I can’t recall a time in the past seven years when life hasn’t been panting hot, stinky drool down the back of my neck. I suppose once you add a certain number of people and Life Events to a person ill equipped to function on a simple, solitary level shit gets out of hand. Last summer, sometime in June when life was spiraling slightly out of control, I stopped on a street corner to check my email. Yes, I do that because 1) I can and 2) if I saved it for a sensible time it would mean I possessed an organization I’ve never before held. The emails were the typical grab bag of crap coupled with a new sender, Jenni, whom I had not before seen. Turns out she was a a scout for an upcoming reality series, excuse me docu-series -as I was to later learn. Apparently Jenni, or somebody on her team, had been poking around the Internet looking for people fool enough to not only live with their parents beyond a certain age, but who had written about it online. Lucky me, I fit that category.
I’m always a bit touched, if not slightly horrified, when somebody publicly acknowledges they have read an online tidbit of mine. These Hansel & Gretel nuggets of my less than ambitious self floating about online, and somebody has bothered to absorb them! Always a bit of a thrill. So when after a short email exchange Jenni asked that I call her, I did. She and her crew were searching for an interesting extended family of several generations to document. She wanted all sorts of details about the children, my mom and me. Huh.
I was intrigued enough to tell Cassidy about this turn of events. She who had recently started watching the Kardashian’s, she was ecstatic. “We’ll be stars, Mom! We’ll be rich! Think of all the clothes I’ll be able to buy!” At 14 the prospect of pouring our innards out for the entertainment of national TV appealed to her. When I informed Loren of the idea he paused, shrugged his shoulders and said it didn’t matter to him since he was about to move away for school. I didn’t tell Devon since I figured it would weird him out on nearly all levels. My mother was so opposed to the idea that her body stiffened at the mere mention of it. Me, I knew there was no way I could live my life with a television crew following our every step. I itch from every day life, toss in sound and lighting and I don’t think I could breathe. Plus, everything out there? I think not. Blogging about stuff is one bit of madness, living and breathing it is Jerry Springer on an entirely new level. However, the fact that we were chosen to be in the queue somewhat fascinated me and I wanted to see just how far we could make it before politely telling them, “Um, no thank you. You see we are actually very sophisticated and so above this sort of thing. Excuse me while I go pick my nose.”
I submitted the required pictures and bio’s for each of our family members. Jenni said she loved the look of the kids, the fact that each of them have different hair and eye colors was even better for her. She wanted more. So we did a conference call with all our family members. She liked the way we interacted. We took the next step and filled out gobs of paperwork. She loved our words and wanted more. This is where my mother said, “Enough. No more.” The truth is that without her we were nowhere. She was our Kris Kardashian, the captain of the ship. Cassidy was furious, her future wardrobe now derailed from Prada to TJ Maxx. Loren again shrugged his shoulders. Devon never really knew.
So we had an almost brush with dysfunctional fame. I always knew it wasn’t for us. My friends would never have let the cameras into their homes. The potential damage to our family was too much to even contemplate. Yet. Yet there are moments when Cass and I will look at each other and say, “This so could have been a reality TV moment.” This is usually in reaction to my mother who would have outshone any of us and would likely have landed herself her own spin-off series.