Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Bad Cold, A Television Spot and Horton -- Oh My!

What a week it's been! Whew!

It all began with dinner at one of our Super Friends' houses on Sunday night, just as Super Boy and I were starting to come down with nasty colds. It was all a last minute deal, an unexpected but nevertheless pleasant end to our weekend. Fabulous spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread - one of my favorite meals, mmm... We lingered in discussion over a few bottles of chianti and merlot, probably longer than we should've, in retrospect, being that it was a school night - but the kids were content, the adults were sated, and the conversation was great, so we were in no rush. Of course, Monday morning I woke up a little teeny, tiny bit hung-over, but it was well worth it.

Due to feeling "a little under the weather" on Monday, I skipped my usual workout at the gym (bad Super Woman!) and instead opted to sit and read my book at a local coffee shop while waiting for a friend to show up for our coffee date. She arrived right on time (which is extraordinary for her because she - like me - is almost always at least ten minutes late, God love her), and we enjoyed great coffee and interesting conversation for the hour and a half until I had to bolt (literally) to pick up Super Boy from school. His half-day of junior kindergarten is dismissed at 11:05, and I'd not even looked at my watch until 11:00, so I really had to fly to get to his school before the bell rang. I made it just in the nick of time, amen.

Later that day, I was on my local online moms' discussion board and happened to answer a question posed by one of the founders of the site. It was certainly not my best writing, but I managed to get the majority of my thoughts on the subject (how self esteem changes after becoming moms) down in a fairly coherent manner. I walked away from my computer without a second thought, spent a few hours with Super Boy playing Trouble, reading books and having lunch. When I returned to my computer later that afternoon to check email, there was an email from her asking me if I wanted to appear on a local talk show with her on Thursday morning to discuss that topic! Of course, being the Chatty Patty that I am, I jumped at the chance - and then immediately started worrying about whether my cold would render my voice like that of Elmer Fudd, what I was going to wear, whether my hair & make-up would turn out well, and other meaningless things. But I was SO excited! It took every ounce of self-control I possessed not to immediately notify everyone I know of my impending Big t.v. Debut. That said, I did call my mom, my husband and two friends within an hour of getting the invitation. Hey, I'm only human.

On Tuesday, I actually did get my butt back into the gym and I enjoyed a long and grueling workout despite having one entirely congestion-clogged nostril and one that ran like a faucet. In my head I kept telling myself that the camera adds 10 lbs, so I really couldn't afford to slack off with my Big t.v. Debut just two days away. It was a good workout, one that left my muscles burning and twitching a little, and which blessedly cleared out my nasal passages by the end. It was good. I had a bunch of errands I should've run that afternoon, but I felt like such crap that I finally caved in and laid down on the couch instead. (I watched "Charmed." Mmmmm....) Having decided I'd save all my errands for Wednesday instead was probably not my smartest decision ever, but again, I was in an altered mental state due to the cold from hell. By Tuesday night, my throat hurt so bad that I was convinced I had strep throat (it's going around, and two of our friends' kids had it) and I was drinking tea like my life depended on it. I was slightly panicky that I'd have to cancel my Big t.v. Debut if things got much worse. As it was, my plans to see one of my favorite authors speak on her book tour to promote her latest novel the following night were already in jeopardy due to the cold from hell, and that was something I'd been looking forward to since November.

I awoke Wednesday to find the sore throat had disappeared - but in its place I had two completely clogged nostrils and a chest full of phlegm. Not good. I coughed and blew my nose for, oh, 15 minutes before I was able to breathe, gritted my teeth, and set out to search the medicine cabinet for the strongest decongestant we own. It worked. I was able to go about my day of running errands with Super Boy without feeling like I was either going to (a) pass out from the head congestion, (b) sneeze out huge wads of snot, (c) cough up a lung, or (d) fall asleep while driving. It just so happened that Super Boy had off school that day, so we spent the better part of two hours running around town together. Our final stop was the big one: We had to hit the mall so I could search for the perfect outfit to wear for my Big t.v. Debut.

Poor Super Boy... He's so young, so sweet, so restless... It was NOT the most fun day off school for him, but hey - I did the best I could. And the thing is, the boy - like his father - has a natural eye for fashion. He's a metrosexual-in-training, having observed his father, the Master Metrosexual. I kid you not - all of our friends say that Super Man is one of the best-dressed men they've ever seen, and I honestly have NOTHING to do with that. Hell, half the time I rely on him to dress me! Anyway, Super Boy was a huge help - we ended up selecting a gorgeous black skirt with super cute pink, lavender, gray and white polka dots on it and a grosgrain ribbon belt, which I knew I could pair with a black 3/4-sleeve wrap shirt and tall black leather boots, both of which I had at home. Oh, and since Super Man's birthday was the following day along with my Big t.v. Debut, we purchased his birthday gifts whilst at the mall, too. It was a successful day of running errands, despite the fact that they were all crammed into one day.

But I paid the price for all my galavanting that night. Oh, did I pay. My head felt twice its normal size, I was sneezing like there was no tomorrow, and my head and chest were once again mucous-filled. It was not looking good. I downed tea like water again that night, skipped seeing my favorite author, went to bed a half-hour earlier than usual, and prayed that I'd wake up fairly clear-headed.

Thursday morning rolled around, the dawn of my Big t.v. Debut (and Super Man's birthday). I awoke with a start literally 30 seconds before my alarm went off at 6:00am, rolled out of bed, and stumbled to the medicine cabinet to begin downing decongestant, as my nose was once again completely blocked. I turned on the shower as hot as I could stand it, got in, and inhaled deeply while I set about cleaning (and shaving) my "canvas," since I truly had to create a masterpiece if I was going to be on (local) t.v. All was going well time-wise -- I had plenty of time to shower, moisturize, clean my wedding and engagement rings, pluck my eyebrows, go through my skin care routine... And then it was time to put on my make-up. And it was NOT going well. For starters, I'd awoken that morning to find one huge zit on my cheek and another on my chin (damn it!), and after trying to, um, "diminish their size" (aka: pick at them and attempt to pop them... bad Super Woman!), they were definitely NOT cooperating with my make-up.

I panicked. I tried to blend the now splotchy powder make-up over the blemishes, hoping to feather the bold edges enough to cover them with my big kabuki brush full o' powder foundation. After a few minutes of desperate but gentle brushing, I managed to make the outlines disappear. Whew... disaster averted. Except... I was so nervous after that little incident that when it came time to put on my mascara, I ended up getting not one but TWO huge dots of it along the side of my nose. Arrrghhh!!!

Quick time check... Aaarrrggghhhh again! I was going to be late getting Super Boy to our friends' house for them to take him to school! Ack! Ack!! ACK!!! Quick phone call to said friends' house and all was well. Back to the bathroom to tackle The Hair.

God bless my tresses - they cooperated very nicely with my efforts to make my hair look natural but sassy, glamorous but effortless. At least, that's how I thought it looked - what I saw in the mirror was not quite the way it actually looked on camera. The mirror's version was better. Oh well - live and learn.

I felt like a million bucks by the time I got myself and Super Boy together and out the door. I dropped him off at our friends' house and set about to find the television studio. It's in an area of the city I'm not terribly familiar with, but after heading east on the main road for about 20 minutes, I found it. I was nervous. I was excited. That was the moment I'd been waiting for all week.

I was led into "the green room," where the cofounder of my online moms' group was waiting for me. She was cool as a cucumber, the complete opposite of me at that moment. But it was so nice to finally meet her in person! She was so kind and calm that she put me at ease. After a few minutes, I excused myself and went to the bathroom to blow my nose, touch-up my make-up and fix my hair. I felt great, (I thought) I looked great, and I was ready. Good thing, too, because I nearly ran over the producer and my new friend when I walked out the door as they came to get me! We were led into the studio, mic'ed up, and seated on the set. My heart was pounding.

The cohosts of the talk show were very dynamic and bubbly, welcoming and kind. They began their opening dialogue, and then, the moment I'd waited for: They turned to us and began our segment. I was in the midst of my Big t.v. Debut! All of my anxiety melted away and I was just laser-focused on the task at hand. I answered the questions with a steady, clear voice, made eye contact with the cohosts, gestured with my hands as I always do when conversing, and felt totally at ease, like I was just chatting with girlfriends over coffee.

It was over before I knew it. I wished it would last for another ten, fifteen, thirty minutes. I was having too much fun to leave!

When the cohosts cut to commercial at the end of our segment, they chatted with us while we took off our microphones and left the set. One of the hosts looked me in the eye and shook my hand, and said I did a great job and that she'd love to have me back on the show sometime. I was giddy. It was a fantastic experience, everything I could've hoped for and then some.

I had DVR'ed the show before I left my house that morning, and after stopping by Starbucks, I rushed home to watch my segment. I was nervous. I called my mom and she insisted that I put the phone by the speaker of our big screen t.v. so she could hear it, even though she could not see it (the clip wasn't posted on the show's website until later in the day). We watched/listened to it together in silence. My new friend and I were on air for around 6-1/2 minutes, and I actually had quite a bit of camera time. I was really excited about how it turned out, and my mom was positively thrilled. She kept saying, "You never know, maybe they'll ask you to be a fill-in co-host or something! You could be the next Oprah!" God love my mom...

When I picked Super Boy up from school that day, he asked if I had been on t.v. When we got home, we rushed to the living room and I replayed the segment for him. He was soooo cute - he kept looking at me and saying, "Mama! That's YOU on t.v.!" As the day wore on, I got a few emails from friends who had seen the segment, told a few of my long-distance friends and family and sent them the link to the clip on the show's website, and just reveled in the excitement. It was really nice to feel a little bit special that day.

We went to dinner that night to celebrate Super Man's birthday, and then again on Friday night when Super Girl joined us for sushi at our favorite Japanese restaurant downtown. Today Super Man spent the day at Super Girl's volleyball tournament while Super Boy and I relaxed at home in the morning, went to his swim lesson in the afternoon, and then relaxed at home again. When Super Man arrived home after dropping Super Girl off at a slumber party, he suggested we go to the movies with Super Boy and see "Horton Hears a Who."

That is one fantastic movie! Very funny - for Super Boy and for us, very visually interesting, great length and important message ("a person's a person no matter how small"). We're already eagerly awaiting the movie's DVD release... What can I say, we're suckers for a good animated elephant with a big heart. And now, it's off to bed for Super Woman.

Ahhh... what a week!

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