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?