When I was in kindergarten, my class was asked to participate in a PBS show on which the host asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up. At the time, I said I wanted to be a veterinarian. But that whim passed quickly, and my aspirations were shaped largely thereafter by the jobs every '90s kid wished they had — jobs which, however impractical or downright impossible, were glorified enough by our favorite films and TV shows to make them our life's ambition at the time.
Of course, as we continued to mature and move (however reticently) out of the '90s, we realized adulting is expensive. You have to actually, you know, buy your own stuff and do responsible things like own a home and have a mortgage. And, sadly, many of the jobs we dreamed of scoring back in the day just didn't pay the bills — or, in some cases, actually exist. But it doesn't change the wishful thinking of our '90s kids selves and, to be honest, there are days when these options sound pretty darn good.
So let's take a look at six of the jobs '90s kids dreamed of having one day. Did you ever get to add any of these to your resume?
This obsession all started with a little book series you may have heard of by the name of The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. The group of middle-schoolers who made up the BSC were so much fun and always made babysitting seem like one big, happy way to spend summer with your BFFs. Of course, when you actually convinced your parents to let you babysit, you quickly caught onto the fact that babysitting your neighbor's bratty kid looked nothing like the BSC's gigs in Stoneybrook.
2. Record Store Clerk
Could I have wanted to do anything more than work in a record store after watching (and watching and watching) Empire Records? Probably not. From the quirky Lucas to the stunning Corey (Liv Tyler was life goals), every.single.employee was cool in a way I only dreamed of being. Plus they had the chillest boss — well, most of the time — ever, and they threw an epic party and sang on the roof to rage against the system. DAMN THE MAN; SAVE THE EMPIRE!
3. A Reporter
I haven't seen the 2014 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, mainly because I'm afraid weird-looking updated turtles would haunt my dreams. So I can't speak to the cred of the new April O'Neil (played by Megan Fox). But I can say with all certainty that the 1990 version of April (played by Judith Hoag) totes made me want to be a news reporter. Covering mysterious crime organizations and meeting four radioactive turtles and their giant ninja-rat master? All in a day's work, apparently.
4. A Pet Detective
There was an embarrassingly large portion of the '90s I spent saying things like "Well alrighty then" non-ironically — Oh, who am I kidding? I still say that — and legitimately wanting to start a career as a pet detective, all thanks to the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective ... although I suspect roughly 87 percent of the reason was because I wanted a valid excuse to have a throng of pets in my house at any given moment. Spike alone was enough to make me beg my mom for a Capuchin.
5. A Fashion Designer
In 1991, 17-year-old Sue Ellen Crandell had to ditch her teen agenda of spending all summer sunning and instead enter the workforce. Why? Oh, you know, the babysitter croaked shortly after her parents left for Europe. Of course I'm talking about the cult classic Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, aka the sole inspiration for my short-lived desire (it died around the same time as our sewing machine, coincidentally) to become a fashion designer. Sue Ellen's stint at clothing manufacturer General Apparel West — particularly the poolside fashion show she somehow pulled off — launched sartorial dreams for tons of other '90s kids too, I suspect.
6. A Pokémon Trainer
The fact that Pokémon was a make-believe character did not deter '90s kids from wishing that being a trainer of these little pocket monsters was an actual thing. It was Pokémon for heaven's sake, man! You couldn't shake a stick during the '90s without hitting a kid carrying pockets full of Pokémon cards. To achieve master trainer status would have been the realization of a true childhood dream.
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (6)