So, yeah. John Stossel at Fox News asked me, a rather liberal blogger, to be the lefty slant on the topic of trophy culture - By giving trophies to everyone, are we “wussifying” our kids? Point/counterpoint.
‘Wow. You’re a talker,” his producer said on the phone, then invited me to fly to NYC for an interview with Stossel. Two days/one night in a fancy pants hotel just off of Times Square. She even paid for an extra plane ticket so my 6 year old son, "G," could tag along, a gesture for which I will always be grateful.
Me: Well this Monday, Mommy is taking you to New York City! You’ll get to see what Mommy does!
G: Yay! What’s in New York?
Me: Everything is in New York.
G: Does it have.....Bank of America?
G: Ice cream?
G: I guess New York does have everything...
It was weird for a progressive mind like mine to walk through offices where the books on the desks had titles like:
Why Obama Sucks!
If you believe in the Government, you are an Asshole.
Going in to the interview, I had three main fears.
That I would be edited to sound trite, or ridiculous. It is TV. It is Fox News. There is always a network bias, and come on, all TV twists itself into some form of propaganda. We all knew I was taking a risk when I agreed to do this.
But I have now done my part. It is out of my hands. Now, we wait …
(We'll get to "my hands" in a minute...)
That I would say “Um” and/or “like” too much. Everyone hates to hear their voice on tape. Who doesn’t? Beyonce, maybe? I imagine Sting is okay with hearing his voice during playback... But that's about it.
On the odd occasion that I do hear a recording of myself, I am floored by the number of times I say “Um,” and “Like.” When I hear myself talk, I wonder how my friends even put up with that crap.
So, um, I hope I didn't, like, do that.
That my hands will look like claws: If you grew up in the 80’s, and watched Growing Pains, you probably know what I mean when I say I have "Tracy Gold Hands." Whenever Tracey's character - Carol Seaver - ever expressed any sort of frustration, the only acting tool at her disposal was holding both hands out, palms up, in the shape of claws. Okay try this: picture her cupping two oranges, then take away the oranges without moving her fingers.
Kelly Clarkson does it, too.
Any woman with elf-short fingers can surely relate.
So I hope I didn't do too much of that, either.
Out of respect for the show’s producers, I am choosing to remain mum about what transpired between the two well lit chairs in the Crown Plaza hotel room, me sitting with the obligatory tall plant behind my chair.
The producer told me that it might be a couple of months before we see the finished product. I’ll let you know, of course, when it airs. Then, we will all find out together whether any of my fears came true.
The ums and the claws will be proven or disproven beyond any doubt. You can’t edit out claw Tracey Gold Claw Hands, folks.
And as for fear #3: I will be giving my side of the story the day that documentary runs. Just to be on the safe side.
Just in case…
Because, you see, there is one more story to relate about this day. But, as I said, it must wait.
The trip was, as the kids say these days, Awesome Sauce. And I owe all the Awesome to the fact that my kid was there by my side.
But I was keenly aware of how close I teetered on the brink of being “alone,” with only a six year old bridging the gap between me and empty space. I gotta say, doing Big Cool Things in the future will be much more gratifying when there is someone physically by my side; someone to glance at, and share an incredulous grin.
For example: In the airport, I was completely expecting my *ahem* driver to be standing with my name written in Sharpie on a piece of copier paper folded in half. I had my ipad video camera rolling to catch the momentous occasion.
No one was there.
After about fifteen minutes of standing there, my kid sitting on his car seat on the floor of the baggage claim area, I got a text: Yah, yer car is outside. Come find it.
That KO of humility became a story to tell instead of a hilarious moment shared.
But them’s the breaks, kiddo. My creativity has been my long standing mistress, stealing me away from daylight and people.
It’s like the legendary pot of gold rumored to have been placed at the end of a rainbow by some damn fool Leprechaun. I’ve spent years looking for its bounty, armed only with a map of intuitive thought, and blind faith in unseen promise. Then in the decades of searching and seething and heckles and getting blindsided by the sharp corners of the turns in dark hallways, every so often I find a gold doubloon on the street. I snatch it off the ground, hold it into the air, and look left and right for someone: “Look what I found. A-HAAAA!”
And this week in New York City, that person was G. And he smiled at me.
And then he said, “Mommy, don’t tell me what you are going to get me for my birthday. Even if I guess!”
It turns out that one moment in time can be both everything in the whole world, and not quiiiiite enough.
Well, that's my piece and that's....
...Oh wait a minute! I forgot the best part! After the interview, the photographer from Humans of New York snapped our picture!
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thanks for taking the time to read my silly words. It means the world. Carry on...
Old Single Mom
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