Think of all of the people that graduate from high school and head off to college taking courses for a degree that they’re never going to use. I have so many friends that went to school for one thing and ended up on a radically different career path. In fact, I’m not sure many people graduate from high school and head off to college knowing exactly what they want to do. In fact, I think it’s probably the norm to switch your major a few times before you graduate.
But me– I’m not the norm! From the time I was a pre-teen watching the popular sitcom Who’s The Boss, I knew who and what I was going to be when I grew up. I was going to be Angela Bower. Advertising Executive, mom and bread winner, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.
I took as many business courses as I could, joined the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) in high school and even graduated from college with a marketing degree. To top it off my first job was in the marketing department at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Not too shabby for a recent college grad! Granted, I was the Administrative Assistant, but still . . . I was the Assistant for the Sales/Marketing Director, so technically I was doing what I went to school for. I just had to climb the corporate ladder, which I was very willing to do.
I remember walking through “the big city” every morning and checking out my reflection in the shiny buildings. I was so proud of that reflection. The trendy suite, the black stockings, the high heels, the finely manicured nails, the brief case. There I was…. Angela Bower!
Fast forward 18 years later. The 21 year old me might not be too impressed. I’m sitting at my desk, which is not quite the corner office that Angela Bower had or even as nice as my first cubicle. It’s more like a very long countertop with four computer stations. I’m the lucky one that gets to sit at the very end, so the left side of my body is flush up against the wall. At least I have a head rest, when I’m tired. The young executive in me is not impressed at all.
She is also surprised at how I arrived to work. No train commute into the big city, but instead a 45 minute drive in an old, disgusting, crumb filled, lollipop stuck, finger printed window, no frills, cloth interior, stained up mini van. And the destination? Not an advertising agency or a corporate office, but an animal hospital? Wow – far cry from the account executive driving her jaguar to her own agency. Where did I go wrong? And look at that outfit! She’s wearing those old-lady Naturalizer slip on shoes. What happened to the heels? Is she wearing her son’s socks with those shoes? They have skulls and cross bones on them! Look at that sweater! It is SO six years ago!
If the 21 year old me looks close enough she can see toothpaste and deodorant marks on the long sleeve t-shirt under my sweater. And the manicure? What happened to our salon manicured nails? Are they store bought press on nails? How embarrassing! This is like Ebenezer Scrooge’s The Ghost of Christmas Future. This is a nightmare! I had no idea it would be this bad! What’s that sound? Oh, her phone is ringing. Well, it is now the year 2014, so I’m excited to see how far technology has come. Wait, is that a FLIP phone? You have got to be kidding me! I’m pretty sure in the year 2014, they have phones with the internet, email, and video cameras – and this is what we have? We really went wrong somewhere.
The BMVM (Before Mini Van Me) answers the phone. It’s the school nurse calling because our son came to school with a cardboard super hero power source stuck to his head. When the teacher asked him to remove it, some of his skin came off with the circle – hence the phone call from the nurse. As the nurse inquires about the circle and how/why it was stuck to his forehead, the 30 something me just smiles and says, “As long as the kids get to school fed, dressed and on time – we don’t really ask questions.” Odd response.
Rewind a few hours, BMVM is watching the morning routine. Wow! I guess that explains the toothpaste and deodorant. Holy cow, that’s a lot of kids. I was supposed to have two children. One boy. One girl. This was NOT in the plan. There’s so much yelling and chaos. Did those kids pick out those outfits themselves? What is she doing now? Is that a double sided foam sticker? Why is she putting it on that circle? Isn’t there enough chaos in this house, now she’s doing crafts! Wait a second . . . . that’s not a craft. Do you mean to tell me that she – no, I – put that thing on his head and sent him off to school like that? No way! I would NEVER send my child to school like that! That is so embarrassing!
Fast forward a few hours, it’s dinner time. Almost quiet. BMVM is very impressed. We actually cooked dinner – and it’s not macaroni and cheese. We’ve come so far! She’s checking out all the kids….. they are very cute (even if there are a lot). The food is gently placed on the table, drinks are poured into those little plastic cups with the built in straws and we all get ready to eat. BMVM looks around. We grab the hand of our best friend, and smile at each other. One of kids raises their hand with excitement and proceeds to give thanks to God for this beautiful day, this meal that He has provided and for their family. Everyone smiles and says AMEN.
I guess we didn’t do so bad after all.