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Greg Behrendt Show

So the other night I get a call from The Greg Behrendt Show (author of “He’s Just Not that Into You”)

asking if I’d be interested in being on a panel to talk about parenting. Apparently, Greg mentioned me to the producers (probably because they were scrambling to find someone for the next day) and just like that I was in. Figuring on a possible nice set up in the dressing room – mini bar, finger sandwiches, a massage perhaps – I brought my brother along to share in the festivities.

The accommodations turned out to be slightly deluxe-challenged. First off, no dressing rooms were open at all so we were led to the kitchen to hang out and scarf down some day old salami. The production folk in headsets stood around eyeing us suspiciously prompting me to say, “Hey, hi, I’m on the show. There just weren’t any dressing rooms. Yeah, hi. I’ll be out of your way as soon as someone finds us a room. I’m on the next show…”

Our next stop was the “viewing room.” This is a room set up with a coffee table and a few couches with a monitor showing what’s happening on the stage. My brother and I immediately began making fun of the people on the show that was being taped. Luckily we hadn’t gotten around to making jokes about the actual celebrities – and I use that phrase extremely loosely – Kennedy, some guy from a sitcom I’ve never heard of and another guy I’d never heard of who’s on According To Jim – because the room was full of their twenty-two-year-old publicists. Of course it immediately occurred to me that, wait a minute – while I’m busy thinking “who the hell is that guy,” not one person here would have any clue who the hell I am. I was just lucky to be there. I guess it’s all in your perspective. Which reminded me of a friend’s joke. “The other day I’m driving down the street and I see this guy sitting on the curb shooting up. Of course he’d probably say, the other day I was sitting on the curb shooting up and Greg Otto drove by.”

Finally, we were led to a dressing room where the only food to speak of was a tray of mini candy bars that seemed to have been from a left over supply of last year’s Halloween treats. Think Smarties, mini Kit Kats etc. Two hours and one sugar high later I was told my show was ready to start.

Before we went out on stage we had to do this thing where you “freestyle” for the camera while an announcer reads your credits. This is seriously horrifying for someone as self conscious as I am. I would need about four bottles of wine to do anything resembling improv and I was sober and slightly nervous. Needless to say I looked like an asshole. But as it turned out that was the least of my problems.

The show was about extreme parenting but the production had already taped a show on the topic and it was too heavy. So they wanted to bring some people with a lighter take on the subject. That’s where I came in. It was me, Shondrella (very funny woman from Napoleon Dynamite and Girls Behaving Badly), the According To Jim guy, someone from the sitcom, Girlfriends and then there was an “expert.” She was a psychotherapist who does family counseling.

The show went without incident until they asked the question, “do you think it’s okay to snoop on your kids?” I was asked the question first and I said, “I don’t think it’s cool. I would possibly do it if I suspected my kid was doing something that would put them in danger. Other than that, no. I went on to say that when I was a kid my dad read my diary for no reason and I’ve never gotten over that breach of trust. Not so funny but true. Then According To Jim gets the question and he immediately tells everyone that if his kid committed suicide and he later read about it in their diary he would be horrified that he didn’t read their diary earlier and possibly prevent a tragedy. He went on to say that he’d never ever get over something like that. I mean, sure, but can you say downer?

Why the suicide talk? We were having a pleasant discussion about invading privacy and we had to take it there? It just went downhill after that. But, luckily, I’d gotten off one joke earlier which will probably be cut. Then the “expert” reported that she didn’t give her kids any privacy at all. She doesn’t knock and let’s her kids know that she can look in their personal belonging any time she pleases and that includes journals. She said if they want to keep a journal I don’t see they can do it after they move out of the house. Apparently I’m the only one who believes in privacy. Hey, that’s why diaries have a lock!

All in all it was a no good, very bad day. I think I’ll move to Australia. On the other hand, do they have talk shows in Australia?

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on September 14, 2006 5:02 amUncategorized18 comments  

18 Comments

  1. Andrea said,

    But that’s a really hard question to answer (the privacy thing) because it totally depends on the kid, which is hard to predict when they are a toddler. If your kid is defiant, sneaking out at night, you know she’s hanging out with kids who are a poor influence on her, and you’re worried about her, you might be more open to paying more attention to her things. If she’s a good student, studies, has friends you like and is in general a trustworthy kid, you wouldn’t have to worry about going through her things. It’s all about context, and frankly, none of us know what we will do about our kids’ privacy until we’re faced with making that choice.

    You felt violated by your father reading your diary, so you have more of a connection to that kind of intrusion from the teen perspective. That’s worth something, too. It may make you more considerate of your daughter’s feelings, even if someday reading her diary becomes a necessary invasion you have to do to help her through a tough time. You just never know.

    Hey, at least you didn’t fart on camera or something.

    | September 14, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

  2. KTP said,

    That’s hot. when does it air?

    | September 14, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  3. MrsFortune said,

    Ah but remember. They have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days in Australia, too. They just get the seasons backwards.

    When’s the show going to air?

    | September 14, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  4. Jess Riley said,

    Yes, keep us posted on the airtime!

    Hilarious as always. You know, I once read my little sister’s diary. She’d written, “Jess thinks she knows EVERYTHING!” and that pretty much cured me of wanting to read anyone’s diary ever.

    | September 14, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

  5. Positive Chaos said,

    That is a hard question to answer and you answered it honestly and i think that is the key!
    To each is one right – but i agree with you!

    | September 14, 2006 @ 7:38 pm

  6. surcie said,

    I like Greg and I like hearing what he has to say, so I’ve been TiVoing the new show. Not sure I can see it being picked up by a network, though. . .I’ll be looking for ya!

    | September 14, 2006 @ 7:44 pm

  7. Binkytown said,

    Come on! You are being hard on yourself! That’s a kick ass day! Free candy? That funny woman from ND? I’m jealous!

    | September 14, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  8. Lena said,

    Hmm, I really think it depends on the kid. You know if your child is secretive or troubled. If you ‘re talking all of the time and you know all their friends, there’s really no reason to snoop.

    I know people will say that you ‘never really know’, but you need to take that chance. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING about your teen. Seriously. Some people need to chill out.

    Greg’s producer asked if I wanted to be on a show about Hot Moms. Then when I got more info, it was about Hot Moms Who Never Have Sex.

    Ummmmm, yeah, no.

    | September 15, 2006 @ 12:52 am

  9. taira said,

    when does it air? what channel does it come on? then when im watching i can say:

    “hey i know that lady, she wrote that cool book, i read her kick ass blog, and she’s a myspace friend. how cool is that?”

    | September 15, 2006 @ 1:57 am

  10. gingajoy said,

    dear fucking lord–what a clusterfuck. it sounds kind of funny in a surreal, “let’s hear what that guy from that show with that belushi guy in it has to say about parenting” kind of way.

    i hate when they use hotbutton issues like privacy, and then someone says “privacy can lead to suicide…” and everyone then says “oooh. privacy BAD.”

    what bogus shit. you know what can lead to suicide? shitty parents who do not respect a child’s right to be an individual, and who do not educate on issues like boundaries. Who control and connive. There! you child-killers, you!

    yeah, i’m going overboard. it’s late.

    Herumph…

    At least Shondrella was there. That’s got to be worth something, right?

    | September 16, 2006 @ 1:56 am

  11. gmcountrymama said,

    I love Kit Kats, they are especially good out of the freezer.

    Just because you know what someone may or may not be planning, such as a suicide or homicide, does not mean it can be prevented. If someone is depressed or feeling isolated there would be other signs. Parents need to take the time to pay attention to these, rather than snooping. Sometimes what a person writes in there diary is just a fantasy. I used to write that I was in love with David Soul and that I wanted to Marry him or I would kill myself. If my parent read that and took it seriously, I might still be in an institution.(maybe I should have been, David Soul? “dont give up on us baby…”)
    Not that theres anything wrong with a little R&R on the states dime!

    | September 17, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  12. Mom101 said,

    What a great experience!

    Like you, I believe in giving kids…well, more than privacy. Trust. Respect. It works both ways. Guarantee you that therapist’s kids are raging terrors because of her attitude.

    I was on the Food Network once and the craft service table was disgusting. I said, “but it’s the FOOD network!” And Bill Boggs said, “yeah, the operative word being NETWORK.”

    | September 17, 2006 @ 7:21 pm

  13. Neil said,

    It sounds like you’re the best parent of the bunch and will actually have a child that likes you when she is an adult.

    | September 18, 2006 @ 1:56 am

  14. Anonymous said,

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    | September 18, 2006 @ 4:55 am

  15. jali said,

    A celeb! Woot-woot!

    I don’t like that nosy person at all. Thank goodness you were there to balance out her nuttiness.

    | September 18, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

  16. sweatpantsmom said,

    Can’t wait to see you on TV – I’m sure you blew everyone else out of the water.

    Let us know when the show will be on – PLEASE!

    | September 22, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  17. Oblivious Maven said,

    I didn’t know he had a show, so that would make you the most famous person there for me. Woot!

    I don’t have the right answer to that question, but I know that I would have seriously considered running away if my Mom didn’t give me the privacy that she did. Yeah, Mom!

    | September 25, 2006 @ 2:21 am

  18. Deezee said,

    love your writing…thanks for coming over to my site. I’ve got ya bookmarked and I’ll be back………

    | September 25, 2006 @ 4:42 am

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