As a kid, I always imagined that I would grow up to be rich and famous. I figured I would most likely end up as a rock star, and I probably would have been a kick-ass rock star if I could actually sing well. Or play an intrument. Or dance. Or bare my midriff. (I could have bared a nice midriff before I had a baby, but now after two, my midriff looks frighteningly like Ryan’s grandma’s neck.)
I was about eleven when I figured I would start as a backup singer for the Indigo Girls, and then work my way up from there. Then I found out they were gay, which is fine, but it kind of killed the fantasy of hanging out with all the groupies after the show.
Slowly, the idea began to fade. Probably around the time I started desiring a paycheck, I hung up my non-existent microphone and spandex and sold books at an LDS bookstore. Which is, like, a really, really, really good place to start in rock & roll.
It was painful to realize that I didn’t have a fantastic singing voice. The point was driven home once when Christian was under a year old and covered my mouth when I was singing to him, just to muffle the noise. I thought he was just playing, so I started singing again. He put both hands on my mouth and looked at me in all seriousness and said, “No. Really. You suck.” Or something like that.
I didn’t know I was a crappy dancer until my mom stumbled on some old pictures from my childhood dance recitals. Looking at them as an adult, it was all too clear–I was either a terrible dancer, or completely drunk during all of my performances. Since the only alchoholic item in our house was vanilla extract, I’m pretty sure it was the former.
I tried to play an instrument. I took piano lessons for a while, but my eagerness to be able to play Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” when I was seven kept me from taking the tiny, row-row-row-your-boat steps to actually learning how to read music. I dropped out.
So, really all I had going for me was the midriff, which I wasn’t allowed to bare anyway.
These were the days before Ashlee Simpson, and had I known that you don’t actually have to be able to sing or dance or play an instrument to become a famous rock star, things could have turned out dramatically different.
But, alas, things are what they are. I can’t say that I’m too disappointed. I still sing backup to the Indigo Girls in the car when I’m all alone. Max thinks I’m a kick-ass dancer, and I can play “Heart and Soul” on the piano like nobody’s business. (I’m available for Stake Dances and Bar Mitzvahs, by the way.)
So, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?