~ The Working Years, a Prologue ~
The first 24 years of my life were spent in la-la dreamland…
Funny enough, my earliest aspiration was to be a writer. I even wrote books for fun at home. As soon as I locate my old box of goodies, I’ll scan and share my favorite, titled, You can’t always get what you want.
I soon abandoned that plan and decided the course for me was to marry a rich old man. I wanted to have a whole bunch of kids with him, and then he would die and I could have the money and the kids to myself. (Sidenote: what kind of freakish little girl dreams of such things?!)
I got over that “dream”, thank God, and came a little closer to reality, deciding that all I wanted in the entire world was to work at Wal-Mart, which was, in my mind, a veritable wonderland.
If you’ll notice, I never wanted to be what the other kids wanted to be, a teacher, a zookeeper, a paleontologist or a doctor. My goals were always a bit…off.
Sometime around the 4th grade, I decided that I just wanted to marry a pastor and be a “pastor’s wife.” For a living. This lofty aspiration actually lasted for a few years until I started hearing about how hard this job was and how small were the houses and how hand-me-down was the clothing. It didn’t take long for me to wipe my hands of that dream and run as fast and as hard as I could…which apparently isn’t very fast. I’m big-boned.
And then there were those glorious high school years of absolute self-absorption where I went to and fro from wanting to be a princess (really, I thought there might be a chance of meeting Prince William…really), an advertising executive, a pageant queen, or a famous singer. Or a model. OH, I’m cringing over here! Such lofty dreams, and such self-confidence. Gag!
But it only took a sobering couple of weeks at the University of Oklahoma to realize how average I was in most areas – the big fish in the little pond of small-town Oklahoma was now a little tiny perch in a sea of beauty, talent, prestige and academia. I still felt pretty enough, but knew I could never be a model, I felt that I could continue to sing in church but knew I would never get signed to a record label (I mean, come on, my one performance “move” was to stand still and grip a microphone!), I learned from my thousands of attempts to get a letter from Justin Timberlake that Prince William wasn’t EVER going to find me, and the OU business school was teeming with motivated and brilliant students, making the fast-paced advertising world seem a race I wasn’t fit for running. And so I was left with a major in Letters – a conglomeration of History, Philosophy, Literature and Language – and a minor in Ancient Greek, meaning more of the same…I had spent four years in college and thousands of my parents dollars and I still didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Sorry Mom and Dad…)
Graduation came and the last of my hopes and dreams of fame and fortune floated easily away…and there in the clearing was the red-haired boy who had stolen my heart four years earlier. And he was holding a ring. (and a pair of shoes ~ another story for another day). I said “Yes!” and all of a sudden I didn’t have or even want to “be” anything but…Mrs. Gore!
And now I am living a weird and unsettling combination of all of my adolescent dreams: I’m writing a blog, married to an old 30-year old pastor who has given me lots of children, I nearly live at Wal-Mart, I am not the princess, but the QUEEN of my home, I get to sing at all the church’s funerals, and instead of coming up with catchy advertising jingles, I write facebook statuses that lots of people “like.” Everything but the modeling and the pageants gigged out (but, hey, there’s still time, right?)….
So my dreams have, in a sense, come true! The pay is non-existent, the retirement is non-existent, but the benefits? Out of this world.
But I will say this…if Chris Gore dies and leaves me alone with all these kids and no money…well, I don’t know if I would be singing at his funeral.