MOM’S PANEL MANIA-part 3
“We would like to congratulate you on making it to the next phase of the selection process for the 2010 Walt Disney World® Moms Panel!”
“Pixie wings,” I whisper as I read the opening statement of an e-mail. Prior to its arrival moments ago, I had spent hours grieving because of my assumed failure to pass the first phase of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. However, now I am dumbfounded to discover this congratulatory note addressed to me. I read on to make certain that this is what I think it is.
“We truly appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to apply for the Walt Disney World® Moms Panel. It touched our hearts to see how much you do for your loved ones and the role Disney plays in your life! You are among a special group whose knowledge of and passion for the Walt Disney World® Resort made an incredible impression on the judging panel.”
“It just can’t be,” I rationalize. The actuality of receiving this letter is too much for me to grasp. It has been said that when the heart wants something so badly, the mind will occasionally present an illusion of the desired object as a coping mechanism. Perhaps this is one of those instances. I blink my eyes a few times in case I have begun imagining things. Yet as I blink, the vision of Tina Trybus’ correspondence firmly holds on my monitor.
I exclaim, “Great fairy godmothers and magical blue fairies!” “What is it?” DD9 asks and joins me at the computer. I turn to see a curious expression on her face. I gasp and my heart skips a beat. My cardiac arrhythmia immediately regulates itself following the spontaneous arrest, but it does so at an accelerated pace. I point to the screen where my document of achievement is and try to explain what it means; however, instead of an intelligent interpretation of the note, a steady stream of whimpering pours from my lips.
DD9 cries out to her siblings, “Something is wrong with Mom!” I try to tell her that nothing is wrong with me, but only bits of phrases are able to make it out of my mouth in between my choppy breathing. “I . . . Mom’s Panel . . . e-mail . . . here . . . I thought,” I blubber hopelessly.
As DS7 and DD5 come running to join their sister whose is watching me with a bewildered expression, tears roll down my cheeks and I continue to blubber thoughts that lack clarity. DD5 begins to cry at the sight of her NDM who has clearly been stricken by some type of neurological disorder.
Suddenly, I remember that the subject line stated this e-mail was a forward. As quickly as my mania overtook me, it ceases. Why would Disney send me a forward? And why is this note from Tina Trybus rather than a corporate Disney-type name such as “Disney Recruiting?” It occurs to me at this moment that this is possibly a very cruel, viral hoax.
I try to catch my breath that escaped me and get myself under control. Tears continue to pour from my eyes, but now it is for a different reason. There are not many things that any one could do to me that would be more cruel than this. It seems as if someone has lifted an actual congratulatory Mom’s Panel letter and forwarded it to Round 2 rejectees as a prank. It has elevated me to an unimaginable state of ecstasy, crushed me as if I’d been placed underneath the foot of the Yeti ,and greatly upset my children who witnessed the effects of this deception. How can the same planet be home to a wholesome Mickey Mouse as well as heartless hackers? It is wrong on so many levels.
I make a call to DH who is on his way home from work and preparing to release me for my own job. Between sobs I explain what has just transpired at home and caused my perplexed condition. “How do you know it isn’t real? Have you asked anyone yet?” DH inquires. I whimper, “No.” “Love,” DH reasons, “You should ask all of your Disney friends about this. You need to verify this note’s illegitimacy before you get so discouraged.”
I acknowledge he is right, and I steady my emotions. DD9, DS7 and DD5 have steadied themselves as well but remain close to me in case I have another “episode.”
I tweet to those who have been validated as Round 2 successors as well as petition the Disboards forum for any explanation. In my plea for help I explain my suspicious e-mail, it’s suspect author and ask for clarity. Some confusion follows. I discover that Tina Trybus works closely with the Mom’s Panel and was—in fact—the one who sent out the Mom’s Panel confirmations. The oddity to my circumstances, though, was that my note was a forwarded message while the other recipients’ notes were not.
“Is there someone I can call to find out if this is a valid confirmation?” I question my attentive Disney friends. But as we mull over an answer to my befuddled scenario, another e-mail appears in my inbox. It is another note from Tina Trybus exactly like the forwarded message I received. The one difference is that this one is not a forwarded message. It is a genuine e-mail confirming that I have moved on to the second round of the Mom’s Panel selection process.
Apparently, my original confirmation was lost in cyberspace so long that a second forwarded message was sent (with the forwarded message arriving before the original one). All the confusion has been cleared though. It is absolutely certain that I have made the first cuts and am still in the running for a Mom’s Panel position. My swallowing reflex is disrupted, and I choke on my own saliva.
Once I have regained my ability to swallow, a scream escapes my throat, and I jump wildly about the room. It is an alarming reaction, yet it is one that cannot be helped. It is as if I have left my physical body and am no longer in control of its actions. My children, who have been observing intently nearby, run to my side again. DS7 exclaims, “What is going on?” Gasping for breath, I stutter, “I . . . I . . . I . . .” and revert to shrieking and crying simultaneously while I spin in a circle. DD5 begins to cry again because she believes her NDM has entirely lost her mind.
DD9 reads the e-mail out loud to her siblings and starts to laugh. She now understands what happened and caused me to lose my sense of dignity. As she explains the situation to her brother and sister, I continue to jump, spin, hold my head and scream. I am in a frenzy. It is something that I only experienced one other time in my life, and that was in my early teen years at a New Kids on the Block concert. I never thought I would revisit this experience again, especially not as a thirty-something mother of three.
My throat goes hoarse, and I feel exhausted. I sit down in a chair and just sob. Finally Disney has recognized my devotion as worthy of their attention. It is something I always hoped would happen, and I am overwhelmed.
The phone rings, and DD9 answers. I hear her say, “Hello. No, this is her daughter. She is not in a state of mind where she can come to the phone right now. Can I take a message? Yes, I think she will still be at work on time. I’ll have her call you back when she is capable.”
As she places the receiver back on the phone base, DD9 looks at me, her blubbering NDM who has very little time left to prepare for the night shift. She shakes her head but also chuckles because she sees the miracle that has touched me. “If this is how Mom reacts to making it in Round 2,” DD9 expresses to DS7 and DD5, “We are all going to have to buy some ear plugs in case she makes it to Round 3.”