I went for a walk today. Not because it was 80 degrees outside or because I love the rush of endorphines I get from exercise. It was more of a medical-emergency-type situation.
You see, we’re on spring break this week, and the unusually warm weather combined with the boredom that inevitably sets in half-way through day one had us itching for something to do. My mind immediately landed on ice cream, so my daughters and I took a trip to the neighborhood pharmacy/soda fountain we always forget is there until it’s November and ice cream doesn’t sound good anymore. My 8-year-old became concerned when she read the word “drugs” on the sign, but calmed down when I assured her we would not be forced to snort cocaine off the counter.
We ordered ourselves cocaine-free peppermint ice cream sandwiches the size of Rubik’s cubes and just grunted at the soda jerk when he offered us forks. We wanted to use our hands so we could jam them into our cake-holes faster.
This was all really fun until we got home and my eyes started to tingle and lose focus, a sure sign a sugar coma was setting in.
I pulled on a pair of cutoffs and my sunglasses, which were now necessary to protect my eyes from the glare my legs were creating. (I know that sounds like a lazy joke, but I’m not exaggerating. They are a color which can only be described as fish-belly white. Not to mix animal metaphors, but from the knees down I look like a plucked turkey wearing flip-flops.)
My kids half-heartedly said they would go with me, but I turned them down. I love my kids. But being around them all the time can be exhausting. I just had to stop my 8-year-old from smushing her face on the window screen in the exact spot where a bird had shit on it. The window is seriously 40 inches wide and she picks that spot? And why is she smushing her face on the screen anyway? She has books, dolls, crafts, video games, Legos, and this is how she chooses to spend her free time?
I definitely needed a walk. Alone.
Once I was on the sidewalk, the sugar started to evenly distrubute itself throughout my body, and my mind started to clear. I began to daydream a little – mostly about jobs I would like to have. This habit was a lot more fun when I was young and certain facts escaped me, like how money is needed in exchange for goods and services.
Back then, I used to imagine myself sitting at a desk pounding out the world’s greatest Harlequin romance novels on an Apple computer that I bought with my piles and piles of money – money which was kept in a secret room with a diving board so I could dive into it like Scrooge McDuck.
Now I try to think of more practical business endeavors, like selling vegan tacos out of a food truck. Or opening a carnival-and-Thanksgiving-themed restaurant with my co-worker Hillory. It would be the only place in town where you could get both funnel cakes and green bean casserole year-round.
Today was the job fantasy where I’m a wedding DJ.
Have you ever noticed there are not a lot of female DJs at weddings? Why is this? Is there something inherently male about being able to set up speakers and play “Footloose”? Do the intricacies of “The Hokey Pokey” require an exclusively masculine touch?
To make things worse, I didn’t hire a woman DJ when I got married, making me part of the rampant sexism plaguing the wedding entertainment industry.
That means that a) it’s up to me to right these wrongs, like a superhero in headphones; and b) people will hire me because they want to seem like forward-thinking individuals and I will soon be diving into my Scrooge McDuck piles of money.
I even went so far as to research how to pursue this lucrative career (meaning I looked it up on WikiHow).
According to their website, there are nine easy steps to achieving this goal. “A wedding DJ isn’t just someone who spins records, plays music from CDs or puts on a light show. Instead, a skilled wedding DJ knows how to draw the guests out onto the dance floor, help encourage them to interact with each other, be playful and actually entertain the crowd, making the wedding reception as memorable an event as possible.”
I can do all those things. What’s next?
They say the first step is to build an ecclectic music selection to make yourself more marketable. I’ve got this part in the bag. I listen to music all the time. All. The. Time. And I’m not terribly picky. My husband cannot comprehend that I like both Taylor Swift and The Velvet Underground. He says its like saying you like both Ralph Nader and Rush Limbaugh. I call him a stuck-up music snob nobody wants to hang around with at parties and then drown out his voice by turning up Maroon 5.
I also have a knack for discovering good pop songs. I was a DJ in college for one semester, and my claim to fame is that I broke Hootie and the Blowfish … to the five people who lived on campus and were in close enough proximity to the station to pick up the signal. But millions of people subsequently bought the shit out of that album, so… coincidence? I think not.
I’ve decided that my calling card would be Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off ,” for no other reason than I really like that song. I requested it once at a gay bar, and the crowd went wild. Wild may be too strong of a word, but the people on the dance floor didn’t throw their drinks at me, so I took that as a good sign.
Emboldened by my brilliance on that occasion, I hounded the DJ at my niece’s wedding to play it. He claimed he didn’t have it, so I went out to my car and brought in my own copy. Seriously. I wanted to hear the song so badly, I forced the man to put in my “Awesome Car Jams” mix. Everyone left the floor. Refusing to admit defeat, I made my sister dance with me.
Now that I think about it, maybe my ability to “draw the audience out on the dance floor” might be lacking.
For instance, I also have a thing for the NSYNC song “Bye, Bye, Bye.” I’m pretty sure I’ve requested it at every dance club I’ve been to since 2001. For my niece’s bachelorette party, I became so desperate to hear the song that I picked a club purely because they were playing “MMMBop” when we passed by. I dragged everyone in, convinced the DJ would play “Bye, Bye, Bye.” When I asked him to play it, he just said, “We don’t play that kind of crap here.” Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize a club that played Hanson in 2012 had such high standards.
There’s also the time when one of my best friends got married, and I wanted to hear some Prince. The DJ asked me which song, and I immediately said, “Pussy Control.” He nodded, as if to say, “You are brilliant! Why don’t I just let you step behind the booth the rest of the night. You clearly know what you are doing!”
A few minutes later, he motioned for me to come over to his booth. “Sorry. I can’t play ‘P. Control.'” He literally said, “P.” He was too nice to say the actual word.
“Aww, come on. Why not?” I moaned. He gestured to all the senior citizens and kids on the dance floor, demonstrating that I clearly was an idiot, and stepped back behind his table.
So, based on the evidence, I might not have a strong case for making my fantasy a reality after all.
Funny side story: My husband has a co-worker with a naughty cat. On their coffee table they have a bottle of water labeled “Pussy Control” to spray her with when she gets too frisky. So, maybe if this whole DJ thing doesn’t work out, and it’s looking like it won’t, maybe I can steal their idea and make piles of money marketing feline care products. Or, I can just sell vegan tacos from the back of a truck.