That moment when…Disney…my daughter

Disney-Channel1

Let me fill in that sentence for you.

THAT MOMENT WHEN A DISNEY CHANNEL RECRUITER WALKED UP TO ME IN WALMART AND TRIED TO RECRUIT MY DAUGHTER.

Really.  This really happened.

My daughter was 12 at the time.  We’d heard chatter that The Disney Channel was coming to town for auditions for one of their TV shows.  (It’s a middle school thing).  We were shopping for school supplies in Walmart when this pretty lady, looked young twenty something, just walked up to me and said “Hi!  Your daughter is really pretty!”  Okay, so give the paranoid of people stalking my children mom credit for NOT knocking her between the eyes right then!  I calmly and stealthily placed my body between this woman and my child, and politely thanked and agreed with her.  She started her sales pitch about how she would like to see my daughter audition for this TV show, and she was just what they were looking for and can I give you my card please and here are the times of the auditions.  First of all.  What in heaven’s name makes someone think this isn’t going to throw red flags up ALL OVER THE PLACE in a mother’s head?  But I digress.  After processing as quickly as I could, what she was actually doing, trying to wrap my head around this woman who was stalking trying to recruit my daughter, I kept myself calm and replied, “No thank you” and started to turn back to shopping for school supplies.  She looked confused.  She looked befuddled.  She was standing there with her mouth going up and down and saying nothing, you know, like she couldn’t believe her ears and had never had anyone say that before and was totally unprepared with a response for someone who had no interest in her Disney Channel.   She finally found her tongue and excused herself and continued to explain to me that this was The Disney Channel, and didn’t I know what Disney Channel was, and the TV show was very popular, and she doesn’t walk up to many people to ask them to audition, and this was a rare opportunity, and my daughter would meet very famous people, and possibly be famous herself, and was I sure I understood what I was turning down?  Again, you can give me credit for NOT saying what was rolling around in my head fully just then, and I just smiled and said, “I’m fully aware of what Disney Channel is, and what TV show you are talking about.  But we respectfully decline.  Thank you and you have a nice day.”  I turned to continue shopping.  Now, I don’t know if I can do justice in describing the way this woman looked as she stood there, experiencing something in her life that she clearly had never experienced before.  She had absolutely no idea what to do with someone who did not fall at her feet and follow her directly to Disney Channel’s hotel room.  She couldn’t even move her feet for a full minute.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her silent mouth working again, her trying to move her feet but unsuccessfully, and finally she offered me her business card and walked away like she’d just been banished to outer darkness.  When she was gone, my daughter and I had a good laugh.  We repeated a conversation we’ve had many times about Disney Channel and their child stars, and what a life with them would ultimately and truly mean.  And then we once again rattled off names of children that Disney Channel has made famous…. (their track record is horrid)

Lindsey Lohan
David Henrie (Wizards of Waverly Place)
Ryan Merriman (Smart House)
Anneliese Van Der Pol (That’s So Raven)
Mitchel Musso (Hannah Montana)
Orlando Brown (That’s So Raven)
Lalaine (Lizzie McGuire)
Miley Sirus

Need I go on?  You see, my kiddos are well aware of what Disney Channel and all things FAME have done to children who are too young to handle it.  In fact fame doesn’t just ruin children, it just seems to always ruin children.  My kiddos understand that a life of fame, while fun for a moment, would ultimately be the most miserable thing they would experience because they wouldn’t choose their friends, or their schedules.  They would homeschool on the set, they wouldn’t have sleep overs with their friends that they have now, in fact they wouldn’t have their friends that they have now, at all.  They would go where they were told, do what they were told, study when they were told, take breaks when they were told, attend galas and smile like they were told, be followed by paparazzi and have no privacy, find their private pictures plastered on magazines with all sorts of things said about them. …  All of that is complex for an adult.  Let alone a child.

So as this woman walked away, confused by our rejection.  Maybe she felt sorry for us because we’d just turned down the chance of a lifetime.

But from where we stood, we just felt sorry for a woman who was inviting children into a world that would most likely ruin them, and we wondered if she even had a clue.

And then we went on with our small little life in our small little world with our small little bank accounts.  Full of God and Family and all things perfect.  And ultimately knowing that that makes us richer than any Disney Channel child star could ever dream of being.

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