Mr. DeMille, I’m NOT Ready for my Close Up

They say the camera adds 10 pounds.  But truthfully, that is not the only, or even the main, reason why I was dreading my moment in the spotlight.

Here’s how my upcoming television debut came to happen…

My teen is on his school’s broadcast team.  This month, the team is planning a story about how people celebrate the holidays.  Somehow this led to my son volunteering me to make latkes (potato pancakes traditionally eaten on Hanukkah) for filming.  And, as is the way with teens, particularly mine, particularly procrastinators, he asked me about this (via text message) the day before filming was to take place.  Which I guess was a good thing because that meant I had very little time to be stressed out about the whole thing.  And stressed out I was!

So all my fretting led to me asking myself – “Why do I care so much what other people think?” I suspect it is a self-esteem issue.  As far back as I can remember, I have always been this way.  I can tell you it is not weight related – I worry just as much when I am thin as when I am not.  Okay, ALMOST as much.

So this broadcast will be seen by the entire school and then posted on the internet.  Yikes!

My thoughts went like this:

What will I wear?  (Is there a woman out there who would not fixate on this when she is about to be photographed?)  Can’t be anything too nice since there will be splattering oil.

I’ll need to put on some make-up and cover up the zit on my chin.  And actually blow-dry my hair for a change.  Maybe even use the flat iron.

Will I be asked to explain things… like the meaning behind latkes or the history of the holiday?  Time for some internet research to be sure I don’t sound as stupid as I already feel.

My cooking skills are sorely lacking and I only make latkes once a year so hope I don’t flounder too much.  Not to mention that I usually cheat with my recipe and use frozen potatoes, but that won’t work if I am the model for how to make latkes.  I’ve been warned that peeling of an actual potato is desired.

I hate how my voice sounds when it is recorded.  Does it really sound like that to everyone else?  Eek!

My old ugly white stove is an old ugly white stove.  My kitchen is a mess.  The stove stays but the mess goes.  Must get busy cleaning.

What if I fart on camera?  Really, this is how far gone I was.  I mean, really.  OMG.

And, yes, there was the inevitable – I wish I was skinnier!

And on and on it went.  My brain spinning.  The sweat pooling in my armpits.  Tension bubbling in my chest.  Words cannot convey what I was feeling, how I really did not want to do this, the stress, the dread.  You would have thought that I was the teenager, not the adult.  Sigh.

But I did get one maybe positive out of all this.  That my son asked me.  Me, the mom who has apparently been a continual source of embarrassment for years.  I guess he must be over that or he would not have offered up his mom for all the world to see.  Well, his corner of the world at least.

And for the first time as I write this it dawns on me that as crazy as I thought my son was in his finding his parents embarrassing, it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  I find myself embarrassing sometimes too!  And clearly we both worry way too much about what others are thinking.

So… are you wondering how it went?

I was very nervous.  Fumbling at first.  Unsure what they wanted since, typical teens, they did not communicate much.  And a lot of my worries were for nothing:  from what I can tell the filming is all about potatoes before, during, and after frying and I don’t think I show at all except for my hands!  And there was no sound.  But, I did get so frazzled that I forgot to add the eggs so the first two batches did not come out right and I could not figure out why.  Fortunately, my very smart son thought to wonder if I had left something out of the recipe.  Yep, embarrassing.  But I got over it.  And I hope that the teens were just teasing me when they said that the screw up would be great for their outtakes!

Do you worry too much about what others think?  Have you ever gotten yourself this stressed out about something so insignificant?



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46 responses to “Mr. DeMille, I’m NOT Ready for my Close Up

  1. bless you that’s such a cute story. I worry all the time about what others think, usually about my clothes or similar. apparently they’re all worrying about it too and not really looking at other people’s outfits

  2. So glad you got through it! I SO know what you mean! I had my TV debut for my cooking blog last fall and I was seriously a blathering idiot. It’s a wonder they had anything to edit. Thank GOODNESS for the editing! You can be glad it’s over with! Breathe!

  3. I used to get myself TOTALLY worked up over what people thought of me or would think of me. I’ve been working on that for the past few years and have made major major progress. That said, it still happens a little. I think some of it is natural and normal. Everyone wants to be perceived in a positive light, and we fear people will see our flaws or what we think are flaws. Concentrating on making this better can really help.

    And so glad you got through it!! 🙂

  4. What a cool thing for you to do! And with/for your teenager – that’s surely the take-away here.

    It’s amazing how much energy we devote to what other’s think of us? When the truth probably is, that each of us are so wrapped up in our own “stuff” that we barely give anyone else a stray thought.

  5. Shannon @ BetterNextTime

    That’s cute! I totally do the same thing. I call myself on it all the time – have to give a little reminder not to sweat the small stuff so much!

  6. I love me some latkes! 🙂

    I just wrote on Cammy’s blog that this whole caring what people think.. like you wrote, I can remember as far back as 7 years old & caring what people thought of me… I still have not really gotten over that… craziness, I know but I know I am not alone!

    I love this story in that you thought how great it was that your son asked… and ya know what Karen, many of us would have been thinking the same as you.. well, I would have & yes how TV adds 10 pounds! OMG! 😉

    Happy Hanukkah!

    • Karen

      My husband and I have conversations about this whole notion; he and I both think we worry a bit too much. It would be nice to be more laid back about everything… this included.

      So… I’m thinking I may try baking the latkes one year. MizFit shared a link with me that had a recipe.

  7. How amazingly special that your son asked you to be a focus on school film for the holidays! (Don’t even get me started about the delights of homemade latkes…)

    Thanks for sharing the story – I’ll be watching for the “no-egg” bloopers on YouTube.

  8. hee. Great minds think alike? Or I guess in our case it’s, “great minds worry alike.” 🙂

    I can’t imagine cooking on camera. Good for you for getting past the worry/fear and doing it anyway. Plus, kudos for recognizing the great compliment your son handed to you in asking you to participate.

  9. WOW and to think we are FB friends, now I can say I know a TV star…LOL And yes I stress when I don’t have anything to stress about. Where can I find this to watch”

  10. Great story! Your son must have known you’d do just fine. I’m not sure I could have done that for fear of how I’d look. Oh my goodness, I do spend too much time worrying what others think, though I’ve gotten much better over the years. A friend of mine says, “We’d all be a lot less worried about what others think of us if we realized how little they do!” Love it.

    I’ll have to friend you on FB.

    • Karen

      He said to me “You didn’t have to dress up for this” and I was wearing jeans and a button-down corduroy shirt. How pathetic that I am usually so sloppy that he knew that was dressing up! And he and both girls told me not to be nervous so I guess I was pretty obvious. Sigh.

  11. What a great story Karen! Oh yes, I have spent my entire life worrying about what people thought of me. Sigh. What a waste of time and energy.

    I love what Leslie wrote,”We’d all be a lot less worried about what others think of us if we realized how little they do!” Dr Phil says that a lot and I have found that to be very helpful.

  12. That’s so funny. You’re a great story teller.
    I do agree that your teen son wanting to spend time with you trumps everything else. It’s sweet.
    I don’t really worry about what other people think so much, but sometimes everything can stress me out quite a lot.
    I have a weird mix… it’s not that I worry about what other people think, but it bums me out so much that when I’m so out of shape, they will not be seeing “me”. Not really.
    that’s how it feels, anyway.

  13. I stress out over insignificant shit way too often. LOL Oddly enough, rarely about embarassing myself. :p

    Silly woman. You rawk! 🙂

  14. Lol well sounds like you did good overall- and no farting happened either I assume lol 😉

    Your son’s lucky you didn’t say no lol.

  15. Very cute story! I am so glad it went well for you! 🙂

    I always worry about what people think of me. It’s unfortunate and I know it is a self-esteem issue — as well as maybe a lack of self-knowledge.


  16. Karen, I’m so glad that you didn’t fart on camera while making one of my favorite holiday treats. 🙂 Sounds like it went well and as you noted, how lovely of your son to ask. When I care too much about what people think, it can be immobilizing and finally in my 40’s, I find myself caring less and less each year. The last time I got stressed was making a toast at one of my best friend’s weddings back in May. One of the things I do for a living is speaking, but I was so nervous about making a really memorable toast that it came out pretty lame. But then relief followed when I learned that no one cared as long as they saw my love for the happy couple.

  17. Yeah, I think it’s great that your son asked…and I bet he and everyone who watched didn’t notice or think about ANY of the things you were worried about.

    In any case…this is one area that I think I am getting better at…the whole worrying about what people think. I mean, I am not totally immune, but now I realize that they are all too worried about what others think to even think about me! Besides, I am finding that when I relax and enjoy, others relax and enjoy too. So here’s to more relaxation and enjoyment all around!

    • Karen

      Yes, relaxation and enjoyment:) I just need to remind myself, I guess. And the funny thing is it did not occur to me until just now that being so worried about what others think can be almost self-centered thinking – to think that others are focused on me. Really!? I doubt that.

  18. Karen, this is so great! Where is the link to the Internet version of your latke making? I must see it! I don’t blame you for all the agonizing. I’m convinced I sound like I’ve got some whiny Chicago accent on camera and can’t stand hearing myself. Otherwise I just try to stand up straight and be photographed from my good side (which side is that again?)

    Hey, if I made latkes they’d have to be my dieter’s version: weighed potatoes, one egg, and Pam spray, no oil! Unexpected!

    • Karen

      MizFit shared a link to a baked latke recipe. Some time I’d like to try that… if my family doesn’t revolt. The broadcast is not until late next week so maybe, just maybe, I’ll share the link after I watch:) But it is 45 minutes long and probably like 90 seconds of latkes.

  19. Hi Karen, I’m almost back. Ran around like crazy today trying to catch up till I started feeling sick and unstable again and had to sit down for the rest of the day. Cheerful though.

    How very nice that your son thinks so well of you that he wants you to participate in his school activities. Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

    I spent way too much of my life being paralyzed by worrying about what people thought of me. I wanted to say that I don’t worry so much anymore, but I caught myself in a lie. I spent the last couple of days thinking hard about the commenting part of blogging. Nearly everyone is so nice and polite most of the time, and I wonder if some of us never say what we really think because we want other bloggers to think we are nice. I’ve read a couple of posts (not yours) in the past few weeks on which I really wanted to reveal my true thoughts so that a discussion might be opened about the topics, but I was afraid that people might misunderstand and think I was being mean, when I really just wanted to explore a different side of a topic.

    YAY! Dreaded November is over. December will be better.

    • Karen

      Oh… I have done that. Gone so far as to write a reply that I thought was tactful yet decided not to post it since it might be taken the wrong way. BTW – I always appreciate honest comments, even when the don’t agree with me. I have gotten some great insight and eye-opening and questioning of myself that way.

  20. Yea!! How exciting.

    I hate attention. I avoid it at all costs. I don’t handle compliments very well. I’m so proud of you for going through with it and kicking butt.

    It’s okay to be embarrassing. I’ve embraced my corniness and I’m much happier now.

  21. Oh my goodness, I burst out laughing with the fart fear!!!! The voice thing I could relate to though…I hate hearing my speaking my voice! It’s so high and I tend to go “up” in pitch at the end of sentences. Drives me nuts. Do I drive everyone nuts??? LOL We’re crazy being, aren’t we?

  22. I was more like you in the past, but I usually worried and then got over it and enjoyed whatever it was that had me concerned. Now – I barely worry about that stuff at all – some say it has to do with age. I like to think I realized all the worry didn’t change the outcome and it just took away from my enjoyment of things.

    Happy Hannukah! I was very tempted to make latkes but I am trying to stick with my no-gain-holiday pledge!!

  23. Precious… My gosh, we are certainly hard on ourselves, eh? What if.. What if… WHAT IF! And yes, the little nugget of your son WANTING you to do this – precious indeed. And of course, despite our worse fears and thoughts, it all works out. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks for sharing Karen ~

  24. Hilarious! I love that he asked you, though. You’re right to cherish that part. I so know what you felt about being “on stage.” I sing pretty well. I was a voice major in college. The only problem was, I got terrible stage fright. It bothered me for so long. And being the librarian. Talking to and being in charge of a group of kids was just fine, but throw in teachers or parents and I got very self conscious. Even last Sunday when I did the Old Testament reading in church, I got very nervous about exactly when and could have easily fumbled. I wonder at what age I’ll discover that it’s not all about me? LOL

    • Karen

      So the weird thing is that ages ago when I worked I was a corporate trainer and had not problem speaking in front of a group. But you are right – it is so not all about us. Sigh.

  25. I over-analyze and over-think everything, not matter how insignificant. Then it almost always turns out well. At least I’m always prepared for the worst. 🙂

  26. Well, Julia Child was not made in a day either!! Good for you stretching yourself in this way and out of your comfort zone. When I have had to be in front of a camera, I keep reminding myself that most of those watching do not know me. It helps.

    The cool thing is that your son invited you to do this! I predict many more such invitations. That is the beauty of having almost and grown up children.

    Now, may I have your autograph??

    • Karen

      Ah – but in this instance those watching might indeed know me and many would certainly know my son.

      Karen, the famous latke maker

  27. you and I are sisters in the blogpostage.
    I blogged today about not caring what others think and would have to say that I can veer toooo far in that direction.

    oh, happy medium.
    where are ye???


    • Karen

      Yes! My husband and I talk about that often since we have some family members who are at the other end of the spectrum and could use just a little more “carrying about what others think.” I need a bit of them to rub off on me and visa versa!

  28. Okay, we are so different it cracks me up! I LOVE being on TV, the center of attention, and if I farted on camera, I would say, “OMGoodness! I just tooted! Did you hear that?” We alter latkes every year because I am allergic to eggs. Using frozen potatoes would be so much easier! I all over that! Why didn’t I ever think of that before?

    • Karen

      Oh I got a wonderful laugh out of this, Mandy! Must be a tough allergy to work around since eggs are in so many things. Try the frozen; I used shredded hash browns, thawed, and then put them in the food processor to get the consistency we like. You will never go back! And they don’t change colors like peeled potatoes. The lazy woman’s approach to latkes:)

  29. Love your story! I can so relate to all those thoughts that ran through your head — my biggest problem is worrying what other people think. I also like hearing about your son, since my oldest son is 13 and in the height of obnoxicity right now — its nice to hear that maybe he will get nicer again someday.

  30. I get this–I would have been overthinking it too. But I’m glad it turned out OK! Will you post the video for us when it’s done? Pleeease??? You have to. 🙂

  31. sunnydaze

    I love this story. I also love, love, LOVE that your son asked you to do it. I’m glad you did. Now you and your son both have a cute story to tell and wonderful memories. Thanks for the smile today. 🙂

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