Friday, August 22, 2008

The Gold Standard?!?!

You did it. You practiced. You worked hard. You were determined. You were focused. And now, like it or not, you are a celebrity. So M.P., here is some preemptive advice for which you did not ask for but I can't help but give.

Dearest Michael,

In our celeb-crazy world where girls are famous for showing off their yahoos while exiting pimped out rides and tweens are idolized for lip synching while wearing size zero designer duds, you are a breath of fresh air (especially for us moms trying to raise decent human beings). You are famous for doing something truly great--something that took blood, sweat, tears and time to achieve. You had to work. You had to want. And only then could you win. And you are gracious--a real team player evidenced by your extreme emotion throughout both relays.

My five-year old son is actually inspired. He wants to play "Michael Phelps" in the pool. You are now officially a water sport for kids. Last night, instead of reading books before bed, he asked for "that Michael Phelps" story referring to your interview with Bob Costas in which you talked about being bullied and overcoming obstacles as a middle schooler. Finally, I have someone famous to point to as a role model--a person achieving success due to good old fashioned hard work. You made your country proud. You made all us moms proud (no one more so than your own mom who was almost as fun to watch as you during the games).

So here it comes, my advice. Michael, you are a hero to kids everywhere. There's a new Mike to wanna be like. That's why I'm begging you, don't screw it up. I know you are only human. I get that you were once a gawky kid and now you are about to become a super sought after, really rich twentysomething. There will be girls, groupies and Grey Goose. But Michael, don't become one of them. Don't go clubbing with one of those Gossip Girls or some second rate pop starlet and stumble outside just in time for TMZ to catch you making an idiot out of yourself. You're better than that. We don't want to see your mugshot. We don't want to hear about you serving seven minutes in county jail. And we never want you to be somebody's illegitimate baby daddy (careful on that one--no doubt your boys can swim!).

Be famous for accomplishing something and use your celebrity wisely. We barely remember that DUI and after eight gold medals, we can totally forget it. But we need you. We need you to be Sports Illustrated famous, not the cover of US magazine famous.

Have fun. Enjoy your success. But try and remember that there are young children everywhere admiring and emulating you and there are their parents hoping against all Hollywood can offer that you'll be a champion--not just another celebrity. Come on, M.P., make us proud!

P.S. Go Blue!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Team Charlie?

Disclaimer: I think it is really weird to want to have cameras follow you and your family around and broadcast your daily activities. I also think it's really boring so I usually don't watch. But the occassional channel flippinig leads even me to stop and look at train wreck TV.

Apparently, Charlie Sheen (not exactly a moral barometer) thought it would be a disaster too when he heard the news that his ex-wife and ex Bond babe, Denise Richards, wanted to do a reality show featuring their two daughters. Perhaps, he considered that the two girls might have had a tough go lately what with their parents openly destroying each other in the press. So the lesser half of Two and a Half Men went to court to stop Denise from doing the show. But the judge ruled against him. (Remember, celebrity before justice out here in L.A.).

Before the show aired, Denise went on everything she could to promote her new series and repeat over and over and over again that her kids were barely in it. The show, she commented, was about her life as a single mom and really didn't focus on the kids. (Not sure how a show about a mom doesn't focus on kids but...)

And so premiered E!'s Denise Richards: It's Complicated. Really? Doesn't seem that complicated to me. Your young, impressionable children have just experienced a terrible tragedy. They are desperately in need of consistency, security and attention. If you don't believe me, watch any episode of Oprah with divorce guru, Rabbi M. Gary Neuman. But I digress...

In the fifteen minutes I happen to catch while remote surfing, I was astonished at what I saw. Denise talked incessantly about dating and guys and sex. Now I don't care what she gabs about with her friends but I'm pretty sure her daughters will when, at some point, they are either told about or catch an episode where Mommy says she likes guys with big--(that are well endowed) and ones who are passionate in bed. Boundaries anyone?

It was bad enough when celebrities stuck to making a mockery of marriage. But now, thanks to Denise (and the other C-lister reality 'rents), they are taking on parenting. By the way, I'm sure single mothers everywhere can relate to Denise's "complicated life" with nannies, trainers, self-tanner specialists, chiropractors, etc...)

So here it advice to Denise that she did not ask for.


When you start making Charlie Sheen look like the responsible parent, you are dangerously close to Britney/K-Fed territory. Stop blabbing about wanting to bed bad boys and possibly posing for Hef. Remove the cameras. Put your own ambition aside. And be a PARENT! Less worrying about how you are being perceived in the media and more concern for how you are being perceived by your daughters.