Back in 2009, I was interviewed for a magazine. One of the bloggers I'd read for a long time had been writing for a magazine for awhile and she mentioned on her blog that her next story was about people living together in non-traditional living arrangements. She was asking anyone interested to contact her. I thought to myself 'well heck, my living arrangement is certainly non-traditional for Americans,' and I contacted her.
I was interviewed over email back and forth a few times, then several months went by and I assumed the story had died or I'd been cut from it. It had seemed that the magazine wanted an economic downturn spin to the story, kind of like 'we moved in with my parents when I lost my job.' The writer had said she liked my story and wanted to include it to illustrate that larger, multi-generational family living situations are the norm through much of the world, but after waiting most of a year, I figured I just hadn't fit into the kind of story they'd been looking for.
Then finally I heard from her again. The story hadn't been published without me, it'd just been delayed during an editorial shakeup, and now it was back on. They wanted a picture of my family, as well as all of our real names - (which was when I decided NOT to tie it back to this still-trying-to-remain-
I told my family about it, and my close inlaws. I didn't really want all of M's cousins reading it, but Chachoo and Dhulhan read it. I posted it on Facebook. Then I figured my fifteen minutes of fame were up. Then one day I got a phone call. It was an associate producer for the Nate Berkus Show. She'd read my story in the magazine and she wanted to talk more about my life and see if she couldn't include my story as a possible pitch for a future Nate Berkus Show.
I freaked out. I don't have cable, so I'd never seen his show, but I knew him and liked him from his time on Oprah. I also knew his was the kind of show where participants sometimes end up getting free stuff and/or home renovations. People, let me tell you that my tiny house is too darn small for all these people we have stuffed inside it, and our kitchen and bathrooms have never been changed since the house was built in 1975. I have harvest gold toilets. Our kitchen is a postage stamp and we REGULARLY have 5 people in it at once. There may or may not have been some uncomfortable brushing-ups. So when I got to thinking about being featured on the Nate Berkus Show, and the possibility of him helping redo my basement or oh-god-please-my-kitchen, I started to consider that possibly I would kinda maybe want to do that. Now I'm pretty sure television ruins marriages. That's clear by now, isn't it? I have no desire for fame, and the kind of fame reality television shows bring seems to be of the destructive-only variety.
But who can pass up a possible free kitchen!!?!? Not me, I tell you.
So I talked, I answered questions, I tried to really push the one-big-happy-family-in-a-too-small-house theme, and oh, did I mention how tiny our kitchen is? The producer was really nice, and we chatted a bit. I carted out all my witty banter and funny stories. Then later I told my whole family about it and we instantly became huge Nate Berkus fans.
Unfortunately, I never did hear anything back. But then, weeks later, I got another phone call, this time from a producer at the Rachey Ray Show.
I never called that one back though. Rachel Ray doesn't renovate basements as far as I know, nor does she give away kitchen appliances. And I already have some time in my life where I sit in someone's house and overtake the conversation by going on and on about how differently my life turned out from how I was expecting and no one gives me a new refrigerator at the end of it - that's my monthly bookclub meeting.