If you are reading this, chances are good that you already know who I am (more or less). However, in the event that Oprah someday finds her way to my blog or maybe even Augusten Burroughs or some equally awe-inspiring and influential individual, I thought I would provide a little introduction, something to describe who I am and why I am writing.
I am, among other things, a mom, and I don’t have paid employment, which I suppose makes me a stay-at-home mom as well as a housewife. But I am not fond of either title so I avoid describing myself in such ways. I like to think of myself instead as someone who is doing a bit of her own thing, while remaining available as a go-to gal for many people. I’m pretty sure no one else would describe me this way, but it’s true. I’m here for my daughter, my dog, my husband, my mom, my sisters, my daughter’s elementary school, my friends. I’m too busy helping out and taking care of people to do anything much different for now.
A long time ago, I had aspirations of fame and fortune. Ok, possibly that dream was more about what I hoped to look like someday rather than what I truly wanted to “be.” When I was 18 I went to a graduation party thrown by a grade-school friend, a reunion of our childhood soccer team. My friend’s mom asked us several questions about what we thought our future lives would look like and she saved our written answers, promising to have a second reunion in 20 years where we would look at these 18-year old hopes and dreams and see how close we came to those predictions. My ambition at the time was based entirely on a very short-lived (and very lame) television show called Jack and Mike about a glamorous and successful journalist played by Shelley Hack (remember Shelley Hack? She was one of the late Angels, as in Charlie’s, a somewhat forgettable replacement for Kate Jackson’s Sabrina, the smart angel, in case that helps). All I really remember about the show was that she was a newspaper reporter, she was both beautiful and intelligent, and she drove a spiffy red car. Yes, I thought, that’s exactly what I want to be when I grow up.
I went off to college planning to be an English major, thought I’d make my way into journalism, write, garner much success and all the while I would maintain the dye job on my blonde hair and also work on buying that sporty red car that would lend me the added sexy flair I needed to convey my beauty and success to the world. Needless to say, plans changed. I abandoned English after my first intro course where we had to analyze a lot of poems and everyone found symbols of Christ whereas I just assumed the poem was truly just about the beach or a pretty flower. I have never worked as a writer but instead spent many years in social service jobs (see? the helper, the caretaker… it’s my gig). I do have blonde hair, only because it cleverly disguises the ever-multiplying gray hairs. But I am definitely not movie-star glamorous and though I briefly drove a used red Toyota Tercel (ever heard it called the turd-cell?) for a few years in the late 1990s, I do not own a red car and I’m pretty sure the sight of me in my blue Subaru Forrester does not bring men to their knees when I speed away. So… you know, the Shelley Hack thing, it didn’t pan out.
My senior year of college, when asked what I wanted to do after school, I simplified my answer to this: “I don’t know. I just want to be happy.” I’m still hard at work on this dream but so far I think I’m on the right track.