Thursday, March 10, 2011
How I became a PROSEtitute
I just determined the proper name for my pseudo-occupation; I turn words into stories and sell them to anyone who says they’ll pay me.
I am a prosetitute.
Understand, prosetitution involves actual paying gigs and not this pointless blog, which involves giving my stuff away for free and I haven’t thought of a nifty word for that yet.
But consider this the part where we’ve already concluded our illicit transaction. You’ve maybe read something of mine and want to find out more about me, what I’m really like, if I like what I do and if I ever dreamed of being something other than a prosetitute.
Me, I’m getting dressed on the side of the bed. I’m putting my bra and panties back on -- and that part’s true. I like to write wearing frilly women’s undergarments.
Heck, I like to garden in women’s undergarments, but I’ll save that story for later.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve only had three real jobs my entire adult life and one of them was at the Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut cook might have been the job at which I most excelled. Truly, I just kicked ass. I was a very good worker, fun to be around, good with the customers. I could handle the chaotic Friday dinner rush all by myself.
The managers wanted me to make a career out of Pizza Hut and said it would be stable and fun. I was in college back then and confident I’d find those things in a writing career.
It was my first step in becoming a prosetitute.
True story: I was a skilled general assignment reporter at the Nashville Banner relied upon for stylish front page features when I decided to quit the paper because I was making too little money. My idea of a splurge back then was getting a pizza with pepperoni and sausage.
So I decided to quit. Surprised everyone. In fact, I told the top editor of my decision the very moment she’d summoned me into her office to offer me a promotion.
But I’d already made up my mind. The money wasn’t much better and while I loved it in Nashville I wanted to return to Pittsburgh. I could live at home and have Dad pay for all the pizzas.
I eventually got a job at the local paper. That didn’t work out as well. When I went in to quit there, they didn’t offer me any promotions. They threw a party.
By then my wild ways had set in and it was becoming clear I was destined toward a life of prosetitution.
Still, well meaning people held occupational interventions to stave off what was looking more and more inevitable.
A bunch of us used to have lively lunches presided over by a late, beloved local attorney. He was one of the best men I’ve ever known.
I helped an employed newspaper friend write the front page obit when he died. I contributed the recollection that he was the only man I’d ever met who could quote both William Shakespeare and Fred Sanford in the same conversation and have them both make marvelous sense.
One day he took me aside to ask if I wanted to become an attorney and work for him. He said he’d pay for the education.
Looking back, it was coming from this monumental gent the most flattering offer anyone’s ever made to me.
But I had no interest in practicing law. As Arnold Palmer once said, “Some people wanted me to become an attorney, but I didn’t like office work and I’m too nice a guy.”
The National Enquirer offered me a full-time job. But that would have been a career decision. I didn’t want to move to Florida and spend my advancing years writing about things like Lady Gaga’s carnal preferences.
I was becoming a prosetitute.
One of the strangest offers ever extended to me was from a top editor at Glamour. We’d never met. He called me out of the blue and said a colleague recommended me to become a Glamour senior editor.
I thought about it and said I couldn’t imagine a time when any of those three words -- “Glamour . . . senior . . . editor” -- would ever apply to me individually or strung together.
That was it. I’d turned my back on what literally was a glamour job in New York City.
I knew then I was a prosetitute and a prosetitute was all I’d ever be.
Yeah, you might wonder what’ll happen as I grow older and my charms begin to fade.
Well, don’t worry about me.
Prosetitution is something you can always do in the dark.
The screen illuminates even when the prosetitute no longer does.