Thursday, October 1, 2009

My 58 Seconds of Fame

I was on tv last night. Went to a high school college fair representing my alma mater and was interviewed by the local weekend anchor. Making an Ivy League education affordable without burdening the graduate with debt is an easy pitch to make, and I must admit that I was pretty enthusiastic.

Got home, feeling lousy, watched The Biggest Loser and bawled like a baby, crawled into bed and then shot up from under the covers - we'd never watched the recording TBG had set up. Damn if they didn't lead with our brochure and start and finish the talking heads piece with my badly-in-need-of-a-haircut self waxing eloquent about the fabulous financial aid opportunities which really do abound, at least at the only school I was talking about. And then we went back to bed.

And I got to thinking about how blase I was about the whole experience. The interviewer was unknown to me, so it wasn't as if I were in the presence of Walter Cronkite. That I would have remembered. But my thoughts on the evening were centered on the kids and parents and drifting back to taking the Cuters to similar evenings. The tv piece wasn't really on my mind.

This wasn't always the case. I used to get really really excited when the media came to call. I've had letters printed in Newsweek and bought copies to send to all my family and friends. Yes, this was very 20th century, before the internet made it easy to brag about yourself. Cost was no object - I was published and everyone needed to know about it.

The Little Cuter was friends with a boy whose mother was the news anchor of the NBC affiliate when the kids were in pre-school. We were friends, not because she was famous, but because the teacher kept telling us how much fun the kids were having together in school. She'd put on a scarf and big sunglasses and we'd sit at Oz Park and watch them scamper. So I had to laugh when she called and told me her afternoon interviewee had fallen sick and I could have my choice of 3 topics, but I had to let her film in my living room that afternoon.

What to wear? Was my hair in need of a trim? Did I even own any make-up I could put on? And just how tidied up did the space have to be? I took a deep breath, called my fashion-consultant-playgroup-mom, and talked about over-scheduling 5 year olds. The Big Cuter was adorable ("I was so busy that we had to erase something so there went karate - pffft!") and the house looked great and then I had to wait til the next day to see it.

I never iron. It's boring and the laundry does a better job anyway. But that day I ironed. I carried that ironing board into every room with a tv and watched her station without pausing. Why? Because we were on the trailer ads for the evening news, and I wasn't missing a single airing. I saw soap operas (a girl was in the cleanest South American jungle jail I've ever seen) and talk shows and game shows and I saw myself. On tv. And I glowed. I was so happy.

We taped that newscast and showed it to everyone who visited for the next month. Last night I almost fell asleep before I remembered that I might be on tv. Can it be that I am growing up? That I don't need the external validation of being immortalized on film (ok, on tape)? Or is it that I have enough of a public persona through the Burrow and so I'm not looking for any more?

On the other hand, I have sent emails to every possible source trying to get the snippet posted on-line so I can forward the link to everyone I know. Maybe I was just tired.

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