One of the advantages to being a stay-at-home mom is the relaxed dress code. I often run errands in jeans (mom jeans, of course), a comfortable cotton t-shirt and zip-up hoodie. My husband likes to call this look, “The Sporty Spice.” There’s a 50/50 probability that I have bathed that morning depending on the activities planned for the day and the likelihood of seeing anyone I know. When volunteering at school, I may throw on a nice sweater and dab on some lipstick. Afterall who wants to clean toilets in designer duds anyway?
After one too many no shower days recently, my husband affectionately nicknamed me “Ye Ole Skank.” He works in advertising. Part of his job is to assist in the production of television commercials for his clients if they don’t use an agency. For one of his current projects, he recruited The Last Pancake (my youngest sister) to star in a television commercial for one of his clients. Her role in the commercial was to act like a naggy housewife. My inner-Lucy was a little jealous that I was not asked to play the part. Afterall, according to my husband, nagging is my specialty. I joked with him that the producers could always dub in my voice with my sister’s face like in the old Godzilla movies. His response to my suggestion was, “Don’t flatter yourself, it’s not gonna happen. Besides, you don’t even bathe!”
In a twist of fate, the next morning the phone rang and it was my husband. As luck had it, The Last Pancake couldn’t get off work and they needed someone to fill the part of the wife. So guess who he asked to help them out? That’s right, Sporty Spice, a.k.a., “Ye Ole Skank.” I was actually petrified at the thought of being on television but accepted the part because they were on a deadline.
As I hung up the phone, I panicked. “What in the hell am I going to wear that doesn’t have a stain on it or a hood attached? Do I have enough make-up to cover up the age spots, dark circles and rosacea? Am I going to look 20 pounds heavier on camera? What if I am a horrible actor? As luck had it, I did shower that day and my hair actually looked pretty decent. I thought about calling my mother, the cosmetics queen, to make me look 20 years younger. After a lot of hand-wringing, I decided against it because I didn’t want to show up on the set looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey show. I worked quickly spackling on every cover-up, anti-aging cream and powder I could dig up in my vanity.
I grew even more at ease after I received the script. It read, “Dress for a ball game.” Yes! That’s got Sporty Spice written all over it. And the nag thing – it was second nature. Suddenly, my inner-ham took over as I gathered props that included dozens of spirit beads, pom poms and a bright blue wig. I improvised dozens of “nagisms” and pictured myself on stage at the Addy awards accepting the golden statue for “best actor in a commercial.” A star was destined to be born.
I was a little nervous to meet the producer because he was expecting someone 5 inches taller and 15 years younger. If he was disappointed, he didn’t show it. Though he did politely decline the use of my props. I have a new appreciation for anyone in front of a camera and a green screen. It is amazing how hard it is to say three little lines when bright lights are shinning in your face. Especially when you have the memory of a gnat. After a case of the nervous giggles, I was able to spit out my lines a half-dozen times. With each take, I felt a little more comfortable belting out those nagisms. After the last take, the producer responded, “Wow, that was very realistic!” Probably too much so. Now I was worried about being typecast as the naggy wife around town and in the office. My poor husband. What did I get myself into?
Unfortunately, I ended up on the cutting room floor or “on the shelf” as they say in the world of commercial production. The client, “went another direction.” Just as Lucy got too tipsy, I may have gotten too naggy. Who knows, maybe there’s another client out there who needs a naggy wife, a Sporty Spice or maybe a soap company that needs a “Ye Ole Skank.” Like Lucy, I’ll probably keep trying to wriggle my way into fame trying the patience of my husband. Only, I’m pretty sure she probably bathed on a more regular basis. As they say in show biz, “that’s a wrap!”