You Can't Do This If You're Working...

A few weeks ago, when I was positively giddy with failure, I tried to console myself by thinking about all the amazing things I now have time to pursue because I'm not working.

I've been taking long walks (mainly to counteract the "tiramisu-effect"), I've read four novels since January (my longest consecutive literary binge since college!), I've even volunteered for bake sales and book fairs, and yet I can't help but feel like I should be doing more in this unusual career purgatory.

I was chopping onions at the time and wearing my fabulous pink onion goggles. (Seriously, if you're a home cook, you need these goggles and not just because they're guaranteed to make your entire family wet their pants laughing when they see you wearing them (see photo below), but also because they work! This is the product that should have "No More Tears" as its tagline! To pick up a pair, click on the Onion Goggles link on the right!) Plus, they always make me feel a bit like Bono and that's when I began to think: maybe I should put together weekly video messages wearing the aforementioned culinary-experience-enhancing eyewear, doing my best impersonations of the U2 frontman and send them to friends (while they're working) just for fun.

So, I clicked on the little icon on my phone, turning the camera on myself-and let's face it, I'd almost rather see a band of burglars in my basement than a close-up of myself on my iPhone-and began my attempt at a raspy Irish brogue.

After completing a quick parody of the rock icon addressing diplomats and foreign leaders (substituting Chuck E. Cheese for the United Nations), I showed my husband.

"That's frightening," he said.

"I know, this new wrinkle cream totally isn't working," I conceded.

"No," he said. "If you send these messages to people, they're definitely going to think you've lost it."

Alas, he was right. Even if my recipients enjoyed an initial burst of hilarity after receiving a video of my mediocre imitation of the Irish crooner, once the laughter stops, they would probably grow concerned about my mental health.

"Even if something like this were to go viral, I don't think it's what you'd like to be known for. Right?" he pleaded.

He was, again, correct. As it is, I'm clinging to my last shred of dignity with the desperation of a woman wearing a string bikini caught in a riptide. But why does there always have to be such thin line between "voice of reason" and "party pooper," I want to know?

I'm only using a still photo here rather than the video so I don't end up in the funny farm, but certainly one can appreciate and imagine all the comedic opportunities these goggles offer. 

So, fast forward a few days and I receive an email from ABC inviting fans of "The Chew" to compete to win a Girls Night Out with Carla Hall. Now, first of all, I'd have signed up for an evening excursion with Satan himself as it had been raining for days and my boys were marathon-watching "Pawn Stars" and I as much as I adore the witty banter between the Old Man and Chumlee, I'd had enough. (Also, once I realized this show was not going to motivate them to clean the basement, attic or even their closets hoping to find a priceless artifact, I lost interest.)

The first step in the competition was to complete a series of questions and send in several photos of yourself along with recipes you think would impress the energetic comfort-food-loving co-host. Now I've been a fan of Miss "Hootie Hoo" Hall's since she baked her way into my heart on "Top Chef" Season 5 and I'd absolutely love to meet her. But...I asked myself...did I really have the time to find, let alone upload, decent photos of myself, type up recipes and expound on why I deserve a night out with Carla? Yes! Yes, I did have the time!

And so I went for it and last Wednesday evening, just as I was about to make frozen ravioli (you see the irony here) I received a call from one of the show's producers. He was full of enthusiasm and after I answered a few more questions, he told me additional producers would call me on Thursday. He also said I should keep Wednesday, yes, this Wednesday!!, open because, if selected, that's when I'd compete. I asked him if he thought that gave me enough time to drop 20lbs and get Botox and we laughed like the old friends I hoped we'd one day become.

So, long story short-and I recognize that I have completely "buried the lede" as we say in the news business-I will be competing to win a night out with the amazing Carla Hall! It's crazy and between now and Wednesday, I need to find an outfit, a decent bra, what, for me, has been a lifelong, holy grail-like search: the perfect shade of lipstick, and some killer dance moves. Yes, they said Carla will want to make sure that you can bring it on the dance floor. You'd think that would've been enough to make me, the girl always chosen last during gym class, balk, but it didn't. Why not, you ask? Because, even though I have just a few days to prep, for once in my life, I do have the time and I need to embrace it.

Plus, even if I don't win the night out, I'm thinking of applying to become Daphne Oz's nanny while I'm there.

Stay tuned!


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