I wanted to be the lead singer in a rock’n’roll band called the Rootin’ Shootin’ Tootets. I would also play tambourine, and I had already written our theme song. I envisioned opening my mouth and sounding just like Aretha Franklin. We would tour the country, and at end of each show, I would sit on a high stool in a diner and have a large hot chocolate with whipped cream. We would also win lots of awards, and because I was lead singer, I would have to make my way to the podium in a hot pink silk evening gown when I would clutch the golden statue or plague to my chest and thank everyone, especially the little people.
I also planned to be a fashion designer, which would be my day job. I would live in New York City of course and spend my days in a very high-floored studio with big windows facing the Empire State Building. My specialty was evening gowns in jewel tones, and I drew like a maniac.
My back-up careers were: 1) the female version of Peter Max (very big during my childhood), 2) a potato farmer, 3) a writer of some kind of mystery/Jewish-Nancy-Drew-type novels, 4) a pastry chef who mainly composed miniature eclairs and Napoleons, 5) a famous pianist, 6) a rabbi who water-skied on her day off, 7) a travel photographer, and 8) a cat wrangler. I absolutely didn’t want to be a stewardess, nurse or secretary (the main careers, along with teacher, pushed for women back then).
When I was 15, my parents took me for extensive tests to determine what I should be, and seriously, here were the top three choices: 1) singer, 2) writer, and 3) politician. In a sense, I feel like I have become all three although I don’t carry a tune particularly well. As for fashion design, a beautiful dress still turns my head, and hey, there’s still time.