Girl-Child was eager to spend her Justice gift cards that she received for Christmas and suggested what she refers to as “a girl’s day” trip to the mall. After she purchased two shirts and hoards of Webkinz and girlie crapola, we headed outside to a sitting area where she could enjoy her cherry Icee in the sunshine. It was there, while I wrestled a tag off one of her stuffed animals, a fashionably dressed young woman approached us. In her thick British accent, positively dripping with dahhhlings and lovelys and brilliant! she began to ask us if we were locals, explained she was with some child’s performing arts thingy and kept telling my daughter how absolutely gooooorgeousss she is…
I think she’s gorgeous too and I also smell a scam coming at me from a mile away. In fact, it’s the same scent I whiffed when approached in a Sports Chalet about five years ago, only that time it was my goooooorgeoussss son…
This woman proceeds to tell us that they’re holding some kind of
sales pitch “audition” at the Hyatt across the street and that it’s “today only!” and “until 4:30 we still have time!”. She asked my daughter to read a line about visiting Disneyland that my daughter stumbled through in monotone and with no personality whatsoever as if she just learned to read because SHE’S NOT AN ACTRESS. She then handed me a card filled with photos of popular Disney actors and the date, time, and location of the “audition”, and curiously, with no company or business name in sight. Moments later she was on her way but not before filling my daughter’s head with just a bit more “you could be a star!!” pseudo-promises.
If I was a better mother I would have cut the woman off immediately with a we’re not interested move along before she had a chance to get my child’s hopes up at all. But I’m not a better mother. I was being polite and didn’t want to ruin our Girl’s Day by turning into a right bitch in the middle of a cherry Icee. Girl-Child was flat out beaming and couldn’t wait to tell her brothers that she was going to be in a commercial.
Then I lowered the boom.
While I watched my child go from elated to deflated to understanding my explanation of how these people operate on a child’s excitement and a parents wish to fulfill their child’s dreams I was pleased that I hadn’t told the woman to take a hike. Here was an opportunity to demonstrate, to her, one of life’s certainties: that when something seems to good to be true, it usually is exactly that.