Saturday, March 5, 2011

Amazing Race Casting Call

Curt and I don't watch much TV, but two shows that we never miss are Survivor and Amazing Race. Curt loves Survivor and I watch it because he likes it so much. I love the Amazing Race and he watches it because I like it so much.

We often joke about how much we'd love to run the Amazing Race. Not for the money, although it would be nice, but for the experience. How cool would it be to travel the world and share in all those crazy adventures together with your best friend?

Team Stilp has the ability to be competitive too. I'm Miss Impulsive. I love adventure and any kind of physical challenge, have a good sense of direction (but because I said that out loud it's a guarantee I'd get us horridly lost for being a Braggy Braggerson's), and can wing it without much stress. I am, however, terrible with attention to detail, don't have a mechanical bone in my body, and get claustrophobic in big crowds. If we made it to the Amazing Race, I'm certain I would make myself fodder for the water cooler at the office on more than one occasion.

Curt is Mr. Logical. He's methodical, thinks things through before acting, is mechanical, can fix just about anything, and is hilariously funny. He would definitely be the comedian and strategist on our team and the one reading the clue completely to avoid all the reckless mistakes I would make in my haste. He likes to know what's coming first, next and last which makes winging it difficult for him, is nervous around heights, and isn't driven by competition like I am, so there are aspects of the race that would be challenging for him. Pair our strengths and our weaknesses together and VIOLA! Team Stilp for the Amazing Race!

Two weeks ago a new season of Amazing Race premiered and scrolling across the bottom of the screen in a red box was a message that said, "Do you have what it takes to run The Amazing Race? Come to an open casting call at Sanford's in Lake Oswego on Saturday, February 26th." Before I could fall off the couch in excitement, my phone started ringing. My friends were watching too and they all thought we should go to the audition.

Curt and I kicked the idea around on several occasions and our conversations went a little bit like this...

Miss Impulsive: Oh Babe, let's do it. Wouldn't that be fun?
Mr. Logical: No way. I have a snow day planned with Bucky and all the kids. I'm not giving up guaranteed fun in the snow to stand around all day in a crowded restaurant only to be told they don't have time to interview us. And what about your girl day with Britta? Are you willing to give that up to stand around with a bunch of people you don't know who are all competing for the same thing you are?
Miss Impulsive: But Babe, it's the Amazing Race and it's open casting call. It's only twenty minutes from our house. The producers are practically coming over for dinner. How could we NOT go?
Mr. Logical: You don't even have a passport.
Miss Impulsive: I know. I know. It's on my list of things to do. I'll go apply for it tomorrow.
Mr. Logical: Well you wouldn't have it by Saturday. You know if we get an interview and you don't have a passport, they'll laugh us straight home.
Miss Impulsive: (trying to come up with a response...) But it's the Amazing Race. C'mon! We'd be such a good team.
Mr. Logical: And what about our four children? Who will take care of them while we go galavanting around the world for a month?
Miss Impulsive: (again trying to come up with a response) Ummm... I don't know. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it?
Mr. Logical: Will CBS pay for lost wages, our mortgage and all our bills while we're racing round the world?

And so it went throughout the week. Good-natured bantering, but we both knew Team Stilp would not be auditioning on Saturday.

My friend Melanie had a pre-planned writing retreat the same weekend of the casting call. Her hotel happened to be right next door to Sanford's. She called me in disbelief at 5 p.m. on Friday night. "You won't believe it Jodi, but there's already a line for the casting call tomorrow. People are setting up tents to camp all night and it's supposed to get down to 18 degrees tonight!" We laughed at the crazy people who wanted to be on TV that badly and I thanked God for being married to Mr. Logical.

Four hours later my phone rang. It was Melanie again and this time she was breathless. "You'll never believe what I'm holding in my hand. A purple ticket. Do you know what it's good for? A casting call audition tomorrow for the Amazing Race. The producers only have room for 200 auditions tomorrow and the line was so long that they decided to issue tickets. A ticket gets you in the door. Anyone without a ticket, gets turned away. I saw the commotion out my hotel window and rushed down to snag a ticket for you. Are you in?"

My hands got all clammy and my heart started racing as I envisioned Curt and I racing around the world, doing crazy stuff and having a blast. It was completely impractical, but Melanie held the golden (or in this case, purple) ticket in her hand. I glanced over at Mr. Logical, repeated what Melanie said, and asked, "Are we in?"

His face peaked with momentary interest and then he gently said, "Babe. I love you, but I really don't want to run the Amazing Race with all that's going on in our lives. Do you really want to?" In that moment I realized that ten years ago, I would have taken that ticket and raced around the world with my husband and not thought twice about it. But I had four precious reasons to say no sleeping soundly upstairs. I smiled at Mr. Logical and heard myself telling Melanie, "Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, but it's just not practical for us to run the Amazing Race at this phase in our life. You can give the ticket to your neighbor instead."

I felt a small twinge of disappointment, but my overwhelming emotion was relief. If the Amazing Race is still going strong in ten years, then maybe Team Stilp will make an appearance at a casting call. Don't rule us out just yet!

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