Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

This Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life.


I’ve mentioned before that after Ben was born, I was struggling mightily with what to Do (with a capitol D) for the rest of my life. Whomever thought that the 18-20 year old bracket was the appropriate age for people to decide what to Do should be strung out and shot somewhere, because, hi, at 20? I was still a blithering idiot.

Difference was, now I was pregnant. And looking to make paychecks larger than so-and-so-measly dollars every week so that Ben and I could (gasp!) move out of my parents’ house. My standards weren’t particularly high, but my options were limited.

Before I decided on nursing, my mom shelled out 20 clams for me to take some sort of career figurer-outer class at the community college. Perfect, I thought as I left my screaming child behind. I just KNOW that the people running this class will see my inherent star quality! Perhaps they will just HAND me a diploma and maybe even put me on Star Search! I just KNOW I’m miles ahead of the rest of the knuckle-draggers in this class!

I showed up to a motley band of scraggly people all sitting rather reluctantly in a small classroom. I was instantly confused. I mean, why would someone PAY to voluntarily subject themselves to this and be unhappy about it later?

I took a seat at a table by a large no-nonsense looking woman with extremely long fuchsia fingernails. Each had a nice sunset scene carefully painted upon it and I was semi-jealous. I’d never considered my fingernails as a medium for such wonderousness. I thought about telling her how much I dug her nails, but one look at the beady mean eyes peering out of her doughy face told me that I should keep my goddamned mouth shut.

Undeterred, but still sort of unsure if I was in the right place, I carefully pulled out some scratch paper from my backpack and waited patiently for the instructor to come in and recognize my obvious superiority.

I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, about 20 minutes after the class was set to begin, our instructor breezed in. Rather than scan the room to find the superstar among the drones (that would be me. The superstar, not the drones), he simply began passing out a big fat folder crammed with papers.

Once the folders were all passed out, he simply told us to begin filling out the test within the folder. Use the pencil, he warned us, or the Scantron machine wouldn’t be able to score it.

Well, okay, I said to myself. I like tests. I’m really GOOD at tests. I bet this TEST will tell me that I rule and that I should just bypass school entirely and become an heiress. Fucking SWEET.

I happily opened the test up and prepared to meet my destiny (or density. Whatever).

I noticed unhappily that the test was one of those gradient ones where I had to say from 1-4 how interested (one being least and 4 being most) I was in the statement. Like this:

1 2 3 4 I am interested in becoming a ditch digger.

Okay, I thought, brow furrowed in concentration. Is this a trick question? It sounds like a trick question. I mean, who would want to become a ditch digger? And wait, aren’t they called something more PC now, like a Hole Management Expert?

I looked around the room, expecting to see a sea of confused faces and to my dismay, everyone else was studiously filling out the form.

I furiously scratched a line into 1, praying this wasn’t a trick question, and went on to the next question.

1 2 3 4 I am interested in tracking statistical marketing data.

Uh…uh…uh, I thought frantically. Are they talking about the people who stalk you at the mall, begging you to do taste tests and surveys? EW. No thanks. That’s one of those jobs you just sort of fall into, not something that you aspired to.

1 2 3 4 I am interested in hosting parties.

Finally, I cried to myself, FINALLY! Something I could totally do! I LOVE hosting parties! Hooray!

I furiously scribbled a 4 and went on to the next.

1 2 3 4 People would call me a methodical person.

Hmmm….I thought. Is this a trick question? I don’t know that anyone that would think of me in those terms. I scribbled a 3, just guessing what people might say about me and moved on.

I spent the rest of the test, all 232 questions, in much the same vein. Finally, it was over and we were instructed to go on break. I took that opportunity to visit the computer lab and check my email. I laughed my way through a couple of those forward How Well Do You Know Me emails (which turned, I must add, into meme’s years later) and when it was time, slunk back in to the room.

My star quality was no longer sparkling.

The instructor passed out sheets of paper with our results on it, a certain combination of letters. Those letters, he explained, would correspond to a set of jobs that I was uniquely qualified for.

I frantically searched through page after page of letter combinations until I got to mine. My eyes rested on the job I would be happiest with:

Veterinarian (poultry).

Yes. A chicken doctor. Wow. The possibilities. Wow.

That must be a glitch, I said to myself. On down the line I went.

Brick Layer.

My third?

Mosaic Tile Layer.

Uh. Jesus. Uh. Yeah.

*blink, blink, blink*

I was uniquely qualified to become Becky Sherrick, Doctor Of Chickens or Becky Sherrick, Layer of Bricks. Fucking awesome.

I was not even REMOTELY of Star Quality ™. No one was going to beat down my door to be on Wheel Of Fortune or American Idol. No one was going to have me bikini model cars or become a sexy astrophysicist. No one was going to beat down my door: period.

Unless they happened to wear feathers and cluck a lot.

51 Comments to

“This Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life.”

  1. On May 26th, 2009 at 1:21 pm fidget Says:

    I’d totally let you be my chicken vet

  2. On May 26th, 2009 at 1:33 pm Daniel Says:

    i WISH i had gotten mosaic tile layer, that’s pretty cool. I, however, got “Large Barge Operator”

  3. On May 26th, 2009 at 1:43 pm GingerB Says:

    You could be my brick layer.

    I took those tests in a class called “how to study in college” because I was so smart I was always taking soft classes to fluff my GPA. They correctly predicted my need to show off and talk a lot (a law career was inevitable) but somehow seemed to think I was obsessive enough to be on time for things or get small shit done. Fooled you with my number 2 pencil, didn’t I??

    I once met a baker who told me he was an oven operations engineer. No kidding.

  4. On May 26th, 2009 at 2:05 pm ainebegonia Says:

    I hate those types of tests because I become obsessed with why they are asking each question and what will happen if i put four for working with children and a four for using my hands. Will I go on a special list for potential threats to children? I always end up scoring as 1) teacher – don’t want to be one since I can barely stand my own children 2)statistician – yeah, I really want to be locked up in a small room with numbers all day long – and my favorite 3) career advisor – hello, I’m taking a freaking test to tell me what to Do with my life and *I’m* supposed to tell others what to Do with theirs???

  5. On May 26th, 2009 at 3:32 pm Kristine Says:

    Awesome. My tests ended up being pretty boring…are you good at math? Engineer! Good at Physics? Engineer!

  6. On May 26th, 2009 at 3:39 pm Lisa Says:

    Now you are an experienced mother. You don’t need anymore apptitude tests – you now know you can do anything!

  7. On May 26th, 2009 at 4:40 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Twenty dollars huh? Well.

  8. On May 26th, 2009 at 3:52 pm Eva Says:

    I love that you paid money for this info.

  9. On May 26th, 2009 at 4:54 pm Lindsay Says:

    I took a test like that. It told me to be an accountant. I listened. Yeah, I think it may have been misled.

    Also, LOVE the part about being 18-20 to find out what to DO with your life. Yeah, not a good time of life to be making significant decisions. Oops.

  10. On May 26th, 2009 at 3:56 pm Jenn Says:

    I want to be a mosaic tile layer. Seriously.

  11. On May 26th, 2009 at 5:10 pm Westcoast Weirdo Says:

    I did that in high school. It was totally lame. I think I got some shit like you did – not even close.

  12. On May 26th, 2009 at 4:32 pm Cassie Says:

    I wonder what kind of questions you answered “correctly” to get chicken doctor. “Do you want to stay in school for several years but only work on animals with feathers?”

    Also, mosaic tile layer? Is that a real job?

  13. On May 26th, 2009 at 4:35 pm steph Says:

    Mine told me to be a clergyman. NEVERMIND that I’m an atheist/agnostic.

  14. On May 26th, 2009 at 4:53 pm zelzee Says:

    Well I guess there can never be too many chicken doctors in the world……..

    Anyway, I think it all worked out perfectly…….”mom” suits you……….

  15. On May 26th, 2009 at 5:30 pm DG at Diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    This would be similar to the test that told me that I should be a Religious Educator. The level of inaccuracy in that statement cannot be overstated.
    So, Chicken Doctor Becky, allow me to introduce myself. I am Sister Mary Diaryofamadbathroom.

  16. On May 26th, 2009 at 6:32 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Maybe your destiny was to create brick henhouses whose interiors were tiled?

  17. On May 26th, 2009 at 5:46 pm Dora B. Says:

    Dude, I so want to take that test.

  18. On May 26th, 2009 at 5:46 pm Rayne of Terror Says:

    I went to career counseling after I finished my undergrad degree and was considering applying to law school. I took the test which said the ideal job for me was bonsai trimmer. The career counselor took one look at that and said, yeah, you should go to law school. Now that I’m a zillion dollars in debt to juggle a gazillion child support cases, I see the wisdom of a career in bonsai.

  19. On May 26th, 2009 at 5:53 pm shay Says:

    wow. just wow. I laughed right our loud at your post and the comments. How did it come up with not just a vet but one that specializes in chickens???? is that even a real job?
    AND I read the last one as Monastic tile lawyer…whew I thought, now that is some test lol.

    oh and I think you sparkle!

  20. On May 26th, 2009 at 6:31 pm Betts Says:

    Maybe as a chicken doctor, you could have come up with a vaccine for avian flu and been an international hero… maybe even won the Nobel Peace Prize… you never know.

  21. On May 26th, 2009 at 7:34 pm Susan Says:

    BWaaaaack! I couldn’t live without you. Bwaaack. Cluck, cluck, cluck

  22. On May 26th, 2009 at 7:39 pm Susan Says:

    Mimi, really?

  23. On May 26th, 2009 at 7:22 pm Mimi Says:

    Maybe telling you to become a chicken doctor was their subtle (?) way of tell you that you failed the test. That’s right, “You’ve failed at life and you may as well become a chicken doctor, because fucked if we know what a loser like you should do with yourself.”

    On the upside, I would have been told to GO AWAY, JUST PLEASE GO AWAY AND DIE SOMEWHERE QUIETLY, YOU”RE A LOST CASE. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Probably just a Toys R Us kid.

  24. On May 26th, 2009 at 8:12 pm a Says:

    I never took one of those tests – I just wanted to be a chemist. Well, actually, I wanted to be Sam on Quincy (probably before your time, but my first exposure to forensic science). So, I got a degree in Biochemistry, worked for a pharmaceutical company, and ended up in forensic science. Weird how life works sometimes…

    Vet school is supposed to be really hard to get into. That was almost a compliment. Brick and tile laying…not so much, but speaks to an ordered mind with artistic tendencies.

    I do not see microbiologist anywhere on that list.

  25. On May 26th, 2009 at 9:05 pm kalakly Says:

    I thought ‘brick layer’ was secret code for going poop? Is that a job now, cuz if it is, I could so totally do that!! And to get paid to boot, wowza, I might up my roughage intake right now!!

  26. On May 26th, 2009 at 9:09 pm docgrumbles Says:

    I am such a nerd, I want to know which test they gave and look up the psychometric properties of it.

    I took something like that in eighth grade. It told me to be a cartoonist. Yeah, THAT’s a realistic job option. There are classified ads all the time for doodlers!

  27. On May 26th, 2009 at 9:09 pm Sunny Says:

    AWESOME! I finally know who to go to when my chicken has a runny nose!

  28. On May 26th, 2009 at 9:11 pm Dora Says:

    If you become a chicken dr, do you get paid in eggs?

    I’ve actually done a bit of tile setting (not mosaic) volunteering w/Habitat for Humanity. Set some bathroom wall tile and set a bathroom floor, including cutting the tile to fit around the toilet. (Wet saws are cool!) When I was out of work after 9/11 (NYC’s economy was a wreck), I actually took the apprenticeship exam for the tile setters union. Didn’t make the cut, math skills not good enough.

  29. On May 26th, 2009 at 9:27 pm Mimi Says:

    I take back what I said. Apparently you aced the test with flying colors. From reading the other comments, I realize that being told to be a chicken doctor means you’re probably smart. Which means that I would have been told to be a… hermit?

  30. On May 26th, 2009 at 10:09 pm Kristen Says:

    Hahaha! Do you know what you want to do now? I don’t. I am trying to find a major… I want to study. something. I feel some teenage angst coming on.

  31. On May 27th, 2009 at 7:21 am deb Says:

    I think you should have pursued it. Then at least you may have been able to answer the question “why *DID* the chicken cross the road”. It’s never really been cleared up for me.
    And so I go on.

  32. On May 27th, 2009 at 6:32 am heather Says:

    OMG I LURVE CHICKENS! I want one for a pet, but my husband won’t let me because he SUCKS.

    My daughter took one of those tests, and up until now she thought she was going to be a Spanish teacher. Now she knows she must be a podiatrist.

  33. On May 27th, 2009 at 6:57 am kbrients Says:

    haha… yeah…. I geuss you cannot rely on a machine to tell you what your dreams are…

  34. On May 27th, 2009 at 7:07 am Lesha Says:

    So kind of like those machines that tell you your whole life based on your signature at the fair? Just a little more expensive and involved. And where does the “planning parties” come into play? Mosaic tile parties! Chicken parties? Woot!

    I took an entire class in college my first year called “How to succeed in College”. I failed it. No lie. Big fat F on my transcript. Luckily I actually did succeed in college. And I learned that even if you have the flu you still need to turn in all class work when the professor tells you too or you. will. fail.

  35. On May 27th, 2009 at 7:51 am Kate Says:

    Mine always told me I should work alone. I was in the “stay the hell away from others” category. Yet, here I sit in HR where people won;t leave me alone. It’s my passive-aggressive rebellion against bubble sheet tests.

  36. On May 27th, 2009 at 7:51 am Jacquie Says:

    I’m struggling to find a parallel between layer of stone and vet… If you were a vet, I’d beg you to look at my dog’s xrays (which I just published on my blog) and find a less horrific diagnosis. If she were a chicken, I’d have her for dinner.


  37. On May 27th, 2009 at 8:55 am honeywine Says:

    Chicken doctor? Did you know that some chickens wear feminine protection? lol I saw that on PBS (thanks for spending our government dollars wisely goverment people). Then again, if I were planning to have chickens in my house, I’d want it to wear a pad too.

  38. On May 27th, 2009 at 9:15 am Katie Says:

    No kidding – I had to take that test in high school and my number one job came back as…brick layer.
    Considering I was in a GATE class at the time, and all of my classmates ideal jobs came back as 10 different types of engineers…it was a tad embarrassing.

  39. On May 27th, 2009 at 10:03 am Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I didn’t even know there were vets who specifically worked with poultry. Huh, learn something new every day, I guess.

  40. On May 27th, 2009 at 10:28 am Coco Says:

    I didn’t even know there was a subset of veterinarians specifically for poultry.

    Seriously, you have to wonder who came up with this test. It sounds like the same group of kids who make up those “Which Character from ‘Friends’ Are You Most Like?” quizzes on Facebook and so forth. Where you take them and the responses are childishly phrased, thinly veiled insults of every character/celebrity/band option available except the creator’s favorite, and every 5th word is spelled incorrectly.

  41. On May 27th, 2009 at 11:31 am Daddy Files Says:

    A chicken doctor? That’s fowl.

    Sorry, I’ll go hit myself in the head with a brick now. Or maybe you can just hurl pieces of mosaic tile at me for punishment.

  42. On May 27th, 2009 at 11:45 am Nancy Says:

    Lmao at Coco’s comment. That was exactly what I was thinking. I vaguely remember taking one of those in 8th grade. Whatever the outcome was, it was wrong.

  43. On May 27th, 2009 at 11:13 am lady lemon Says:

    I didn’t even know that there were vets specifically for chickens. What an odd, odd line of work.

  44. On May 27th, 2009 at 11:31 am Hope Says:

    I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Take your time – there’s still plenty of time for you to decide when your youngest starts high school.
    BTW – what’s up with the pop up ad? I saw it yesterday, I ignored it and it went away. Today, I figued that I could make it go away permanently by taking the survey. So, I clicked on it, and it went away – for today, it will probably be back tomorrow.

  45. On May 27th, 2009 at 12:55 pm Sarah Says:

    Those tests suck. In both a hard and yet pointless manner.

    And I had no idea there was such a thing as a Chicken Doctor. You could’ve totally explained to just what one means when one says “That’s fucked up like a chicken!”

  46. On May 27th, 2009 at 2:09 pm mumma boo Says:

    Apparently the idiot administering the test didn’t give you the results key. “Chicken doctor” is code for “heiress”. “Brick layer” is code for “celebutante”. “Mosaic tile setter” is code for “being fabulously wealthy and doing whatever the f*&k you want because that can’t be a real job”. I’d sue the testing company. 😉

  47. On May 27th, 2009 at 6:03 pm jessiee Says:

    OMG, the responses were as good as the post.

  48. On May 28th, 2009 at 7:14 am Badass Geek Says:

    *puts on chicken costume*

  49. On May 28th, 2009 at 8:37 am Kendra Says:

    Wow, I would love to take that test. I took all the psychological tests, even worked my way all the way through a copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” And all I got out of it was a list of traits (you’re great at starting projects but need help with completing them, you’re creative and tend to be a bit of a perfectionist), but was then instructed to go out and find the career that they matched. Good lord, I already knew that about myself! Did they think that they giant pile of half-finished projects meant nothing to me? I just wanted someone to tell me what a person with a giant pile of half-finished projects would be good at! Stupid tests, leaving me to do all the work even after I clearly instructed the test to tell me what to do with my life.

    So now I do day care. I get to work at home with my kids, I get to make up little crafts that only take half an hour to complete, and when the house is a pig sty, I can blame all the kids. I haven’t decided yet whether it’s what I’m going to DO with my life, but it works for what I’m doing for now. And I like it that, at 33, I’m okay with not knowing what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.

  50. On May 28th, 2009 at 12:50 pm lola Says:

    What kind of dumbass test is that?

  51. On May 29th, 2009 at 7:16 pm Lynanne Says:

    We took some dumb test in jr high where we had to stick a long ass needle through a deck of cards based on answers to questions (this was the pre-computer days). When I got done, two cards remained in the deck (I never claimed to be playing with a full deck to begin with – hah!) My chosen careers? Brick Layer (I kid you not) and Actress. Suffice it to say that I chose neither.

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