09 May 2011

Mind your money

In March, a friend who works in the television industry was contacted by a colleague looking for a third grade class to film a segment on kids and money for the Suze Orman show. My friend’s children attend the same school as mine, and Gabriel’s class was chosen to film the segment.

The first thing Gabriel said when he came home from school was, “Mama, Mama, I am going to be on TV!”

Because I am all about MANAGING EXPECTATIONS, and knowing he could end up on the cutting room floor, I replied, “You might be on TV.”

When I relayed this conversation to my friend, she said, “Don’t worry. I know your son; he will be on TV.” Still, I kept this information in my back pocket, because of the MANAGING EXPECTATIONS.

Gabriel’s classmates were asked to write short essays about money, and what they like to do with it, and sure enough, Gabriel was selected to be on the show. Before the day of filming, we got his hair cut, and chose a clean shirt for school.

Suze Orman airs on Saturday night at nine, and we set the DVR to record it, hoping to watch it on Sunday. 

Saturdays at nine is a sacred time in my household, when the new season of Doctor Who, which started only three weeks ago, airs.

We are embarrassingly serious about Doctor Who. There is a long gap between seasons, and the start of a new season is a time of much rejoicing. I actually blew off friends to whom I'd extended a dinner invitation, because I hadn’t realized the night I’d suggested was the SEASON PREMIERE.

As nine o’clock approached, Sarah, who is very into Doctor Who herself, lobbied hard to watch Suze Orman, and although David and I really, really, really would have preferred Doctor Who, given the choice between family and our favorite television show, we did the right thing.

I had never seen the Suze Orman show; until that night, I didn’t even know her name is pronounced Susie, not Sooz, which make more sense phonetically. I felt a little conflicted about her, as I found her both extremely annoying, and thus hard to take, but also, a hard-assed straight shooting bitch, which I respect. In the end, annoying won out: she’s very shouty, and kept referring to Mother’s Day as “Mommy’s Day.” It was painful to watch in real time, and the show is an hour long, but we persevered, for Gabriel.

Sarah didn’t much care for the show either:

“I don’t like her hair.”
“Her teeth scare me.”
“She looks like she should have wrinkles, but she doesn’t”
“She’s not a mother, is she?”
“Maybe she’s a lesbian.”

Just as we were about switch to Doctor Who, we saw the preview for Gabriel’s segment, featuring GABRIEL. By this point, Gabriel had grown so bored that he had passed out on the couch, but the rest of us were rewarded with five minutes during which I nearly DIED of adorableness, as we watched Gabriel and his classmates speak bluntly about money.


And while I was irritated that a woman who pronounces her name in a manner defying phonetic norms could not correctly pronounce Macaluso, I am grateful to her nonetheless, for allowing me to see my gorgeous, disarming, good-natured, delightful son display his charms on national television.

It was a pretty great Mother’s Day present.


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