So Isabel called me on Monday with a "crazy request." There's very little I wouldn't do for Isabel, so I said "Sure!" before she got out the words would you appear on national television? I thought she was going to ask me to streak the U.N. No such luck.
Apparently Good Morning, America is doing a segment on the Alpha Mom demographic (there's a demographic! Did you know?) and they wanted a "typical" Alpha Mom to interview. They specifically wanted someone with a house. I think they envisioned miles of granite countertops and adorable children skipping rope next to a Lexus SUV. Instead they got our (charmingly) decrepit Formica and Henry attempting to light-saber me on our (alarmingly) weed-choked lawn. Ha!
Minutes after Isabel and I hung up and I shelved away my body paint, a GMA producer called. She asked me what I thought an Alpha Mom was, and I attempted to answer. Then I got down to business."What should I wear?" I asked, and she laughed, like my outfit wasn't the most important thing on her mind. "Whatever you feel comfortable in," she said.
"I'll get my wedding dress out of storage," I told her.
"Ha, ha! No dressing up! Whatever you wear on a typical mom day!"
"My prom dress is really comfy. Does taffeta look okay on the air?"
"Ha, ha! You're funny! But hey, really!" I could tell she was rifling through her mental Rolodex of More Appropriate Mommies Who Wouldn't Make Tired Jokes About Prom Dresses, so I assured her I would wear my usual oversized sweatshirt. I have a new one adorned with a beadazzled Easter Bunny! Stylish and seasonal!
Scott and I stayed up all night tossing our crap into closets. Actually Scott did most of the work. I told him I had to do some research for the segment, and by the way, that stove wasn't going to clean itself. He wasn't too happy with me, frankly. No matter how frequently I observed how hot he looks while he's chiseling dried tomato sauce out of the oven controls.
The next morning I told Henry that some nice people with big cameras would be at our house when he got home from school. He looked at me, like, of course people are coming here to put me on television. What took them so long? On the ride to school, he told me, "I think they turn the cameras on, and then they throw them at you. And that's how they take the picture." I, for one, think this is an excellent idea. Just one shot after another of people ducking for cover, cameras clattering to the ground and going dead. All the producers wondering why no one wants to be on their shows.
After I dropped him off I did everything you'd expect a person who was waiting for a television crew to arrive would do: tried on different shirts, crammed more crap into closets, tried to use an eyelash curler without blinding myself. I decided on the shirt that Scott has dubbed the Rack Shirt, a dark-brown number that somehow gifts me with, well, a rack. I figured that in case I sounded like a feckless jerk, the audience would be distracted by my resplendent bosom swathed in a featherweight jersey.
Sadly, the producer's first words to me upon her arrival were, "Are you set on that shirt?" She was not sufficiently dazzled by my B-cups and wanted something brighter. She didn't like the fuschia body paint, either. Some people will never be satisfied.
The interview itself went surprisingly well. The lovely producer and her lovely cameramen (and I use the term "lovely" with no irony whatsoever—this is unusual for me, I know) were expert at putting me at ease, even after I responded to the first question with a gurgling noise and a slow slide off the chair. I regained my composure, thanks to them, and found myself expounding away. Apparently I made some kind of sense, because the producer nodded in approval and at one point reacted to my commentary with a quiet "wow." Which may have been short for, "Wow, are you sure you're not completely high?"
The point I tried to hammer home, and probably it will get completely lost in the final edit, is that I don't think the term "Alpha Mom" connotes some exclusive club. It's a term we can all own, and it's meant to indicate that it's important, this thing we do, this motherhood gig. In other words, it's supposed to be empowering, not intimidating. I said a bunch of other things too, but I can't remember, because I was so damn high.
The segment is set to air Monday. Be sure to tune in, if only to see Henry throwing a ball to me, and the ball sailing right past my outstretched hands. It's not easy to miss an underhand lob from a four-year-old, but I'm going to do it on national television, folks. Enjoy.