Thursday, June 3, 2010

What would YOU do?

Have you seen that show on ABC? I watch very little TV, but any kind of human experiment has me totally hooked.

One problem with the show, however, is that after watching a few episodes, you find yourself becoming paranoid, wondering who is judging you for decisions you make in public. I find myself wondering if I'm going to be the Jane Doe gal whose face gets smudged to keep her identity hidden, so none of her friends and family know what a terrible person she is.

This week, though, I had the first experience where I was actually looking for the cameras.

We were at a playground during a church Memorial Day picnic, and I was talking to my mother-in-law.

[Really long aside: if you ever meet me in person at a playground, please do not base your entire opinion of me on the depth or length of conversation we have. And please forgive me for all the times that I am not really looking at you, but more, over your shoulder, counting heads and watching for syringes in the wood chips. Okay, that last part isn't true, but it sounded dramatic. Do you have this dilemma in public places - I want to be a good listener and really look the person I'm conversing with in the face, but if I do that, then I lose track of my kids. So, I end up being a very rude conversationalist. Just don't hold it against me. Because I do it for good reason. If you don't believe me, just read on.]

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Sugs (age 4) fly down the spiral slide, her hair floating around her in true playground static. Then, I spotted the 6'7" 300-plus pound man stooped down at the bottom of the slide, taking pictures of my daughter.

I had never seen the man before.

Mid-sentence, I walked away from my mother-in-law, my steps gathering momentum as I made my way towards Sugs. That playground seemed to stretch forever. I even had time to mentally recall the faces from our local sex offender registry that I had checked out not too long ago. He wasn't one of them so I slowed my steps and tried to take a deep breath. Sugs was fully dressed in pants and a shirt (not a dress or skirt...and she's known to not wear underwear too. Today, thankfully, she was or I would've been tackling that man.)

That's when I thought of that show. Where were the cameras? John Quinonas? Surely they were somewhere nearby.

I went for the nonchalant approach and just focused on Sugs, retying her hair rubberband and sending her to play on the swings with her big sister. Then, I looked up. Really up. And stuck out my hand.

"I don't think I know you. I'm Karen," I said.

His massive paw swallowed mine in a friendly shake. He smiled and swung his camera strap over his shoulder, gave his name, and said that he was there with friends (whom I knew). Before I knew it, he had about ten of the children and one paranoid mother (ah-hem) on the merry-go-round. One heave of his bodyweight had us all powerlessly dizzy and regretting the seconds on potato salad.

Before long, I had my little chicks gathered and moved on to other areas of the playground.

John Quinonas never showed up, and in retrospect, I'm bummed. Because I think I handled myself rather well. If I was going to make a TV debut, it would have been nice to do it with three safe and secure children, one massive actor, and one well-greased merry-go-round. Never mind though. I restrained myself from yelling at a perfect stranger at a church picnic, or embarrassing myself by ripping the camera out of his hands. I did go home and re-check the offender registry. I also spent the evening wondering if I did enough, did the right thing...

What would YOU do?

Resting in Him,

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