Most days I’m pretty happy with the way my life has panned out thus far.
Then there are days when I come across some bullshit like this mega yacht that was parked across the deck from a bar I was drinking at in Atlantic City a while ago. On days like that I want hop in my time machine and kick my little free-spirited, fun-loving, twenty-two year old self right up the ass and say “Hey! Maybe you might want to think about one of those careers everyone in your family is always droning on about because if you keep this nonsense up you’re going to be thirty-four and living in an apartment that can’t support the energy demands of a hairdryer and a toaster at the same time!”
Seriously though, I legitimately thought I was going to have a vessel like this by the time I was twenty-five. I’m six weeks away from being a decade beyond that due date now and sometimes I find that it can be hard to keep my dream of being so filthy rich that I can fill my empty soul with endless quantities of material goods, alive. It’s times like these that I think it’s best to have a little perspective. If you were thinking along the lines of me taking inventory of all of the amazing things I have in my life and focusing on being grateful for them, well then you haven’t been reading this blog very long.
No silly! I decided to look up a bunch of people on the internet who didn’t become super successful until way later in life so that I could remain hopeful about one day having a grand spiral staircase to make dramatic entrances on and not feel like such a loser. Duh.
Here they are:
I looooove Joy Behar. She kind of reminds me of my mom. In the way that she’s funny, that is. Joy Behar wasn’t always a comedian though. At thirty-seven she gave up her teaching gig to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and it wasn’t until she was forty-five that she had her first TV series on Lifetime called Way Off Broadway, which only ran for one season I might add.
For the next decade she supported herself by touring comedy clubs and doing bit parts in movies (oh, did I mention all while being a single mom?) until 1997 when she was fifty-five and she won a co-hosting spot on my favorite guilty pleasure, The View. Now she’s got major ducats and basically makes a living speaking her mind about all kinds of stuff on a variety of different talk shows, which would basically be my dream scenario. Fair play, Ms. Behar.
Before becoming a famous chef and television personality, Julia Child was working for the government during World War II, conveying all sorts of secret documents which ultimately led to her being sent on assignments all over the world but it wasn’t until her husband was transferred to Paris to work for the American Embassy that Child took a real interest in cooking. She enrolled at the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school in 1948 when she was thirty-six.
Following her training, she collaborated with two other students to put together a cookbook which she hoped would adapt sophisticated French cuisine for mainstream Americans. However it wasn’t until 1961, when she was forty-nine, that Mastering The Art Of French Cooking was published.
She got such a positive response from viewers while promoting her book on a Boston public television station that they offered her a series of her own which ultimately led to a Peabody Award and then an Emmy and all kinds of cash. So maybe I should attempt opening more than a Lean Cuisine in my kitchen every once in a while.
Otherwise known as the bad guy from Die Hard . Oh and I guess he did some other movie called Harry Potter? I’m told he had a pretty big part in that, right Vanna?
Rickman didn’t get his start in theater until he was almost thirty and by “start” I mean that he was a dresser, as in he dressed other actors for their scenes. Throughout the seventies, he would eventually be cast in a number of productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company but it wasn’t until he was forty-six that he was cast in his first movie role as Hans Gruber, a German terrorist, who to this day I still don’t understand WHY if he could speak English with an American accent in the film, he didn’t just bother to talk that way ALL the time and not only when he was trying to fool Bruce Willis. My Oma has been here for over fifty years and if she could speak English without a German accent, I’m sure she would. It’s not the same as being from Brittain!
Ok, um, I’ve lost my place. ANYWAY, he also did Love Actually and a bunch of other movies and I’m sure now he lives in a castle by the sea or something, so good on you Alan Rickman!
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls-Wilder spent around the first fifty years of her life dealing with all of the typical inconveniences that most people living in the 1800s had to cope with. You know, tragedies. In 1885, Wilder quit her job as a teacher to raise a family and help her husband Almanzo run a farm. However all that didn’t turn out so hot as she lost one baby a month after he was born, Almanzo became partially paralyzed after contracting diphtheria and then in 1890 their house went and burned to the ground.
It wasn’t until she was about fifty-three that Wilder’s daughter Rose, who was a journalist, suggested that she write a memoir about her childhood growing up as part of a pioneer family, living in a log cabin outside of Pepin, Wisconsin. Wilder took to the idea and spent twelve years developing her first book Little House In The Big Woods which was published when she was sixty-five. And that’s back when sixty-five was like a real sixty-five, not like now where sixty-five year olds are still wondering whether or not they should have children.
Her book went on to become an autobiographical series that ended with her writing her last installment These Happy Golden Years when she was seventy-six. Now she’s super famous and there was even a television series about her life called Little House On The Prairie. So with any luck, some big producer will finally take notice of my years spent toiling away in Rockland County as a child struggling to grasp third grade division and make a movie about me twenty years after I’m dead. Sweet.
I mean even her name is Grandma. She was forty-seven when she painted her first painting. She had run out of wall paper in a room she was decorating and decided to throw up a blank sheet of paper and make a scene of her own. It’s now a famous work of art called the Fireboard. But it wasn’t until she was seventy-six that Anna Mary Moses gave up her embroidery because of arthritis and took up painting again on a regular basis.
At seventy-eight she was “discovered” when an art collector saw three of her pieces hanging in a drug store window. At ninety-one, Grandma Moses had her first art show, making her instantly famous. This is before Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Pretty impressive.
At any rate, Grandma Moses gives me the most hope of all because while I’m sure she was a very nice lady, most of her pictures look like ones that I did which were rejected from my school’s fourth grade art exhibit.
This shit goes for over a million dollars. I really should have finished art school. Or on second thought, maybe I should just take up doodling again because I’ve made squiggles on pizza receipts that could rival this painting in technique and artistic vision.
So if you’re like me and wondering just when the world is going to finally come around and give your brilliance the recognition it deserves and then maybe like a couple of million dollars also, you can take solace in the fact that just because you’re a little past your deadline of having the kind of possessions it would take every last drop of the Earth’s non-renewable resources to fuel, doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen.
With any luck, you’ll strike it rich a couple of minutes before you’re dead.