Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Viewer Discretion Advised

Three weeks ago David phoned to tell us that CTV wanted to do a story about him for their evening news program. I barely had time to think "that's nice" before he informed me that they also wanted to interview Jay and me for the story. My immediate response was, "Uh, sorry. You know I don't do public speaking in any way, shape or form." What followed was a few seconds of silence, then David's mumbled confession that, well, actually he had already told them we would do it.

Needless to say I felt cornered. What followed were a few days of mental anguish as I considered my options. There weren't many. If I said no I would disappoint David. Normally that would have been enough to tip the scales to a yes answer, but I was still feeling a bit annoyed over his having "volunteered" my services. But saying yes would mean speaking in front of a television camera. As a self-defined double introvert I have made it a life rule to not talk in any group with more than four people in it. Being watched by thousands seemed out of the question. (I am living proof that there really are people who would rather attend their own funeral than speak in public.)

Then a woman from BC who had been missing for seven weeks was found alive down in Nevada. David's story was indefinitely postponed while the cameraman traveled South of 49 to cover that story.  This allowed me to temporarily "Scarlett O'Hara" the whole thing. (For those of you not familiar with this term, it is coined from the final scene in Gone With the Wind when Rhett has just told Scarlett that he no longer gives a damn about her. As the movie ends Scarlett is so overwhelmed she declares that she just can't think about it today. She will think about it tomorrow.)

Then late one afternoon last week David phoned again. The filming was scheduled to happen the next day, and oh, by the way, they now wanted to shoot the footage of Jay and me at our house. Let's just say I might have had a bad moment or two as I glanced around the kitchen and living room. It is amazing what you suddenly notice about your living space when you realize it might be aired on the evening news.

The actual interview/filming did not disappoint. It was every bit as awful as I had imagined it would be.  I was a blethering, robotic idiot. I was so nervous I just kept talking. And while I was talking there was a part of my brain that was reminding me that I couldn't even remember what I had been asked and that I should just stop talking. But the part of my brain that was operating on a fear response was stronger and I just kept talking. That fear response thing had the additional undesirable side effect of not letting me move any neck or facial muscles. As a consequence I ended up looking like a very verbal deer caught in headlights, one that would have preferred being road kill.

After the interview Curtis (the camera man) wanted to do some shots of David performing daily tasks in our kitchen. He asked David to walk over to the fridge and get something out. This was a bad surprise. Not once had it crossed my mind that our fridge might be shown on the nightly news. If it had I might have at least wiped the fingerprints off the door handles.

David opened the dirty door and grabbed the first thing he found, which happened to be a piece of pizza left over form the previous night's dinner. Oh great. In spite of the fact that the pizza was homemade with an organic spelt flour crust and pizza sauce I had made with last year's tomato crop, to the viewing audience it was going to look like we were a take-out kind of family. We're not.

Then Curtis wanted a shot of David putting the organic homemade not-take-out pizza into the microwave. Anther bad moment. As David swung the microwave door open I remembered that I still hadn't figured out who had been responsible for the latest microwave explosion. I have a house policy of not clearing up other people's microwave debris, so had left the nuked bits of food plastered on the inside until I knew who to blame. It had been a week since the explosion and nobody had stepped forward yet to confess. It was pretty grim in there.

The final scene they shot was of David putting on his shoes. Just as Curtis started taking the video I looked at the bottom step David was sitting on and saw the big hunk of packing tape that covers the corner. (It is there to keep our cat from using that spot as a scratching post.) I quickly reached out and pulled it off. The fridge and microwave might have been less than optimal, and it might look like we eat fast food for dinner, but at least it didn't end up looking like our carpet was taped together. The bar might be set fairly low, but at least I do have some standards.

I was tempted to not even blog about this simply because the few seconds of footage with me in it are so awful. But the thing is, this video is not about me. It is about David. It is about courage and perseverance. It is about facing every day with a "can do" attitude and not letting life get you down. It is about living life with what you do have rather than lamenting what you don't have.


CTV British Columbia - Kent Molgat on an inspiring Canucks fan - CTV News


Postscript:

That ball hockey game was a close one, with David's team losing 2 -1. The lone goal scorer? David, with a slap shot from the outside. And a note to my son.

Dear David,

I wasn't joking about the fact you owe me some salted caramels from Purdy's.

Love,
Mom

21 comments:

  1. Hi Kristie,

    Thank you so much for your input in our story about David. I think you did a great job. I hope it wasn't too nerve wracking for you. Normally I would be there for the interview myself but it just didn't happen that way this time; that's my biggest regret. But most of all, I would like to thank you for whatever you and Jay did to help allow David to become the man he is. I am truly inspired, and I am honoured to have played a role in helping his message of courage and perseverence to get out to more people.

    Thanks again.

    -Kent Molgat
    CTV

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  2. Kristie,

    You did a fantastic job in your interview, much better than many of the people we interview. It's a fantastic story, and it was hard to fit everything in to a minute and a half!

    David is a very inspiring person - having him as a friend has taught me many lessons about myself and how we live. I'm so happy I was able to be a part of telling his story!

    As for your concerns - you needn't worry, even if things were a mess (They weren't) people weren't paying attention to that, they were too busy watching in amazement as David does things we take for granted!

    Thanks again for saying 'yes' to being apart of this story!

    Curtis

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  3. Kristie, thank you so much for sharing this. David's story is wonderful, and you and the house were both just fine. I must say, I was jealous for him that you have recreational ball hockey (aka floor hockey) - Bushboy would love that.

    For springing it on you at the last minute I'd say he owes you more than just Purdy's :-)

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  4. @Kent - Thank you for doing the story about David. And for your kind words!

    @Curtis - You did a very impressive job with the story. And you might owe me some Purdy's too. :-) Just saying...

    @kate - The only thing higher than chocolate on my bribery scale is yarn, but I don't trust David's ability to choose fibre. It is safer if I stick to my request for chocolates.

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  5. You did great, Kristie! The whole interview was done very well! You should be proud!

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  6. Big leagues indeed! David is a terrific young man.

    The station must have edited you out of the piece before I had a chance to see it. I didn't get to see the deer-in-the-headlights. But I did like the woman they had stand-in for you. She portatyed a proud, charming mom very well.

    Our house is in need of a thorough cleaning. Maybe if I tell the family I'm bringing a camera crew home...

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  7. No need to worry...you did great! If I hadn't just read about how nervous you were, I would have thought you were totally comfortable with the whole thing! Plus never saw the inside of the microwave ;)

    We were just discussing how well David does, tonight. They should have put in a clip of him playing X-box....I can't even work those controllers, and I have both hands! :D

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  8. For a seft-defined double introvert (as am I), I know it must have been very difficult for you to do that. I wanted to thank you for sharing, which I also know is sometimes hard for a SDDI.
    BTW, after watching the video, my impression of you is that you are a very proud mother of a very impressive young man.

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  9. Great story and you sounded fine. You should all be proud. And get chocolate.

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  10. @Ric - Thank you for your kind words. Let me know how the camera crew ploy works! :-) And I hadn't even noticed you spelled portrayed wrong. It's funny how ours eyes see what we expect to be there instead of what actually is!

    @Jill - Thanks Jill! And yes, thankfully the inside of the microwave did not really show. It's still got the nuked on bits by the way...A clip of him doing X-box would have been a great idea!

    @lyndagrace - Thank you so much. Everyone has been so kind and complimentary. It looks like I was fishing for compliments, but honestly I wasn't. It's nice to meet another SDDI!

    @Mary Lou - Thanks! And believe me, I intend to collect on that chocolate even if I have to buy it myself. :-)

    @

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  11. OMG you are hysterical! I wouldn't have noticed ANYTHING at all in your home, I was too entranced with your son. He's awesome! My baby brother's name is David and he's a hockey lover. I'm sending this to him :)

    P.S. I agree with the previous commenter-- the woman who played you was fantastic!

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  12. Woohoo!! Great story! All I saw was the beautifully shiny white floor - god forbid anyone should see my home.

    Well of course I saw a lot more than the floor too. You looked a complete natural on camera - very relaxed.

    And David - well how could you say "No" ? Robert Pattinson watch out!

    So so very pleased you posted the story.

    And yes, Mary Lou is right - get chocolate.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this :) I have a friend, Douglas, who was born without feet or hands, and like David he just gets on with life, with courage and fortitude and ingenuity ... you did a pretty good job of hiding the SDDI, I just saw a justifiably proud and loving Mom.

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  14. @mutantsupermodel - I had to laugh when I saw the story, and how the theme revolved around hockey as much as it did David's disability. Thanks for your kind words!

    @Luvvie - I am still waiting for those chocolates, but I am quite sure my son, who reads this blog, is getting the message loud and clear. :-)

    @Annie - My guess is most of the time you don't even notice your friend is missing his hands and feet. That is the way it is with David. Once people get to know him they don't even think about it any more. They see the person rather than the disability.

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  15. That's a real life story to make us all stop and think and admire the courage and positive attitude displayed by David and your family and friends.
    Janet in Seattle

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  16. New reader here from Jean's blog. I'm the same - I would have been agonizing over the state of my house. But even with your forewarning, I didn't see anything. The microwave light is so bright you couldn't see the interior. ;-)And I did not see noticeable signs of nervousness or stage fright.

    Kudos to David - the best part of the interview for me was the footage of him playing hockey.

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  17. @Janet - Thanks Janet!

    @Stashhaus - Thanks for stopping by my blog! Isn't Jean's blog the best? I look forward to reading her posts each morning, accompanied by a cup of tea. The hockey footage was very good. He also plays soccer, downhill skis, bikes, swims, along with any other athletic thing you could name!

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  18. Kristie, you are way to hard on yourself! :) You looked and sounded great! I enjoyed your blog entry though as I could relate to your fear of public speaking. I'd be a disaster, lol.

    What a neat opportunity for David though - he is such an inspirational guy.

    Erin B.

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  19. I watched the video two times. First to enjoy the wonderful inspiring story - and the second time to check out the things you talked about in you post. Even in full screen mode your house (including your microwave) looks spotless and you look and sound calm and composed.

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  20. @Erin - Thanks, it was a great opportunity for David, which is the only reason I agreed to do it. I am still waiting for the chocolates though.

    @Harpa - You are brave to have watched the video twice! When I watched it the second time it actually seemed worse to me, but that is because I knew where to look for the dirt and clutter. It gave me an unfair advantage. Thanks for your kind words! :-)

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