The plan was to be famous by 18.
Tyler had thought of a couple methods. She was going to become President of the United States, I was going to become the Prime Minister of Israel, and then, in a feat of stupidity to go down in the ages as bigger than the sale of Alaska, would sell the entirety of America to me for a limited edition, Steve Madden shoe. (We didn’t know Manolo Blahnik existed back then.) In her brief “reign” in the Presidency, she was going to introduce good fashion sense to the unwashed masses of Washington D.C., and thus bring about world peace.
We then realized that this would mean going into politics; even as 13-year-olds we were not that idealistic.
The next plan was slightly more realistic. I was going to become the first Jewish woman to not only make it into the WNBA (actually untrue), but to cross gender lines and make it into the NBA as well. Tyler would be my agent. That I had never exhibited any real skill with a basketball, minus the one time I broke our kitchen window, didn’t deter her. When I reminded her that, at only five feet, I lacked the altitude, she reminded me of Muggsy Bogues. For some reason, we never considered that she, with decent skill and beanstalk-like figure, should be the talent. We consulted with our middle school basketball coach, who told me my chances were “slimmer than [she] would be if she substituted [her] daily McDonald’s for Slim Fast.” So that was out.
I had a separate dream, one I had nurtured since the ripe age of six. I was a pretty serious dancer and not tone deaf, and to me, acting meant shouting emotions at the top of my lungs. Triple threat status, a Broadway career and a Tony didn’t seem far off, I reasoned. I reassured my parents that I would also do something for humanity, so I figured I could work on curing AIDS while touring.
Finally, during our fifth viewing of Josie and the Pussycats, we had a plan. 3LW was big at the time, and Tyler was obsessed with them, so she came to me with the proposition — just like Britney started as one of Janet Jackson’s dancers, we would be Britney’s dancers. Then, after touring with her for a while, we would scandalously part to become our own group — 2(M)TW: 2 (Moderately) Tall Women. (We weren’t very good at the name thing.) We reasoned that they weren’t such great singers, and we could rhyme, so why not? Visions of descending onto a stage on clouds with angel wings crowded our daydreams; tours and episodes of MTV’s Cribs fought for dominance.
We tried our hands at lyrics; they rhymed and they almost had a salsa-like quality; being the poverty-stricken-man’s version of Destiny’s Child didn’t upset us in anyway. Neither of us knew how to play an instrument, so I enrolled in a guitar class (not that girl pop stars ever need to know how to play an actual instrument), only to realize that I was too lazy to practice, and wasn’t a big fan of finger calluses. We also had no idea of how to go about getting an agent, and Britney wasn’t going to want us as backup dancers since we weren’t 4’5”. The lyrics idea fell to the wayside after the first verse of our first song:
“Oh, we ain’t small
We’re pretty damn tall
Cuz we 2 (Moderately) Tall Women!”
My mom’s only comment when we performed for her was to ask why we had chosen to neglect proper English.
At some point in high school, those dreams fell the wayside. Tyler was going to be an entertainment lawyer and I was going to write a bestselling novel (actually, I’m still going to do that as soon as I can find a good ghostwriter); if not, I was going to follow my father’s footsteps and go to medical school. Fame was sacrificed for small-fortune. We apparently didn’t really want the rockstar life style.
I still think about what might have happened if we had pursued our dreams. Tyler thinks we still have a shot. I guess the real reason why I’m hesitant is because I worry that becoming famous turns you into a coke-headed, Kabbalah worshipping crazy person. No, that’s a damn lie. It’s actually because I’m extremely lazy and lack talent. What we both really needed, we’ve decided, was to be born to the Hiltons or minor royalty; that way we could have been famous without having to do anything whatsoever.
Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to fame is this column, and that time I made a joke group on Facebook that reached about 300 people in a week. (Yes, I’m still proud.) But still, I hold strong to my dream. I will be famous. My name, like those hot messes before me, will become a noun/adjective. (“Girl, don’t pull a Julie!” “Oh, that’s so Julie.”)
And yes, you may have my autograph … if you ask nicely.
The plan was to be famous by 18.