working girl

It’s fun to entertain the notion that I was born to relax or talk about TV because I excel at those things, but I think I’ve always known I was supposed to grow up and get to work. When I was digging through my old stuff at my parents’ house, I found this sign:

Colleen’s Fall Fashion Show

Thursday August 30, 1984

There will be 12 fashions

Tickets available in Colleen’s bedroom

25¢a ticket

I know I’m the one who wrote it, but I love it. I like to picture freckled little 10-year-old Colleen earnestly creating 12 fashions, and making this sign, and then going ahead and charging mom and dad a quarter….each (sorry, no friends and family discount). Think back to your little kid self, and the stuff you did. You were figuring it out, shaping yourself for what was to come. There we were, the kiddo versions of us, trying out all kinds of careers, just by playing. Sure, you may not have played “analyst” or “consultant” but that’s ok… you might have if you knew those jobs existed and how glamorous they would turn out to be.

I always had a different imaginary job to help support five imaginary babies, Strawberry Shortcake, and an imaginary orange cat. I also had to supplement my imaginary husband’s postal service salary so we could make the payments on the two-story RV with the indoor pool.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Obviously my first choice was Pastor’s Wife (followed by mail carrier’s wife) and Director of Connecting Ministries at a thriving and fantastic Presbyterian Church. But after that, the list was long. It went something like this chronologically:

 Nurse (that lasted until age 6 when I cut my hand and nearly passed out)

 Bank Teller




 Private Detective and partner to Remington Steele

 Professional Tennis Player

Drummer for The Go-Go’s

 Architect (until I found out how much math was involved)

Interior Designer

Apparently… fashion designer and entrepreneur




 Journalist again

And then…anything but journalist

And yes, in my adulthood I entertained the idea of everything else on the list again except nurse, architect, and tennis player, due only to the fact that I have two bum knees.

Watching my kids now, I can see what they’re trying on for size: professional baseball/basketball/balloon volleyball player, video game tester, archaeologist, movie director, philosopher, chef, competitive eater, and though Jake doesn’t want to hear it, cub reporter a.k.a. journalist (man, that kid asks a lot of tough questions.)

Because we are always growing and moving forward, maybe we try on stuff as adults too, in anticipation of some next step or phase. If that’s the case, I have an idea of where I might be headed, especially if you were to peek into my house this week:

 Come to my Trader Joe’s frozen entrée extravaganza

In my kitchen

There will be 12 entrees

25¢a ticket

11 thoughts on “working girl

  1. Jennifer says:

    btw: my dad was a mail carrier. My Mom made an excellent mailman’s wife, and I bet you would have as well. Love the Remington Steele reference. I wanted to be her too!! Still love me a little Pierce Brosnan. Great post. I think my big ones were Dancer, Gymnast, Broadway Singer, and the next Chris Everett Loyd (not Martina…). Given that I never took a single Dance or Gymnastics class, I’m not sure where that came from, but I seriously remember my involved Balance Beam routines on my Dad’s flat bed timber hawler. I think Nadia or maybe the US Men’s Olympics team must have been big that year!. Take care!

    • The Fulcrum Chronicles says:

      hahaha! I love it Jen! What a sweet visual of you and the the back of your dad’s truck doing your routines…no training necessary – I’m sure you were a natural! And it made me swoon about your mom being a great mailman’s wife. Thank you so so much for sharing this – I loved it! And I love that you love Remington Steele – he comes up a lot, oddly enough in conversation, and a lot of people just stare at me blankly. Good grief people! Thanks again for reading Jen! I can’t wait to hear how life is going for you 🙂

  2. Greg says:

    My list would be, somewhat in chronological order: Scientist (I remember telling my grandma this, I think I just wanted to mix a lot of chemicals), Stuntman, Priest (during the time I was being confirmed), Magician (still know a few slight of hand tricks,Monk (yeah, really), Architect (that was all about Mr. Brady), Doting husband to any of Charlie’s Angels with the possible exception of Shelly Hack (not really a job, but you know), Herpetologist–the study of snakes (this lasted a while, I can still identify pretty much any snake in the Bay Area),Composer (composed my first piece in the 6th grade, for my brother who played clarinet and myself on flute). Here’s the thing, even at the age of 47, I still imagine having other jobs: Novelist, Screenwriter/director of feature films (makes me think I have a lot in common with the character Michael Scott in the Office), person who designs rides at Disneyland (I already have a cool idea for a twenty minute ride that includes bathroom breaks) Shoe shiner (very zen to do just one thing exceptionally well)

    • The Fulcrum Chronicles says:

      Haha – Michael Scott….”Great Scott!!!” Oh my gosh, I love it! I can picture you in all of those roles! Maybe not the snake thing, because i don’t like to picture snakes. And it might be tricky to be a stuntman monk married to Dale the Charlie’s Angel (she could so be a Charlie’s Angel!)

      Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to share this….and props to you on the imagineering. I love that too.

      You are the closest thing to a renaissance man that I have ever met! Godspeed!

  3. Linda Rosenthal says:

    You are so adorable, Colleen. My dream went from ballerina, to lounge singer, to a pediatrician until high school chemistry nixed that one. Art museum director came ( and went). But a parent— always a parent. That dream stayed constant. Starting to dream what’s on horizon now as kids grow up and out.

    • The Fulcrum Chronicles says:

      Linda! Thanks for the sweet comment…and I can see all of those too. Of course – you were born to be the mom to those amazing boys (and torch singer!) Hope you and your wonderful family are well and enjoying your summer!

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