NEW YORK — So imagine you're out with your dad, and in a moment of utter parental geekiness, he happens to mention to a bunch of strangers that you're, um, romantically available.
Now imagine said bunch of strangers is actually the entire national TV audience, and you have a sense of what happened to Ayla Brown, daughter of the new Republican senator-elect from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, on Tuesday night.
"I definitely had a talk with my Dad," Ayla Brown, 21, said in a telephone interview Wednesday as she ran to class at Boston College, a day after her father had notified the world in his victory speech that she was unattached.
She also had a little talk with her Facebook page — well, she tightened her privacy controls — after she was deluged with friend requests.
"I had 1,568 friend requests and 300 inbox messages — mostly from men," she said. "And I got a whole lot of business cards last night."
Not that any of this publicity is bad for Ayla, who is not only a college basketball star but a fledgling recording artist. A tall brunette with a belter's voice, she made it to the final 16 singers in the fifth season of "American Idol," impressing the judges with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Reflection."
She's sung the national anthem with the Boston Pops and has released two albums. And because of all the attention to her dad, she's moving up the release of her third, "Circles," which now comes out on CD next Tuesday.
But back to Dad's comment.
Ayla had been following along with the script when her dad started thanking his family and referred to his daughters, Arianna, 19, and herself.
"Just in case anybody is watching throughout the country, yes, they're both available," he said. Squeals of shock ensued. "No no, only kidding, only kidding," he said. And then he corrected himself: Arianna, a premed student, was not available. But Ayla, he repeated, was. More squeals of shock.
"My jaw dropped," said Ayla on Wednesday. "I was like, that definitely wasn't in the script!"
But her dad is always doing things like that, she added. He even asked fellow Republican Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate, "if he had any more sons he could sell me to," Ayla quipped. "He said, 'please … she'll convert to a Mormon!"
On a more serious note, was Brown's comment inappropriate for the setting? Did he, as one blog phrased it, "embarrass the heck" out of his daughters? Or worse, did it amount to "pimping" them, as another blog put it?
Whatever the opinions of others, Ayla Brown made it clear she was not really angry, and was totally thrilled about her father's win.
And will the developments provide the career boost that every singer needs?
"I hope so — we'll see," she said. "We don't want to take advantage of it. But the timing has been so perfect."