Trashed aspirations

It will be so much more fun to play the clip while you read the post.

All kids dream of what they want to be. The great thing about these dreams is that they don’t have to be realistic. Some want to be president or an astronaut or a garbage collector. If they are smart, they’ll be a rich plumber! Not me.

I didn’t want to be a teacher or a nurse (both big female professions when I was growing up). Body fluids (even my own) make me barfy and naughty kids would make me naughty.

For a short while (very short) when I was ten I wanted to be a missionary nun until I heard about the bugs, poor sanitary conditions and heat. Actually it was because of the ugly shoes. No way I was going to wear those old ladies shoes. Someone else would have to save those souls.

Don’t be fooled though. I had dreams. Big dreams. Gigantic dreams.

I wanted to be a rock star.

Big money! Adoring fans! Fabulous clothes! These are the things dreams are made of.

This is no little thing. First off, women weren’t rock stars when I was young. Janis Joplin and Joan Jett were among the first to break that glass ceiling. There were other female singers but I wanted to be a jiving, hot rock star. You know, like Mick Jagger or John Lennon (although I’d prefer to be alive.)

The other major problem was that I couldn’t sing on key. If the music was loud enough would it matter? Maybe in the audition? Could I fake it? (Women are good at faking it.)

When I was in my twenties, I had a good friend named Phyllis. She was pretty cool. Her clothes were cutting edge stuff and she had wonderful hair that she could wear in all the latest styles. If she wasn’t my bestie, I would hate her.

We loved to dance and would hit the night spots that had bands. She loved Led Zeppelin and I loved Credence Clearwater.

We would boogie the night away and then get up the next morning and go to work. (Note to self: How did I do that when I barely make the 11 o’clock news now?)

One day we were in a diner talking about our career aspirations (she wanted to be a rock star too!) and a guy overhead us. He was the leader of a very popular local band and looking for a vocalist. He would consider two women. He gave us his business card and said to call for an audition.

We were ecstatic beyond belief.

We started practicing our songs at her apartment. Damn near got her thrown out. We did our dance moves. Arms moved in unison. We were way cool.

In a huge moment of stupidity (or lucidity) I told one of our other friends – someone much more grounded in reality than we were. (I know it’s hard to believe I had any friends grounded in reality. I tried to avoid them.)

She didn’t laugh. She didn’t even crack a smile. She suggested we get a cheap full length mirror and watch ourselves. Maybe record ourselves too. Just to be sure we were in sync with our moves. Be sure we had our groove on. See how our voices sounded together.

What a glorious idea!

We put on our tied-dyed t-shirts and raggedy jeans with floppy sandals. Phyllis wore a beaded headband (didn’t I tell you she could wear anything in her hair and look fabulous?).

We cranked up the music. Tuned up our voices and….and….and….

Holy cow! Who were those two dorks in the mirror? What was that screechy sound? Where were the cool chicks?

That, my friends, was the end of my days as a rock star.

So what did you really want to be when you grew up?

31 thoughts on “Trashed aspirations

  1. I love that. And naughty kids would make you naughty. LOL I hope they would.
    I always wanted to be a doctor. Boring Huh. I would line my dolls and stuffed things up in a make shift waiting room ( funny, I was just talking with my brother who reminded me of this) and call them in. I would cut them open and put them back together again. I’m not so sure my bedside manner was up to par. I hope it’s better now. I wanted to write as well, but the desire for medicine was greater and I think I always shall be.


    • That is so funny. When I was a kid, my niece and I would play teacher. I was a nun teacher and she was the student. Since I was a few years ahead of her I could teach her something. My mother always got a kick out of the nun costume I wore.


  2. You had a good friend there, Kate! What a wise person to so gently rip the rug right out from under your glorious dream! haha! What fun you must have had imagining yourself a rock star! I can see the tie dye and the whole get-up! I wanted to be an attorney, and dropped out of school to get married. I went back to school, but never went to law school. My son did, and I feel good about that. 🙂 I did make absolutely sure my kids knew there was no dropping out of school to get married. LOL!


    • That was good encouragement for your kids although I think it’s easier to be married and go to school these days. The baby machine doesn’t usually start right after the ceremony.


  3. Hahaha – I wanted to be a rock star as well! Funny how dreams got dashed when you realized that talent was required – too bad we’re not kids now, as it no longer seems to be so… =)


  4. I loved this post, Kate.

    I wanted to be a rock star. I taught myself the guitar and had a few gigs ~ even got free passage on a tour boat in St. Thomas for serenading the tourists on board. I sang in weddings and the occasional bar. I wrote songs.

    I also wanted to be an attorney. On Sunday night, I watched Perry Mason with my parents while eating homemade pizza. And being an attorney was grand. But 13 years (plus 3 in law school) was plenty.

    I also wanted to paint, write, dance, cook. But I didn’t dream about starting a blog until much later in life. After Al Gore invented the internet. 😉


  5. I dreamed of being a trick rope rider (think bespangled gymnast on horseback who does flips and dips off the galloping horse — saw one at a rodeo once and was SURE I could do that) until I could barely pass tumbling class. *Sigh*

    I still dream of running a B&B somewhere quaint, pecking away at my novel at night (the one I haven’t started) and marrying Tom Selleck.

    🙂 MJ


  6. Tinkerbelle, Annie Oakley, married to a very rich man. None of them were very realistic…I’ve been a bit ditzy all my life. If I could start over I would be…ready? a radiologist. Really!


  7. I knew I wanted to go into business to be just like my Dad. Then as I worked my way up the ladder managing money and people and projects and the millions of other things I became responsible for…my body decided “Holy Crap” this was stressful and said we’re not gonna take it anymore.


    • Sometimes you have to try something to figure out that it’s not for you. I was lucky in that my first real job was with a large corporation where you could move around and try different things.


  8. I wanted to be an archaeologist, then I wanted to work with Jane Goodall, then I just wanted to be a famous scientist. Then I wanted to teach microbiology. I was a medical technologist for several years and because we had a training program I did teach Med Tech students and worked in the microbiology department. I didn’t discover anything though.


  9. My big dream was to be an accomplished writer. Then I sat in sat in front of a computer and saw my reflection in the glass of the monitor, and said, “Who is that dork sitting at the computer pretending like they have a clue?”.

    You can NEVER EVER go wrong with Janis Joplin. Thanks for the rock-n-roll reminder.


  10. I too wanted to be a rock star. Or an actress. Anything that involved me on a stage in front of adoring fans. I cannot sing at all, I sound like a cat in heat. But we can dream, right? I love Janis Joplin and Joan Jett, and don’t forget that Ann and Nancy Wilson came along too. Ann even had the good manners to gain weight when she got old(er) just like I did. Sigh..


  11. Certainly not a rock star. I had a boyfriend who threatened to start a band called FransI And The No-Tones. That should tell you everything you need to know 🙂


  12. Funny story. I am impressed that you were so cutting edge that you wanted to be a rock star. Very forward thinking.

    You asked: So what did you really want to be when you grew up?
    My standard answer back then was: Happy. Still haven’t figured out a better answer to that question! 😉


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