Tuesday, 24 April 2007

When I Grow Up

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” There were many times in my life when that was a burning question. I frequently fantasised about that longed-for day when I could emerge from the grey torpor of school and the parental chrysalis, and spread my wings into the technicolour freedom promised by the world of work.

However, at no point in my varied working life have I ever been an air hostess, hairdresser, doctor (that one was to please my Mum), actress, ballerina, or any of the myriad exciting careers that were my childhood ambitions. Indeed the list of tedious jobs that actually have filled my adult life would have made my childhood self either laugh, or refuse to go on, due to the obvious dullness of it all.

I have always envied people who have had the certainty of knowing exactly what it is they want to do with their lives from a very young age, and then actually doing it. It seems to show an admirable sense of purpose. I wonder how many teachers, firemen and nurses are fulfilling their childhood dreams? Probably a lot more than the accountants and lawyers, although I daresay the latter are more likely to fulfil their childhood dreams of owning a Ferrari.

One of my kids wants to drive their own ice cream van, and I can see why that would appeal. Another wants to be a taxi driver, but that’s probably because he thinks it’s what I already do, and he rather likes the idea of a family business. It seems that no-one wants to be a policeman any more (too dangerous), or soldier (likewise, unless you want a book deal), or cowboy (condemned for harassing the indigenous population). The power of television in our lives has meant that the ‘glamorous’ jobs from a child’s point of view are presenting programmes, playing football, or singing.

Actually, I ought to confess that the one childhood ambition I have never been able to shake off is to be a singer, even though, like most people, I have absolutely no talent for it.

I am humming now, as I sip this glass of crisp Tesco Finest Chablis from the stockpile (now at £5.49 from £7.99 until 15/05 – hurry Dulwich Mum!). No doubt, when I open the fridge door for a refill, there will be enough of a spotlight to justify me bursting fully into song.


mutterings and meanderings said...

It's never too late!

I wanted to be a jockey, a vet (I'm bad at science unfortunately), a researcher for historical TV shows, Mrs David Bowie/Johnny Depp, then settled on journalist and would still like to be an author!

dulwichmum said...

Darling Drunk Mummy,

It really is never too late! Even if you think you are too busy now or simply can not be bothered, why not just tell the children you were a famous singer in the 80's?

Those two girls in The Human League wore far too much make-up then to be recognised now! Just tell the children it was you.

Satisfaction all around!!!

I am drinking part of my garage stockpile while I type! Tesco Finest Chablis, really is a steal!

The Grocer said...

We are looking for an apprentice ice cream seller for the summer is your child old enough to be put to work yet and how much would you charge?

Anonymous said...

I'm reverse aging!

When I was little I wanted to be a lawyer (yes, very sad I know). Then I wanted to be a writer - alas, no one else does!

Now, like Rilly's daughter I just want to be a Princess. Much less complicated!

rilly super said...

dulwichmum, wise advice as ever. when Drunkmummy's children ask her how she met Mr Drunkmummy she must immediately burst into 'I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true..'

Following the 'maria' and 'joseph' shows the next Lloyd webber talent search is sure to come along soon and give you your chance of fame drunkmummy. My money's on Starlight Express so get your skates on and phone for an application stright away.

East of Dulwich said...

I just want to put on record that I am still a little in love with one of the two girls from the Human League and if she would like to get in touch ...damn, I'm married.

But as the Zimmers have conclusively proved, it's never too late to start as singing career

( If you've missed this...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqfFrCUrEbY )

Stay at home dad said...

The image of Drunk Mummy on stage clutching a microphone and a bottle of Tesco Finest Chablis is irresistible!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

When I was growing up I wanted to be, in no particular order, Daisy Duke, a champion race horse owner, a boat driver (speed boats clearly), campsite owner (see where I spent my childhood), police woman and yes.....a singer thanks to Olivia Newton John in Grease. How many evenings did I stand in front of my mirror clutching a hairbrush and singing Hopelessly Devoted To You?

The closest I've got to being a singer is on drunken karaoke nights out. I have to get so drunk (not necessarily on Chablis)that I truly believe I am the best singer in the world. I do a bit of Kylie, a bit of early Madonna and - on one momentous occasion - I went for Shania Twain. If she could have heard me caterwauling (as my loving friends describe my singing voice), she'd have gone for me too.

debio said...

I wanted to be a lawyer - heaven help me, what could I have been thinking?

What I didn't want to be was a mother - absolutely adamant that I wasn't to have any children.

I now count my daughter as my greatest achievement - although the teen years are testing my conclusion somewhat!

Drunk Mummy said...

M&M - at least you are still doing horsey/animal/writing sort of things. Not so sure about the Mrs David Bowie or Johnny Depp thing - you are obviously a sucker for a sharp pair of cheekbones.

Dulwich Mum and Rilly - one of my basic childrearing tenets is to lie as much as possible to my kids, and I like the Human League connection. However, since I know all the Abba songs (and a few of the dance routines) I might try and convince them I was Agnetha (although they are more likely to believe I was Bjorn). Maybe I should try and audition for "Mamma Mia".

Grocer - she would settle for payment in ice cream, but I fear she would bankrupt you by September.

Spymum - Princess seems like an admirable career choice (let me know if there are any summer vacancies for that)

Hello East of Dulwich!
The Zimmers have given me hope.
I believe Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall are still touring with The Human League, even though they are in their mid-forties and married with kids. How about that for one-upmanship at the school gates!

SAHD - My party piece is "Dancing Queen", but I could never make a fool of myself - nature beat me to it.

Nunhead Mum of One - you are clearly a woman of many talents, or at least ambitions. Btw doesn't everybody still sing into their hairbrush?

debio - if your daughter gives you any trouble, tell her you are going to run away and start touring with The Human League.

Beta Mum said...

I wanted to be Julie Andrews. Sadly that job was already taken by someone who could actually sing.
Since an operation to remove nodules on her vocal cords left scar damage, there's been no more singing for Julie.
So now's my chance...