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Sunday, August 7, 2011

When I Grow Up, by Ashton. Not inspired by the PCD song.

With the big two-five approaching next month, I’ve been doing some soul searching and deep thinking. The main question looming in my mind: how do you know when you have grown up? When you have children? When you check, and double check, and triple check, and re-wet your contacts, and those few hairs really ARE grey? The first time you get Botox? I asked Brian this the other night and he had no answer for me. This could be because he was trying to sleep, but it’s an urgent issue in my mind…something like a slideshow of my life with Britney’s “Not a Girl, Not yet a Woman” in the background. I decided that this milestone was predetermined at a young age when you answered the elementary school question. You know,“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, when you get to that career, I guess you have grown up.
But what if you never make it to that career? If you are like me, you changed your mind several times along the way.

My elementary school aspirations, for your enjoyment.
#1.
pic

From the very beginning, I dreamt of being a writer, but it took a turn for the worst in second grade. I decided to showcase this interest when we were individually assigned to write a story, and then put it into a self-made book. Not only were we authors of the book, but we illustrated it as well. I was pretty enthusiastic about the whole project, so I took it very seriously and invested a good amount of time and Chuck E. Cheese stickers. The majority of my illustrations were cut outs from magazines and stickers from my prized sticker collection, but it was a small sacrifice for my masterpiece. From my experience reading The Babysitter’s Club, I was quick to realize I needed an “about the author” page, so I stapled in an extra page adorned with Lisa Frank unicorns and filled it in accordingly with all the details my fans needed to know for my fan club: favorite color was blue, favorite food was spaghetti, inspired to write by my cat. Cool.

So, I turned it in and was HORRIFIED to find out my teacher not only loved it, but she showed it to the principal! Let me clarify one issue. The social ranking of second grade is largely determined on the playground; however, classroom activities can also affect the social standings. A student wants to do well in school, but never wants singled-out attention from the teacher. A safe way to achieve this posh status was to buy an extremely large box of crayons-Crayola, not RoseArt. Unfortunately, only Philip London’s mom bought him the coveted box, so the rest of us were on our own. I was so embarrassed by Mrs. Romero’s praise that I never wanted to write for the rest of the year. I eventually got over the incident, and continued to succeed during the descriptive writing unit in third grade by using uncommon adjectives. And, interestingly enough, I was also witness to Philip London’s sudden demise the next year when he got sick in class. How the tables had turned.


#2.pic

My direction veered slightly to wanting to become a teacher. I insisted Colby play school with me, and being the kind, unsuspecting brother he was, he’d oblige and become prisoner to my pink and white striped bedroom. I’d pull out my box labeled “paraphernalia,” and whip out some worksheets that I’d saved from third grade for such an occasion. He was awarded with “You did it!” stars from my sticker collection, as well as smiley faces, check marks, and stars all over his paper. Colby was not dismissed for recess until he had completed the worksheets with Jellybean and Gingerbread, his mute stuffed bunny peers. He’d go along with it until I got my fix of writing spelling words on my mini chalkboard, or until he’d start screaming to be freed…whichever came first.


#3.


My first haircut client was Barbie’s friend Midge, who regrettably was decapitated in the process. RIP Wedding Party Midge. Baywatch Barbie also received a complimentary service that started with a trim and ended up looking like a Troll/Barbie hybrid. Her head remained intact, only to be later lost during a Free Willy reenactment in the bathtub. This was unfortunate considering Barbie heads could never be replaced without their heads spinning around maniacally on their neck, which is a bone I have to pick with Mattel. Replaceable heads, IS THAT SO HARD? Anyway, RIP Baywatch Barbie.



pic

Colby must have been my muse, because in addition to being my first student, he was also my first LIVE haircut client. I even performed my artistic service free of cost per his silence in the process. I did a nice job generously removing a large chunk of us bowl cut right before a family vacation, just removing some weight and breaking up the strong line. As I ate my grandma’s chicken noodle soup that evening, my mom accused me of the creative hair-do where I thought praise was deserved. At least he still had his head. After the initial devastation of my mom’s disappoint, I blew on my soup nonchalantly and took comfort in knowing true artists never received credit until they were long gone.


Now that I’ve done two of the three “When I Grow Up”s, I guess that’s it. I’ve grown up. Maybe I should have been an astronaut hopeful so my youth could have lasted a little longer. Did you end up in the career you’d dreamt of?

3 comments:

Rachel Sharp said...

Every time I go to Disneyland and go on Space Mountain I am convinced I should have been an astronaut, despite my lack of math and science skills. I feel your pain...

Courtney and Landon Fowler said...

You my sister are an amazing writer!!!!! And I think you'll stay forever young due to your undying love for "the happiest place on earth". I lost my youth many years ago when Disneyland stopped being appealing haha don't hate me. Love and miss you guy! Come visit us!

KimmyJ said...

We truly are friends. I keep telling everyone that on my 25th birthday it might be time to go in for my first botox injection. (kidding of course!)