Some people are lucky enough to do something they enjoy, and earn a good living doing it. I am one of those very fortunate people. Then there are the extremely lucky people who get to do something they absolutely love. When I talk about retirement, I’m not talking about giving up work completely, I’m thinking about taking up something that would fulfill my every desire. I have a number of ideas.
Tour Guide: I would like to be a tour guide, standing at the front of the bus with the crackly microphone with people hanging on my every word and/or making fun of me. I’d wear a lot of polyester and sensible shoes. The thing is, sometimes there isn’t that much interesting stuff to say, and that’s where the fun comes in…I would just make shit up. You heard me—fabricate, lie, mislead, prevaricate. The fact is, if you are in a position of authority (even if it is in a stuffy tour bus), no one questions a word you say.
“Now right here folks we are driving by what looks like a simple cow pasture. Oh but the things that happened here! This is where George Washington met his future wife Martha. On a blind date, umm, a picnic. Martha accidentally stepped on a cow patty right next to that oak tree out there, and George pulled out his handkerchief and cleaned it off. They were in love.”
Then there would just be the sound of cameras clicking and low murmurs about fun facts for “what I did over my summer vacation” reports. I would smile serenely and continue. “And right there under that same oak tree, George and Martha married not 2 months later. And their first child was born just 7 months after that.” Click, click, click “oh my!” Imagine the extremely vexed history teacher when the kids all got back to school.
If you think I couldn’t pull this off then I need to refer you to my Geology Teacher friend. At some point, frustrated with how gullible she found her students, she told them there was a live volcano…behind the Wal Mart up the road. But it was VERY dangerous to go back there. 22 nodding heads and 44 wide eyes later, mission accomplished.
Motivational Speaker: I actually do want to be a motivational speaker, but my ultimate goal is to be a motivational speaker who inspires the wrong behavior. Scoff if you will, but there’s a place for me out there.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it! Look at me for example. I used to be a naïve little country girl, but then I came to the big city and got me a job as a banker. Sometimes I used to spend my lunch hour reading romance novels. But one day I realized that if I just put a certain code into the computer, I could transfer millions of dollars to an offshore account in my name. And that is why you see me today relaxed, tan, sipping on an umbrella drink and broadcasting via satellite from an untraceable location.”
Glance at the audience members taking copious notes and whispering… “Is off-shore hyphenated, or all one word?” “Did she mention which bank?” “How do you spell umbrella?”
Former Olympic Athlete: Why not? I would tour elementary schools with some mocked up gold medals hanging from my neck. I would wear track suits and highly specialized jump higher run faster sneakers. I would talk about the hard work, the dedication, the blood, sweat and tears it took to get me to the Olympics of 1982…as a curler. Yep, curling, because no one is ever going to bother to look that up. I would bring in the brush I used to clear the extra half millimeter of ice needed to take the gold. I would pretend to be modest. I would discuss sports injuries like the time I had to have my knuckles replaced. I would check in with the principal and volunteer to start a curling team for the school.
Blue Blood: Admittedly, I might have to get a nose job and change my name to Cookie, but there is absolutely no reason my ancestors could not have walked off the Mayflower rather than shuffled on to Ellis Island. I would drink a whole lot of gin and tonics with just the tiniest twist of lime and give my voice some kind of unidentifiable affect. “Well you know my dah-ar-ling that my fah-a-mily always summe-he-red on The Vineyard” I would buy old oil paintings of austere looking people and hang them around my home. “Oh ye-he-es. That is my great-grandfath-eh-er, Francis G. Kellogg.”
It might be suspicious that I always miss the Cotillion held on Yom Kippur, but I’d come up with something.
I have determination, spunk, and a big imagination. I am not afraid to make shit up. If that isn’t the key to success, I don’t know what is.