in mouth, maybe lose your teeth, and probably get loads of broken bones. Teeth are overrated, right?

And while those of you who know well my propensity to be injured, I figure if I can break a toe making a sandwich, why not at least do something cool while dislocating bones and getting rad scars? Scars, I’m sorry, but scars are cool.

I also have less dangerous ideas, like getting better at using my digital SLR. I don’t have any desire to do anything besides take better pictures of my family, but I think it’s really about that time to start figuring out what all those numbers and buttons and settings do. Because otherwise, why didn’t I just get a point-n-shoot?

(rhetorical)(alternately, because I am a moron)(but I like rhetorical better)

Eventually, I’ll go back to school to pursue my degree in virology and then plead to the CDC to hire me, even if it means I have to move away from the Midwest to do it. When I used to tell people this as I was slogging through nursing school, they’d laugh at me. And honestly, it WAS unkind. No one could believe that I’d want to go back to school, but I’m pretty sure that they didn’t realize mocking my dream was only going to make me THAT much more determined.

If I can get into any program, that is. If I can’t, feel free to mock away.

More than anything else, I’m just really looking forward to doing something besides wiping butts, using my body as a gigantic teething ring, and reclaiming my individuality. Not to say that having my kidlets isn’t part of who I am, it’s just not all that I am. It can’t be. Otherwise, I’d end up a useless pile of goo the first time all three of my kids are in school at the same time, and not celebrating by drinking a dirty martini for breakfast.

Because it’s always vodka-o-clock somewhere, right?

What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

*Why do adults always think to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up? What a dumb question to ask a freaking 8 year old.



The video that I put on Facebook of my daughter–the one where I told you we could be BFF, an offer that still stands–was edited using iMovie. I have a Mac (read: love, love, LOVE) and iMovie was ridiculously easy to use. Especially since I had The Daver do it.

I’m thinking that the best way to handle the business cards contest is this: YOU, oh brilliant creative soul that you are, write a blog post about it. Post your pictures on your own blog, write your captions, tell your story, it’s cool. I’m on the edge of my proverbial seat here, people.

Then EMAIL me the link ( and I will put it up on the post I will write after the emails come in. Then you can urge YOUR people to come check out the competition and my blog won’t take 38 hours to load from all of the pictures.

IF, by chance, you do not have a blog, or have a blog that you want traffic to, send me the blurbs and pictures or whatever you do, and I’ll put them in the post here. *I’ll* be your blog, Internet. Deadline for entries is September 8, which will also be the day that voting begins. Let’s vote for a week, deadline September 15 at 11:59 PM, and winner–and several runners up, yo–announced the next day!

So, pimp yourself out, and don’t feel bad about it.

Let me know if you haven’t gotten the cards by the end of the week and you got your address to me last week because it’s likely I misspelled something or maybe missed an important number.


Aunt Becky

66 Comments to

“Because I’m Pretty Sure That Opera Singing Is Out Of The Question”

  1. On August 4th, 2009 at 9:58 am dg at diaryofamadbathroon Says:

    I wish I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up. I also wish I knew when I was going to grow up. Does practicing spells and making potions until I wake up in Tina Fey’s body count?

  2. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:29 am Minnie Says:

    I want to be Aunt Becky’s friend in real life and drink vodka with you.

  3. On August 4th, 2009 at 9:45 am Sally Says:

    I so loved your post. I’m at the point where I can pursue all the things I want to do and I just need to find the courage to do them. I’m reading The Artist’s Way right now, which is sort of hippy stuff, but man, it’s giving me the verve to get up and do what needs to be done to do what I love.

    And take some voice lessons! You’d be surprised how easy it is to learn! I have a rather nice voice and didn’t have the guts to pursue voice in college and I kick myself. Still sing in choirs, though.

  4. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:50 am Heather Says:

    Got my cards yesterday. They are SOO going with me to my divorce party and then the state fair. How long do I have to get the pictures to you? There has been talk of strippers and Wii bowling!! LOL

  5. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:02 am amy d Says:

    My Aunt had 6 kids. There’s a 19 year age gap between the oldest and youngest. When the youngest started school, she decided to follow her dream of photography. She invested thousands into fancy equipment and loads of time learning how to use it.

    She regularly books weddings and now makes a fortune! A true testiment that there is in fact life after raising babies:)

    Good luck to you hun!

  6. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:14 am Ashley Says:

    Aunt Becky, why is it that you have given us all this glorious information about the business card contest, but no deadline? How long do I have to wait until the last minute? (Because I’m a severe procrastinator. :))

    And you already know that I got my cards, in all their glorious-ness. Because we here in my household… We heart Aunt Becky.

    And when will you announce the winner of the contest? 🙂

  7. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:19 am Calliope Says:


    do I get a firsties prize?????
    how about a “I could have cleaned the kitchen while the baby napped but instead took photos” prize?

  8. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:20 am The Modern Woman Says:

    At age 7 I was dead set that I was going to be a hairdresser. I practiced french braiding on my aunty’s hair for hours. At age 12 I started programming my Commodore 64 to fly birds all across the screen, and by age 15 I topped the class in Computing. It was then, a desire to be a computer programmer was born. I left school, and realised I was far too fabulous to sit in a room of computer geeks writing code all day (first lesson – just beacuse you are good at it, doesn’t mean you have to do it). I enrolled in psychology at university, along with every other arts student who didn’t know what they really wanted to do with their lives, destined to work at Maccas, post a 3 yr arts degree, that didn’t really qualify them to do much more than flip burgers. Not being one with being comfortable at failing, I left uni after 1 year, quicker than you can say, “do you want fries with that?” I then turned my hand at being a secretary, afterall I knew my way around a computer (I had a dux in computing certificate to prove it) and was well organised – easy peasey. After 6 months of answering phones and taking messages for an interpersonally challenged boss, I was ready for a new challenge. It was then I entered the world of recruitment. I started from the bottom up as the secretary and it wasn’t before long I was a fully fledged recruitment consultant – working 12 hour days and taking the company mobile home on weekends – gee, that sure was swell! At the tender age of 22, I had an early onset mid life crisis, and realised there was more to life than working my butt off to make someone else rich. I wanted a life where I had the time for the things that really mattered. I wanted to wake up and walk on the beach in the mornings, and do something that was personally fulfilling. I set on the path of finding myself and booked a 1 way ticket overseas. I gave myself the freedom to explore my interests and try different things in my 20s, despite the societal pressure to get a mortgage and settle down in the name of security. Everything had the same flavour – there was a little girl who said – “I want to be a hairdresser”, because she liked being creative. This little girls also liked to feel free, because it made her heart skip with happiness. She is now a writer who works from home, on her own terms, working her own hours. There are plans to be a freelance make up artist and a freelance beauty writer once my book is published, but there is plenty in time in life to explore all the things you want to do. There is no rush to the finish line, nor do you have to box yourself into just one thing. So in response to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, I don’t believe you have to have just 1 answer, and it will all depend on who you are and what your soul wants from you at that particular time. Whatever it is that your soul yearns for, is what you must follow. Free yourself from societal expectation and worship of security, and liberate yourself to follow all the dreams that lay in your heart. Do what you want, when you want.

  9. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:26 am Ashley Says:

    OH, and btw… I wanted to be a singer, and I still do. I just don’t want to be a super-celeb. And to make boku dolla, you need to be pretty popular. For now, I simply entertain my car’s interior with my renditions of “Think Of Me” and “Phantom Of The Opera” (the high note of the latter still eludes my range, so no opera for me either) and will probably be attending karaoke more often to indulge myself. 🙂

  10. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:37 am Coco Says:

    For a blind minute there, I thought you’d written “Deadline for entries is September 8, which will also be the day that vomiting begins.”

    And I thought “Wow, there’s a special day for that? I had no idea. I wonder if it’s mandatory to puke, or if you can just gag a little?”

    Then I realized you’d actually written VOTING and I felt like an idiot because I’d already started practicing my hurl.

    Praise the Lord and pass the vodka.

  11. On August 4th, 2009 at 11:31 am Tina Says:

    When I grow up I want to open a coffee shop/ yarn store combo. but first I have to win the lottery.

  12. On August 4th, 2009 at 12:38 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Aunt Becky, you can be ANYTHING you want to be when you grow up. And if you can’t figure it out, I’ll assign you something. (Did that sound like a cross between your parents and a guidance counselor?). Seriously, I am sure you will be a great virologist.

  13. On August 4th, 2009 at 11:51 am Inna Says:

    I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. Now that I’m getting a scientist PhD I’m not so sure. I love all the learning, but the hours and salary concerns me somewhat. On the side I am a knitter and while it won’t really be a job, I want to get more involved in charity knitting.

  14. On August 4th, 2009 at 11:54 am Jennifer Says:

    I wanted to be an archaeologist in the Yucatan.

    Now I have 4 kids and slogging around jungles, digging in dirt, still sounds totally fascinating but not all that practical.

    So I am *trying* photography. Which is difficult because I don’t have the most get up and go out there. I love taking pictures but editing slows me down. But I’ve learned a lot and I LOVE my DSLR. Tell me you at least have a Nikon….. 😉

  15. On August 4th, 2009 at 11:57 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s a Nikon D-50!

  16. On August 4th, 2009 at 11:57 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    And I am *so* not worthy.

  17. On August 4th, 2009 at 12:00 pm ainebegonia Says:

    I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m a good nine years older than you and in my sophmore year at college. I was an education major until I did some classroom time. I’m a lit major now but I may change it again. Maybe they’ll let me be a professional student.

  18. On August 4th, 2009 at 12:33 pm Cute~Ella Says:

    Its pretty exciting that you have so many options. You know except astronaut and opera singer. I suppose I should figure out what I want to do too.


  19. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:45 pm Kristina Says:

    I want to be independantly wealthy and travel the world when I grow up.

    If that falls through, I’d love to write something that I get paid for. Yeah, I’m laughing too, you’re not going to hurt my feelings.

  20. On August 4th, 2009 at 12:54 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    I want to be a zookeeper when I grow up. Or a voice-over person for cartoon characters.

    THE PRESSURE of this contest is already getting to me! The cards sit there and mock me, OUT LOUD!!

  21. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:58 pm Badass Geek Says:

    I would pay good money to hear you sing opera.

  22. On August 4th, 2009 at 2:14 pm Sherry Says:

    I haven’t grown up yet and I’m going to turn 55 this year. Then again I’ve had a lot of BS going on so….

  23. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:16 pm JenniferJaycox Says:

    Love the post. I’d spend many years announcing what I was going to be when I grew up. Except I got a different reaction – usually hysterical laughter. Now after two kids of my own (and a supportive husband) I’m doing the online college thing. And I like it! I get to feel all cool ’cause I’m like a college kid, but I don’t have to drag myself into a classroom where the actual kids can mock me.

    However, I’d rather take up roller derby…

  24. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:17 pm Bluebird Says:

    I am what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up – but it’s not nearly as much fun as I imagined it! In fact, some days I downright hate it. But mostly because it’s so hard to get any type of balance. Sometimes I dream of “retiring” if/ when we have kids at home . . . but I’m terrified to give this up (despite the hate), and I wonder what I’d do when I inevitably get bored. Interesting post – thanks 🙂

  25. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:22 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I mean, I’ve thought I want to be someone’s personal chef, but not in the “They boss me around” kind of way, but more in the way that I consult with them, come into their homes and make a few things to stick in their freezer for the week/month, then mosey on my way, but then I think about how often I skip cooking for my own family now and I think I may need a better business plan.

    Anyway, I have no clue other than I don’t want to do what I used to do, which was to have my soul sucked out slowly from my eyeballs by people who used to be friends but changed into ogres when they got title changes. Or something. I think roller derby is bad ass and cool and I think you have got it in you to kick ass at something like that. For you and nobody else. Hell yeah!

  26. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:24 pm harrytimes Says:

    I love this! I just wrote about this yesterday in fact– I went from soap opera star wannabe to PhD with a passing interest in SAHMothering

  27. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:38 pm Mwa Says:

    I want to be a teacher when I grow up. Cunningly I retrained after having my first kid and not managing to conceive the second. I even did a year of part-time work because I suck so much at procreating. Now I’m wondering how much I suck at it so I can decide if I should get another five years in before my third.

    Since I’m writing such a long comment anyway, I may as well tell you that this is the big white elephant in the corner of my blog. I kind of would like to write about it, but I have a deal with the husband which stops me from writing anything he’s not ready to discuss with his folks. So my butt sweat is in, not getting knocked up is out.

  28. On August 4th, 2009 at 2:22 pm Tina Says:

    Ah yes, Inna… charity knitting. If only there were more hours in the day!

  29. On August 4th, 2009 at 2:36 pm Manda Says:

    I wanted to be a roller derby queen for a while (*sings* …round and round, GO round and round…) but the league here has strict insurance requirements, which I didn’t meet until recently. Now that I do, a. the league is full, and b. I’m knocked up.

    I used to want to be a marine biologist because it meant I could train dolphins and seals, but then I realized that I would have to cut cute little sea creatures open and probably come into contact with some sharks, of which I have an irrational fear. (There are no sharks in Lake Erie. I have no idea where this fear comes from.)

    So now I’m a secretary. Ha.

    Just for the record though…I have never found my profession to be anti-feminist. I run the office. I know more about what’s going on at any given time than anyone else, including the boss. I have almost always felt valued and indispensable….even when I am busy and frustrated that I want to pull my hair out.

  30. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:52 pm Lucy/Hope Says:

    Your business card contest is ridiculously complicated and I’m not going to enter it. If I wanted to, I could make my own Aunt Becky business cards, using/photoshopping one of the pictures you posted of yourself, your email address, Chicago, IL or is it Chicago Ill? etc. That’s if I knew how to Photoshop.

    “Chicago, Chicago, what a wonderful town….”

    What’s the topic here today – oh right – what I want to be when I grow up. Right. I’m 58 – how much upper am I going to grow? My doctor actually thinks I’ve shrunk an inch.

    Anywhoo…I have no plans on what to do when I grow up, never had any plans, I just luck into things. I lucked into my current company 23 years ago. In 4 more years, I’m going to luck into retirement and just between you and I (or is it you and me?) I think I may not have the personality to be a Walmart greeter, but I’m a shoe-in for a job as the package checking bitch at the exit door. So, that’s what I want to be when I grown up – the Walmart Package Checking Bitch!

  31. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:54 pm Valerie Says:

    Does that tweet count as an entry? I could also take a picture of the whole wall so you see just how whacked out my style design is…

    In other news, I have the perfect quote when people ask me what I want to be: “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life… the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.” –Mary Schmich

    I find it especially prudent for the next 9 months while I am still 22.

    But no really, I want to be a student for the rest of my life. I want a career that pays the bills to never require me to stop organized, institutionalized learning. I like classrooms… crazy, I know. But to pay those bills, I wanna be a psychiatrist.

    What is tackle boxing, exactly?

  32. On August 4th, 2009 at 2:58 pm Becca Says:

    I started out as a secretary, it is soooo much fun!

    Seriously, I want to move to Ireland and never wear shoes again when I grow up. And, I want everybody to be happy dammit! Why is that not a reasonable request??

  33. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:00 pm a Says:

    I want to be a dilettante.

    That requires being independently wealthy, which I am not. So for now, I will remain a state employee. Thank you for paying my salary.

  34. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:01 pm sara Says:

    How a about a roller derby opera singer? ((hugs))

  35. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:29 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up….so I’ve decided to just never grow up.


    And you MUST take photos in your roller derby shit. That’s got to be HAWT!

  36. On August 4th, 2009 at 4:08 pm Cara Says:

    That is hilarious. I want to work in bioforensics. I actually have two years in on a biotech degree that I would love to finish. I have been putting the question out there to my 6 yr old as to how she would feel I mommy went back to college. She in no uncertain terms has told me “absolutely not”

    I of course acted like the true adult and loving parent that I am and told her that was fine…I would just go back to college when she does. She didn’t understand that being a bad thing and got really excited …Someday she will learn.

  37. On August 4th, 2009 at 5:24 pm Tatiana Says:

    “More than anything else, I’m just really looking forward to doing something besides wiping butts, using my body as a gigantic teething ring, and reclaiming my individuality. Not to say that having my kidlets isn’t part of who I am, it’s just not all that I am. It can’t be.”

    I feel exactly like this. I’ve hardly done any formal schooling, for a few different reasons, and now that the baby’s approaching the 6 month old mark I am just aching to do something, take some classes, ANYTHING, to feel like an actual person again, not JUST “mommy”.

    So hell, you rock the roller derby, Becky Sharks. I, for one, am totally cheering you on.

  38. On August 4th, 2009 at 5:47 pm Two Wishes Says:

    I used to be a lawyer. And I was really good at it. But I always found it kind of boring and wanted to do something more creative, something artsy craftsy. In fact, my blog name came from my conflicting desires to use my skills and education in my career and to ditch it all and do something fun.

    Then I got sick — too sick to work for the past couple of years. Alas, also too sick to make any progress on the artsy-craftsy front, but at least it got me out of the office and gave me freedom to dream about other paths. I was fairly sure I wouldn’t be going back, even when the time comes that I’m ready to work again.

    THEN I had a baby. After 5 months without any adult pursuits, it sounds like HEAVEN to go back to my boring old legal job and tackle intellectual questions all day. Still not sure when I’ll be ready, but I cannot WAIT to be able to use my education and skill-set once again. Weird how motherhood changes your wants and goals. (And good luck with your own! It’s encouraging to hear there will come a time, someday in the hazy distant future, when I’ll be able to reclaim my life in bits and pieces.)

  39. On August 4th, 2009 at 5:28 pm Kyddryn Says:

    I have no intention of growing up.

    If you work for the CDC, you can move to Atlanta and we can be BFFs (which should put you right off following THAT course, I imagine).

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  40. On August 4th, 2009 at 5:35 pm June Says:

    When I was little, I wanted to be a princess and a movie star, which similarly horrified my Marlo Thomas mother. My career choices are listed in my All About Me book that I filled out. Did you have an All About Me book? Obviously, it became the central theme of my life.

    My husband had an All About Me book, and it’s fun to compare our answers. I think he wanted to be a baseball player. My, how we achieved those goals.

  41. On August 4th, 2009 at 6:50 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    I wanted to be an office worker when I grew up. 9-5 paper shuffling with 2 weeks paid vacation and health care included. And I did it too! It was everything I dreamed it could be! Low stress, decent pay, knew enough of everyone’s job to be the last person laid off (and I was laid off 3 times in 8 years), got to be the office techie most of the time, left unsupervised to surf the web for work, able to do whatever took my interest pretty much. Loved it most of the time. Then I left to be a SAHM. I’m 42, my kids will both be in school full time starting in 2 weeks. I have no idea what I want to do next. I’ve already lived the dream. How do you top that?

  42. On August 4th, 2009 at 7:18 pm Jennifer Says:

    Ooooooooooo! I have a D-50 and a D-300. I’m currently teaching my hubby how to shoot with the D-50 in settings that don’t make it a glorified point and shoot. If you are willing to read books and learn that way, I may be able to point you to a couple of good ones. If, like me, the books would sit and collect dust in your house, then I suggest finding a really good camera forum where people can tell you how to get your camera to do what you want it to.

    I love shooting!

  43. On August 4th, 2009 at 7:26 pm Carrie @ Who Knew? Says:

    I have never had any clue what I wanted to be. I still don’t really. Well I’m a teacher and I like it but I don’t feel passionate about it. I love writing but. . . well I don’t know. But I sure hope some day I figure out something really cool to do.

    I used to box (real boxing) and it was really fun. I never lost any teeth but I did get punched in the head once. Bonus: hot guys with no shirts. Nice!

  44. On August 4th, 2009 at 7:27 pm Wendy Says:

    Well, listen. To be an astronaut you have to be able to spin in circles and not puke. In my mind, you have absolutely no control over this. Puking is not optional.

    Singing like a crazy person, however, is so not anatomical. So far as I can see it, you just have to put on some decent weight (so you can forget that whole gym thing if you don’t feel like it cuz honestly what’s better than a roller skating opera singer) and start trying to be louder than your kids. Break out the HoHos. You’re gonna be a star, baby.

  45. On August 4th, 2009 at 7:27 pm Lori in Denver Says:

    I want to be a writer when I grow up.

    I will write the saga about your journey to the stage at The Met.

    Off to check out the FB video. I think I missed it.

  46. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:34 pm Katrina Says:

    I’ve always been a dork, so I decided in college that I wanted to be a professional dork, i.e. an academic. I just got my Ph.D. in a humanities subject. Funny story: the job market for professors in the humanities totally fell apart this year! And I’m getting married, and my future husband may not have any geographical flexibility with his job (pretty much a pre-req for a first professorship, unless you are a giant superstar, which I am not. There was a period when I thought I might be, and reality kicked me in the ass pretty damn quickly). So now I have to think about how long I want to hang around academia, begging for crumbs in the form of fellowships. This is what my friends are doing–“riding out the market.” The alternative is to try to get another sort of job–free-lance writing, research in an area people might actually care about (public policy, e.g.), professional editing, etc. If there are any other unemployed Ph.D.’s out there, I would appreciate advice, if you’ve got it.

  47. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:51 pm Jennifer Says:

    I was going to be an artist (P.S., I’m not creative). Then I was going to be a hairdresser (see above). Then I was going to be a teacher (I don’t really enjoy other people’s children). Then I was going to be a psychologist (but I’d have to go to school forever. Then I was going to work in Human Resources for a big company (disgruntled employees shoot you). Then I was going to be a writer (still not creative). I was going to be librarian (did you know you need a freakin masters degree?). The I was going to do something in the medical field (I don’t like sick people. Or blood. Or urine. Or vomit.)

    So yeah.

    I think I need career counseling or something. I seem to be running out of time. And ideas. And motivation. Cause, pajama pants = comfy.

  48. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:54 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Since when do I have to grow up?

    No seriously… did my wife tell you to write this or something?

  49. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:03 pm Brittany at Mommy Words Says:

    Oh man it sounds so wonderful to dream of the day but seeing as I currently have my third bun in the oven it will be a long time coming. I’ve got lots of time to think! And to observe how your roller derby ambition goes. Sounds wonderful but I would like to see how injured you actually get. We can’t even get our best friends to visit Charlotte so I doubt your business card wants to come here…unless it happens to be an enormous Nascar fan.

  50. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:26 pm Io Says:

    I know what I want to be when I grow up, but I am too scared to do it and too embarrassed to admit it. Damnit.
    I still have quite a few of your cards in my purse, so they may be going on some adventures…

  51. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:32 pm Tanna Says:

    Waste management. Interpret as desired.

    I’m getting lots of ideas for the business cards with Inna!

  52. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:35 pm Katrina Says:

    Sorry, Aunt Becky–I listed my blog URL incorrectly. It’s right this time.

  53. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:50 pm mountainmomma18 Says:

    Dude i think that you could totally be an opera singer, I belive in you, I would buy tickets and everything. What do I want to be when I grow up? Well I like my job (and it a lot of work to get the PhD) I think I will still with it for now. When I retire? I don’t quite know, maybe lay around on a beach…with or without alcohol.

  54. On August 5th, 2009 at 12:22 am sarah Says:

    I’m so looking forward to that freedom to rediscover myself. I’m getting a taste of it now w/ preschool taking up 3 hours of the morning, and it’s bliss.

    roller derby sounds AWESOME!

  55. On August 5th, 2009 at 5:11 am Kelley Says:

    I totally want to live in an Ivory Tower somewhere, far away from other people studying Latin, classical Greek and ancient history.
    Until I win the lottery, however, I will concentrate on my current career: feeding the hungry and comforting the disconsolate.

    (OK, so I’m church secretary and I type and answer phones, too.)

  56. On August 5th, 2009 at 8:00 am zelzee Says:

    I’m still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.

    I guess ‘alive’ is cool enough…………..

  57. On August 5th, 2009 at 10:21 am p jane Says:

    I’m 39 years old and have no freaking clue what I want to be when I grow up. In first grade I was going to be a Florist. In 8th grade I was going to be a Stewardess and fly the world. In college was was going to be a Speech Pathologist until the national licensing folk decided a Masters would be required instead of a BA to sit the licensing exam. Four months shy of graduation is NOT the time to learn your degree is worthless, so I dropped out and worked retail for 7 years. Front-end, cash office, operations, mngt trainee, inventory prep, store setup…tons of experience and anecdotes. At one point I strongly considered becoming a truck driver because, hey, why not? Instead I moved to the east coast and met my hubby.

    Once we had our first child I decided retail hours SUCKED, so I got a temp job doing data entry. It turned into a permanent finance job where I’ve been for 10 years. 8:30-5 M-F, close to home and kids’ schools and decent pay for no degree. Never pictured myself as a Business Major but that’s where things point for my eventual return to school. (Or, plug in credits, see what degree requires fewest additional classes, complete that…then teach.)

    Ideal Dream Job? Dialect Coach. Linguistics and voices are my thing, how some people hear differences when others don’t, why Aussies sound vaguely German unless they fully convert to American accents, myGOD Dick VanDyke can’t do Brit…but sadly that’s a niche market and I’m far too lazy for that.

  58. On August 5th, 2009 at 12:18 pm Nancy Says:

    You still can be anything you want to be when you grow up. I have total faith in you!

  59. On August 5th, 2009 at 12:57 pm tiffany Says:

    Seriously? You’re going to try out for Rollerderby? That is so cool. I am on of the original Texas Rollergirls. retired now though. After I broke my leg in 3 places and it took 7 months to start walking again I did go back to skating believe it or not. My mom said she thought I hit my head harder than I broke my leg because I put on a pair of skates again. HaHA!
    I LOVED IT! Such a great fun sport. And the companionship of a large diverse group of women is priceless. My skate name was Princess Slaya. I was on the Hustlers team. Check out our website:
    Also a great docu about rollerderby is Hell on Wheels filmed right here in Austin, Tx. It chronicals our struggles and ultimate success trying to bring rollerderby back to life. Let me know if you want to know which one I am in the movie. You can watch it free here:
    Gawd, I sound like I’m advertising, but really that’s so exciting. I’m so happy you’re gonna try it. I think you will like it, everyone does.

  60. On August 5th, 2009 at 12:51 pm birdpress Says:

    I should have read this before I sent you the pictures yesterday. Sorry! I’ll learn to follow instructions next time.

    Crap, I’m supposed to BE something when I grow up?

  61. On August 5th, 2009 at 1:08 pm Maggie Says:

    Sadly, when I was in high school, I never felt free enough to say what I REALLY wanted to be when I grew up. Mostly, I just said I wanted to do something in theater or I’d do something with computer graphics (Hey! I was admitted to a CGI school before I graduated, so I truly just coasted through my sr year). These were the SAFE answers.

    My TRUE answer, deep in my heart of hearts, what my sould yerned for.. wait for it….. I wanted to be a SEXUAL ICON like Marilyn Monroe!

  62. On August 5th, 2009 at 3:02 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I wanted to be a pediatrician.

  63. On August 5th, 2009 at 4:55 pm Kendra Says:

    I’ve always taken comfort from Winnie the Pooh. (I probably take way more comfort from Winnie the Pooh than a woman in her 30s ought to), especially the story about Tigger trying to figure out what he likes to eat. Every time he sees something new, he announces, “This is what Tiggers like best!”

    The first thing I remember wanting to be is Smurfette. My goals got only slightly more realistic as I grew up. I always wanted to be a writer, and being a professional storyteller remains the coolest job I can imagine. But that’s kind of in the opera singing realm; it’s not enough just to want it, you actually have to be really good.

    I got a BA in English, because, you know, I speak English. Then I was a bartender and a closed caption writer. Then I started graduate school to be a librarian. Then, pretty quickly, I got married and pregnant. When #2 was born, I got licensed to do child care and now stay home with my three kids and several other people’s too. And is it what I want to be when I grow up? Truly, all I can say is, it better be. We can’t afford day care for three, and we just finished remodeling partly to have more space for day care. I’ve started freelance proofreading, and there’s a part of me that’s daydreaming about being a professional editor–seriously, just sitting in an office correcting punctuation, reworking awkward phrases. I enjoy that way more than I admit.

    For now, though, I’m convincing myself that being this is okay. And when I get worried that the poop cleaner and teether is all that I am, I take refuge in proofreading a term paper; it’s important to remind me that I do have skills that relate to grown-ups.

  64. On August 5th, 2009 at 4:57 pm Sandy Says:

    I got my cards and I am SO STOKED about this contest that I am saying things like stoked. Duuuuude….

  65. On August 5th, 2009 at 9:20 pm mumma boo Says:

    Growing up is way over-rated. Cenzo starts pre-school in the fall and I’m trying to figure out what to do with my free time. Besides stalk you, of course. (Got the cards – thanks! *rubs hands gleefully together*)

  66. On August 7th, 2009 at 6:56 am Betty M Says:

    I’m one of the sad people who actually is what my 14 year old self wanted to be when she grew up – a lawyer. Ideally though I’d like to be winner of Strictly Come Dancing.

    I missed the whole cards post thing. So cant do you pics of the card with Big Ben etc as its probably too late to get them in the mail. Sniff.

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