Don and I were driving home from Napa last Wednesday when I got this email out of the blue.
TO: Kris Mulkey
FROM: Brian Grobman
SUBJECT: tv show
My name is Brian and I work at Anderson
, a new daytime talk show hosted by Anderson Cooper. I was interested in speaking with you about an idea I had for a story. Please give me a call when you get a chance at 212 275 8939 or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1271 Avenue of the Americas // 16th Floor
New York, NY 10020
It would also be helpful if you let me know a number I could reach you at as well.
I look forward to speaking with you as soon as possible in the near future.
I responded immediately:
TO: Brian Grobman
FROM: Kris Mulkey
SUBJECT: tv show
He called me 5 minutes later. Holy crap. He thought my message was odd/sassy/funny. Okay good. That's me, I'm a funny girl.
He started asking me questions about my family, the holidays, cooking, and then he finally got to why he was calling.
"We're doing a holiday show about families getting together and differences you experience in the kitchen when everyone gets together. Does anything happen when you get together with your family?" he asked.
We drink a lot of wine. A lot. But I didn't tell him that.
The only thing I could think of was the differences we have with my sister-in-law. She wants everything to be organic and there can be no pork products, aka, no bacon or sausage. It definitely causes some drama because that's not the way we cook all the time. So I told him. And then I told them they are hosting all of us for the first time this Christmas.
"That sounds like a perfect fit for our show. Would you be willing to fly to NY with your sister-in-law to be on our show?" he asked.
"On the show WITH HER? TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENCES?" Hello? You don't know me very well. I'm not good at that. "No. No, I can't do that. I would be really uncomfortable. It would be weird. I can't." I said, as a hot flash overcame me head to toe.
He begged. "It will be friendly, I promise. Our show is not like Jerry Springer. It's supposed to be fun."
I wouldn't budge. The more I talked about our family differences the more I realized I sounded like an ass for not wanting organic products and wanting to make bacon and sausage. What was I pro chemical? Holy crap.
He asked if I knew anyone else that might be interested. I mentioned our CT friends and gave him their info. Who knows, maybe they would be less of a freakazoid stress monster and will think it's fun.
We hung up and I told Don and Elli the whole story. Of course they were in the car and heard my side of the conversation. They both thought I was nuts. We should totally do it. Everyone has differences in their family. Why not?? We can fly to NY, it will be fun!!! CALL HIM BACK!!!
YES!!! they shouted. They were super excited. EVEN DON!
So I did. But I was nervous about it. I mean it's one thing having a blog where I blab about everything in my life. But TV? That's something else entirely. Plus, what would I wear? And is it possible to lose 10 pounds in a week? I would be willing to stop eating right then.
My stomach was in a knot. I couldn't think straight. I immediately called my sister, and mother, and then my brother (husband of the sister-in-law.)
My mom: "Go for it!"
My sister: "I think I'm going barf."
My dad: "Can we be on the show too?"
My brother: "Yeah, sure, I'll ask Alix when she gets home."
Elli: "I want to go if my cousin can go to."
Don was already planning on how we would visit all our CT friends in a day and a half.
I spoke with another producer and passed her test.
She just had to talk to Alix.
I could not sleep that night. Was I doing the right thing? What if this went wrong? I don't want to create enemies with my family.
The next day Alix was busy and didn't get in touch with the producer which I took as a sign that she didn't want to participate.
The producers were hounding me with emails and phone calls (in a good way) so I finally sent them a polite letter saying we were declining the offer. I took her non-response as a "no."
She finally did talk to them, but by that point it was clear she didn't really want to do it.
And that was it. It was over. The producers moved on.
No all expense paid trip to New York. No 15 minutes of fame. No visiting our friends. And no potential public humiliation either.
My entire body relaxed.
The show airs this Wednesday afternoon. I wish I wasn't working so I could watch it. But then again if everyone is all nice and sweet to each other I'll be mad. So I better not.
What would you have done?