I work at a before and after school program. There is a game that, as far as i can tell, every 4th grade girl has played since the beginning of time: MASH. You know, M for mansion, A for apartment, S for shack, and H for house? [Interesting development: the S now stands for sewer, as of this week apparently.] Anyway, then you have all these catagories to fill in like who you'll marry, where you'll live, what your job will be, how many kids you'll have, etc. You or your "game master" or some combination of the two pick 4 or 5 things to fill in each catagory. Then all but one of each thing are systematically eliminated by counting by a random number and crossing off stuff and your future is no longer a mystery. Earlier this week i played and had the best future ever wherein i married Neil Patrick Harris (who is my spirit animal). Sure, we lived in the sewer but who cares? We also had 2 kids, which NPH already has so my vagina was a winner too.
Yesterday i played again with two little girls who somehow managed to predict a most vile future for me. I marry a coworker (he's actually a pretty good looking dude but he's 13 years younger than me - i have limits) and i become an astronaut, so it wasn't all bad. However, we will live in a sewer and drive a poop truck, his job will be "pooper" (lucky we live in a sewer then, huh?), and we'll have a pet alligator (also appropriate) and 60 kids. Sixty. At least we have a good sex life? They wrote a song then a rap and teased me about it all day. I was also hanging out with a little 1st grader who was terribly upset about the prospect of me living in a sewer married to a pooper and driving my 60 kids around in a poop truck. During the sing-song mocking she got very quiet. After i sent the twosome over to another coworker to share their beautiful ballad, this little girl turns to me in all seriousness and says the wisest stuff-
"I have come up with 3 ways to make sure that never happens. If he askes you to marry him, say no. Don't go to astronaut school, ever. Don't move out of your house. No, 4 ways - don't ever sell your car. If you do, buy the same car again." And then, the kicker, "It's hard enough to take care of 3 kids. Just ask my mom. So never, ever have more than three kids. Oh, and do not buy an alligator. Five ways."
She kills me! But really, she's right. Next time i get all weirdy about where i'll be in five years all i have to do is think of the worst place i could be and just not do the things that will lead me there. She's going to run the world some day.