Yesterday I got a call from a producer at Global News in Toronto, wanting to know if I could film a segment for them on how the economic situation is affecting families and their everyday spending. He wanted to make sure a few of my kids were available as well. My first thought was - Great - this will give my kids the opportunity to complain about their paltry allowances and homemade lunches.
After we worked out the logistics on how many of my kids could be available at what time, I started thinking about how this very real crisis is starting to roost in our house. According to my 17 year old daughter, I'm already a tightwad because I won't buy her a car (like her friends' "nice" parents do), a laptop or install a hot tub in the backyard. My 15 year old son doesn't understand how I can possibly imagine that last year's snowboard is sufficient for this year.
Should they listen to the reality of me getting meaner and leaner "live" on television? I decided to not let them talk and just leave them as "B roll" material.
My two younger kids however, love shopping at WalMart, got their Halloween costumes from Value Village and beg me to go to the dollar store like it's a trip to Disney.
When do we go from expecting so little, to expecting so much?
I admit I put myself in the same category.
While I was feeling good about the fact that my house was clean for the shoot, I felt simultaneously guilty about the fact that I had paid my cleaning lady to do the honours.
So, I hid my new boots in the front closet, unclipped my BlackBerry, stashed my own new laptop in the office, kept my jeans on, and (I hope) managed to talk on camera about what we really can do to tighten our belts in this new world. If you live in the GTA, catch it 6:00 and 11:00 tonight.