When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Doodle it in the simple way a child would.
When I was four, I wanted to be Davy Crockett.
I had the official outfit, complete with coonskin cap, and a charred mop handle named Old Betsy, and I spent a lot of time in the back yard hiding behind the butane tank and shooting bears and Indians. I would have made a good Davy Crockett. I knew the song by heart and was happy to belt it out for anyone who asked.
But somewhere along the line I lost focus–maybe when the TV show was canceled–and by the time I was eight, I had my heart set on growing up and wearing very high heels and smoking Winston cigarettes and leaving a red lipstick stain on the filter, like my cute little red-headed aunt Betty did. She gave me a pair of decommissioned very high heels for play clothes. I tied an old sheet around my waist and clomped up and down our concrete driveway, holding a candy Winston in the approved fashion and looking teddibly sophisticated. It’s a wonder I didn’t fall and break my neck.
Actually, I wanted to grow up and be Betty. But I didn’t have red hair. You couldn’t be Betty without having red hair.
Well, anyway. By the time I was ten and had outgrown Betty’s size 4½B shoes–she was my cute little red-headed aunt–I knew that wearing spike heels and smoking wouldn’t be quite enough for a career. I also knew that if I even thought about taking a puff of a real cigarette I would be grounded until I was older than Betty. So I settled on my third and final choice:
I would grow up and be Roberta Peters.
I would wear low-cut gowns with fitted waists and big, swishy skirts and sing at the Metropolitan Opera.
My specialty would be Adele’s “Laughing Song” from Johann Strauss’ The Fledermaus. In English, of course, so the audience would know how funny the lyrics are.
I would include lyrics here, but the only ones I’ve located online aren’t nearly so amusing as those Ms. Peters sang, and I refuse to settle. If I ever find my opera book, I’ll come back and fill in the blank. The book is around somewhere, in a box or maybe just under something. Many of my possessions are currently under something.
The doodle depicting my career choice shouldn’t require commentary, but I’ll comment anyway, just in case. As you might have inferred, the ha ha ha‘s are taken from “The Laughing Song.” The notes rising from my/Ms. Peters’ right hand to the top of her head symbolize the range the singer covers at the end of the song. I think it goes from D above middle C to a high D-flat. When I find my opera book, I’ll check that. Some singers work their way up. The genuine articles make the jump from low to high with nothing between. No safety net.
Here’s Roberta Peters singing “The Laughing Song” in German. The language doesn’t really matter, nor do the lyrics. The voice is everything.
Although this blog is dedicated to telling the truth, mainly, I’m going break with tradition and tell the truth whole, plain, and unvarnished:
I still want to be Roberta Peters when I grow up.
Doodling prompt from 365 Days of Doodling by Carin Channing