Thursday, October 1, 2009

Childhood Dreams


Yeah, so I know most little girls dream of things like becoming an actress, or an artist, or the president or whatever.  But when I was little, my dreams were different.  I guess this should come as no surprise, considering my childhood swoonhearts were Burl Ives and the judge on the old Perry Mason shows (one of which I loved because he had more hair up his nose than he had on his head).  I dreamt of being a school teacher...That's not so odd, you say.  I also dreamt of being a secretary.  The school teacher fantasy I blame on my insane hunger to learn, and on the fact that I was secretly a bit bossy ('A bit' by my measurements only.  Other people...sisters, for example, might choose terms like, 'quite bossy' or 'holy terror').  As for wanting to be a secretary, I think it's because one summer vacation after 2nd or 3rd grade, I discovered an antique typewriter inherited by my mom.  That typewriter and I lived at my one-armed, wooden school desk for the entire summer, plunking out reports from encyclopedia articles that I read for fun.  I remember handing over my complete volume of reports on all 50 states to my at-a-loss-for-words mom.  She probably asked me if it was for school, and I probably said No, it's for fun!, and it was probably after that summer that I was moved to a smaller school with a slightly smaller social pool in which to inevitably be devoured.  Another reason for my penchant for all things secretarial was perhaps the viewing of one too many black-and-white movies in which somebody's girl Friday wore smart-looking pencil skirts, cardigans and horn-rimmed glasses (to disguise how beautiful she was, of course...that is, until the last act when she removed her glasses and promptly eloped with her handsome boss).

These dreams drifted a little over time (although my fashion sense remains very much black-and-white film secretary), but there was one odd childhood dream which lasted me through adulthood.  For some peculiar reason, I always wanted to be the person on the other side of the glass in a retail store's window display...Setting the display up, or maybe just sitting there waiting to see if anyone would notice my presence.  I have multiple theories on the existence of this fantasy:  Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Tyler Moore's window-dressing best friend...the scene with Bob Hope and the mannequin in Lemon Drop Kid...the time my oldest sister modeled a snowsuit (or was it a snowmobile?) at a department store in the mall and no one in my family recognized her...

Anyway, the point of this long-winded story is that last week, I finally achieved a childhood dream.  I had a temporary job setting up a brand new store downtown.  And guess what I got to do?  That's right!  I got to cozily wedge myself in between the display and the window and set-up/straighten/clean away.  I even smiled at a stranger passing by and had a conversation with my handsome husband through the glass. 

There are those childhood dreams, I am told, that once fulfilled are quickly dismissed as being not nearly as cool as you thought they would be.  This is not one of them...or else...I'm just a contented soul.  Judging from the look of glee on my face at 4 or 5 years old (see above), maybe I was just made to unwrap furniture.

2 comments:

katieoz said...

i always had a little dream to be the voice on a cartoon. Also, to be in a cheesy infomercial or horrible commercial for hemorrhoids or something. It's just so funny to me I can't help but want to do it.

christyjean said...

The things we learn reading blogs! I love it!