I wish I had a quarter for every time someone asked me "What are you gonna do with that?"
This question can be funny, like the time a drunk guy at a party took my politeness as flirtation, cornered me in the bathroom and whipped his tiny little thing out. I broke out in a giggle-fest and said, "What do you expect to do with THAT?!"
Or it could be kinda scary, like if you're at the doctor's office and he busts out fisting gloves and a butt plug. I imagine one would say, "What the FUCK are you gonna do with that?!"
But the context is always the same these days; it's the question people ask me when I tell them what I'm majoring in.
"English, with a minor in film studies."
"Oh... what are you gonna do with that?"
Not only has the situation turned to awkwardness, I feel down right stupid and try to supplement my apparent failure by saying, "I'm not sure... but I'm thinking of double-majoring in Russian Studies!" That's when I realize, I just committed conversation suicide, especially if I'm talking to an old person at my mom's church.
"You mean... the RED Russia? The communists?" (with a special emphasis on the -ISTS)
Then I try even harder to save myself. "Well, uh, I've thought about transferring somewhere to study gender and sexuality."
The old person stands there, baffled, in need of a new pair of Depends. GREAT, I think, I've become a careerless-bound, gender-confused, homosexual communist (well... I guess that's not TOO far from the mark...).
So that is the question, and I want to answer: "I DON'T FUCKING KNOW! IF I KNEW I'D TELL YOU! AND WHEN I FIND OUT YOU'LL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!" Except I need to be the 1st to know, but so far, I've gotten no such memo.
These are all the answers I tell myself can happen:
-I'll be a writer - the next Augusten Burroughs but with better shoes.
-I'll be a fashion writer - because you write about fashion, and because there is no doubt that Anna Wintour will choose me to be her successor.
-I'll be a film critic, since that's what I do all day everyday anyway.
-I'll write a glorious dissertation on Soviet Cinema, to be read by 13 people by the time I'm 75 - understood by 9, appreciated by 5, and enjoyed by 3.
-Some Hollywood producer will discover my Twitter feed where I vent all of my bus driver frustrations and I'll make a reality show that airs on Bravo right after Kathy Griffin's My Life On the D-List.
-I'll get more involved in politics, intern at the HRC after graduation, become a senator by the time I'm thirty, and at somepoint become the first U.S. President to own over 500 pairs of shoes (among many other presidential firsts, of course).
-I'll move to Moscow and teach English.
-I'll move to New York and work as a bus driver, to become a lengend, and one day someone will make a made-for-tv DIGITAL movie about the late, great Bus Driver Fierce.
Clearly I ask myself this question more than others ask me. "What the FUCK are you gonna do with that?" And most of the time, as I now realize, I don't even mean with my major. I mean with my life. What the FUCK am I going to do with my life? IT'S TERRIFYING!
I don't want to work my whole life, but I don't want to just scrape by, either. I want to see the world and write a book. Yeah, a book. Pages of me. I think that's why I keep a journal, so that even if I never write a proper memior, I'll at least have SOME pages of me, even if half of them are silly notes-to-self and years of practicing my signature.
I've decided to stop asking myself this question, and to run over anyone who asks me. I don't want to think about it. I just want to do it.
I'm going to do EVERYTHING with my major. Ohhhh yeeaaaahhhhhh.