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The Daddy Shift: Random Memories of the Today Show

Jeremy Adam Smith is the author of The Daddy Shift: How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting Are Transforming the American Family and the co-editor of Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology. This post originally appeared on his blog, Daddy Dialectic.

So, apparently, on Tuesday I was a guest on The Today Show:

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1. When I walked up to the studio, the guest entrance was besieged by awe-struck teenage girls. Were they waiting for me? Er, no, they were there for a supernaturally handsome dude I later learned was Peter Facinelli, one of the stars of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse:

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Peter and I were ushered into the studio together; he gave me the once-over to make sure I wasn't somebody famous, and then ignored me. That's OK, because I didn't recognize him either, and I would rather gouge out my own eyes than watch The Twilight Saga.

2. Did you know that The Today Show allows same-sex couples to compete in its "Modern Wedding Contest"? Thank you, Today Show.

3. I got my hair and makeup done -- and my blazer vacuumed (?!) -- then hung out in the guest lounge with the producer Josh and Stacy Kaiser, who seemed very smart and nice -- and who looks normal in real life and great on TV, which strikes me as unjust given that I look like a dork both in real life and on TV. I also chatted with the husband of the foot doctor who went on after me and Stacy. He was interested in the anthology I co-edited, Are We Born Racist?, which Beacon Press is publishing next month. He turned out to be a big, big fan of musical theater and suggested that "Carefully Taught" from South Pacific become the theme song of the book:

Why not? Henceforth, I declare "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" to be the theme song of Are We Born Racist?!

4. In the lounge, I watched coverage of the not-funny domestic abuse saga I shall call The Mel Gibson Saga: Idiot. Let it be noted that he disgusts me, and I would rather gouge out my own eyes than watch anything with him in it. Except for Mad Max and The Road Warrior, which are classics. Also, the first Lethal Weapon is kind of funny, if you happen to be as wasted as I was when I watched it in college. It was Gibson's mullet. The mullet made me lose it.

5. I liked the clip of Lance and his family that preceded my interview; he and his wife are really the stars of this show, and I'm not sure why Stacy and I were necessary, though I'm happy enough to chat about my book with any national TV audience. (Because I've become a media whore?) The night before, I'd had dinner with Lance and Matt and Patrick of NYC Dads. What a great bunch of guys and what great work they're doing.

6. I was dismayed that Willie Geist was filling in for Kathie Lee -- because, come on, it's Kathie Lee! -- but Willie seemed like an amiable fella. In person, Hoda came off as bigger than life.

SMITH_daddyshift  7. I was actually quite sick that day, and the interview itself was a blur. I remember Willie looking pretty uncomfortable when I rejected the idea that stigma defines stay-at-home dads and when I brought up paternity leave. (Thought-ballon I imagined over his head: "Crap, he's not going to get political, is he? I thought this was supposed to be about stay-at-home dads!")

8. I'm pasting in the code from the clip without having actually watched the clip--and I don't plan on ever watching it, actually. I can't stand to see myself on TV.

9. Apparently, Liko can't stand to see me on TV either. Since we don't have a TV at home, he and my wife and my mother went to a diner with a big flat screen on 24th St. to watch the show. About two minutes in, Liko finished his breakfast, sighed heavily, and said, "Can I go home now?"

That's my boy!