Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Fame Monster - The Barefoot Contessa Declined

There has been a story carried on the news in bits and pieces this week.

A story of a very sick little boy and his dying wish. 

He wanted to meet someone who'd become special in his life.  Someone he grew up watching, while he was fighting cancer.

Someone who couldn't be bothered.

It's not every day the Make a Wish Foundation contacts someone and tells them that a dying child's wish is to meet them.

Enzo Pereda wanted to cook with the Barefoot Contessa.

And yet, Ina Garten couldn't be bothered.


Twice she was asked, twice she refused.

Only then did the story gain the attention of the media.

And only then did she bother to extend an invitation to the family.  Only after she's be deluged with countless letters and phone calls.  Only after she'd been exposed for her prior refusals.  Only after.

The boy and his family, they declined that invitation.  Graciously.

He'd made other plans, to swim with dolphins. 

The dolphins aren't too self-important for a sick child.

You can read the news story here.

I am angry with her.  So, so angry.  I am angry that she didn't care enough the first time.  Or the second.   I am angry that it took raking her over the coals to make her do what she should have done already.

I am angry as a parent.  I am angry as a relative of a cancer patient that just lost his battle.

I am angry.

She's done damage to her reputation that may never be fixed.

That will never be fixed in my eyes.

Her eventual invitation publicly declined.  Thanks, but no thanks.  If this foundation ever calls her again, which I doubt that they will, I guarantee she will listen the first time.  She's learned.  She will be paying the price of this mistake maybe forever.

More than that though, I hope that she's learned a valuable lesson here.  One far more important.

Doing the right thing doesn't count if you do it out of shame.  Out of obligation.  Out of necessity.

It only counts if you are doing it for the right reasons.

She clearly wasn't.

I don't care how famous you are.  It doesn't make you a good person.

Enjoy your swim, Enzo.

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