DEBS: I debated chatting about something timely today, like VS Naipul's assertion last week that women can't write as well as men. (Not reading one of your long, boring books, Mr. Naipul, by the way.) But then I decided that we would all be grinding our teeth in irritation, getting the week off to a very bad start, and that we should talk about something fun instead.
A couple of weeks ago, Roberta asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, and how that turned out for us.
That started me thinking about dream jobs. What would we do if we could pick something that we don't do now and have never done? (Or are likely to do in real life.) No qualifications or experience required, as it is, after all, the fantasy job. Astronaut? Archeologist? Spy? Jockey?
I'm fascinated by all those things, and might have done any of them if I were a little more adventurous in spirit and tougher in body. (Or better at math.)
But the thing that always make me say, "Ooh, I'd LOVE to do that!" ?
I want to be in the MOVIES.
And no, not in front of the camera. No way. My dream job would be to design sets, especially interiors. I'm one of those incredibly nerdy people who will watch the extra materials on DVDs over and over to listen to the commentary by the art director, and will play scenes back just to study what the sets convey about the story, the setting, the period, and the characters. Think Lionel Logue's office in The King's Speech. Or Tony Stark's house in Iron Man. Or The Burrow in the Harry Potter movies . . . The list is endless, and makes me giddy. And wouldn't the shopping be fun?
So, Jungle Reds, assume the world is your oyster. What would YOU do?
JAN: Well, if talent goes with the dream, I'd be Taylor Swift, writing and singing country songs on the big stage, touring the world, and writing best selling songs about the people who bummed me out in high school. Otherwise, I'd really like to be a director. I directed actors in the small video trailer I did for Teaser and I had the time of my life. it was like writing, only in three dimensions. My third choice is to go back to school and become a psychologist. I love brain stuff, and right now I'm talking to returning veterans and writing about EMDR therapy and I'm thinking what a meaningful job it would be to help someone overcome the traumas in life.
ROSEMARY: So hard to say since one's dream can so quickly turn into one's nightmare. I was about to say professional tennis player - but only if I could be in the top five. But even then someone would always be nipping at your heels and you'd have to prove yourself 100 times a year. So then I thought about owning a wonderful Victorian house and opening an inn or bookshop - but I was put off by all the strangers I'd have to invite into my home. Next up was the vintage clothing store. That was nixed quickly since sometimes going through old clothing can be skeery. The heroine in my books is a gardener and that would be fun and I'd get a great workout, but people are so hard to please and they'd probably blame you for deer, slugs and things over which you really have no control.
I'd really like to be Oprah. She can do good. She can make stuff happen. No one cares how much she weighs. She has great hair and skin. She probably never worries about parking or her wifi connection or getting tickets to anything. She probably never waits in line. That's it. I want to be Oprah.
HALLIE: Never having to wait in line...ever. That part I could get used to. Ditto, waving my magic wand and "making stuff happen." The rest of what Oprah does is too hard and I'd have trouble being that "nice." My dream job would involve travel, eating, and wearing comfortable shoes. Being a restaurant critic (like Lucy Burdette only for a fancy travel magazine--Yoo hoo, Conde Naste!) would suit me just fine.
RHYS: I also considered being the world's number one tennis player, but it's a stressful life, always living out of a suitcase, always having to compete. I'd like to be an intrepid explorer, meeting primitive tribes and talking to gorillas--because I love reading about such exploits, as long as I don't have to wade through water full of leeches. I'd also like to be a famous opera singer with a divine voice. I used to sing in an opera chorus and would love to be Violetta in La Traviata or Madama Butterfly. Or I'd like to be a better writer than VS Naipal!!
HANK: Rhys, you already are.
ROBERTA: Okay this is fun--I'd like to start by being a top ten lady golfer and win the US Open. "On the tee, from Key West, Florida...please welcome Lucy Burdette. She came to golf very late but she's taken the golf world by storm...She's a lot smaller and older than most of the golfers we see on the tour, but her brilliant short game makes up for that."
Next I'd like to be EmmyLou Harris or Bonnie Raitt, except I can't stay up late enough to do all those evening concerts...so, another idea would be to be a top level manager in a big, big company run mostly by strong women. The kind of company that donates a ton of money to worthy causes and helps women feel good about themselves by offering good jobs. And then Rosemary could have me on her Oprah show and I'd donate cars to everyone in the audience, but only if they give their old cars to someone who needs one. In fact I think there's a boatload of creative and organizational talent amongst the Jungle Reds and I bet this could really happen...
Except I really love writing and working in my yoga clothes and I couldn't do all that if I was an important executive. oh well...
HANK: Really? I missed it, maybe, but being a blockbuster New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of really good books that people love and talk about and share, that'd be pretty nice. Notice I said books, plural. I'd like to write them from my house in France for a third of the year, and then maybe in Italy, and then home for the other third. Maybe..I could be a documentary producer, yeah, that would be great. Do important, world-changing, or at least intriguing documentaries (yoo hooo PBS and HBO and AMC and History channel) about current events or history or the arts. Or, be a ballerina, but that's so impossible, what with the bulimia and all. OR be Linda Ronstadt, with that great voice, and come out to a crowd of happy fans and sing something powerful and terrific. (And some day ask me about my astronaut decision. Pretty funny)
Debs, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Can I be in your movie?
DEBS: Okay, you guys have made me sound really dull . . . and you never fail to amaze me with your inventiveness. Now I have a whole other list of things that would be cool to do (except I'm not too fond of golf. Sorry, Roberta!) But I hope we all get to do the New York Times Bestselling author bit, and writing from my house in France or Tuscany wouldn't be bad, or even from my fantasy flat in London. I've never been interested in the fame part of being famous, but some of the perks wouldn't be half bad. So in the words of famous and regularly-bleeped Stephen Tyler, Dream On!
What about you, Jungle Red readers? What's your fantasy job?