I’ve done a lot of things to earn a living in my lifetime, but perhaps the point of greatest humiliation came when, in my twenties, I dressed up as a giant orange and handed out samples of orange-scented shaving cream at the local Walgreens. Little children, eager for what they thought was an orange candy treat, went away disappointed and complaining, while their mothers shot me dirty looks and promised them a sugary treat if they’d just quiet down. Men avoided me completely. They had no desire to smell like fruit, much less engage in conversation with one. Clearly, Gillette had not thought this marketing ploy through very well.
A lesser embarrassment, but one that nonetheless haunts me to this day, is my brief stint at a Dairy Queen. The company prided itself on the fancy little “curly-q” atop each of its trademark soft ice cream cones. The skill involved a quick wrist action that, try as I might, I did not possess. Each of my cones was just a sad white blob that leaned precariously to one side. Alas, my defense that it tasted the same fell on deaf management ears.
Once, while still modeling, I posed wearing a bikini while standing inside a refrigerator unit filled with crates of strawberries. To this day, I don’t know what I was supposed to be selling, but it paid the rent.
Thankfully, I learned to type in high school – a skill that has kept the proverbial wolf from the door more times than I can count. It was the only thing of value that I took away from those four, angst-ridden years. That and a pair of plastic salad-serving utensils I made in crafts class that I still use to this day. Oh, yeah. I was a real scholar. I’d wanted to take auto-mechanics, but wasn’t allowed because I was a girl. Today, I’d sue the crap out of them. I left high school prepared for nothing, but naively believing I could still conquer the world. I guess just the fact that the world hasn’t conquered me is proof that I succeeded, at least to some degree.
Looking back now at the patchwork of my life, each odd little square – even the dropped threads – placing me exactly where I needed to be, it’s only in hindsight that I can see the hand of Divine guidance. And when I remember myself in that orange costume, certainly more than a bit of Divine humor, as well.
Had “Oddjob” only learned to type his whole life might have been different.