Imagine yourself in one of those adventure races - with orienteering challenges, cross-country running, kayaking, maybe a touch of horseback-riding and cycling. Now imagine how much harder this would be with a partner you can't stand — the hidden resentments, the one-upmanship, the stubborn lack of cooperation. Then… envision the relief of being spurred on past your limits by someone you inherently knew and trusted. Huge difference, huh? Okay, so the metal chairs we were sitting in weren't really going anywhere, but still, it sure felt like Carol and I were on some kind of journey together. On Monday, we filmed our first TV interview and I know we can both say, unequivocally, thank god we had each other!! It's not often you can turn to someone and say, from the heart: if you weren't for you, I think I would have peed in my pants.
We trained hard and well before the big day.
When it came to going over "talking points", discussing what we were going to wear, the particulars of how much make-up or not, well, we just… didn't. We took refuge in the blurry fog of denial. We were just getting together for tea, right? Along with her three year-old son, Jacob, and my 17 year-old daughter, Sophie; hanging out on the playscape in the background. Plus someone we'd never met before asking us questions about our lives and a camera in our faces. Just another day in the neighborhood. We shared a good chortle over this (any opportunity to use the word 'chortle') and then, lamented that in many ways, the outcome was out of our hands. We were going to come across as we would. Spastic, dork-like, inarticulate. So be it. We had no choice but to be ourselves, that simpering adage that people fall back on when really, they've got nothing else.
Elizabeth the Reporter was warm and friendly and Steve the Cameraman was polite and reassuringly bored, but it was disconcerting that we were going to be interviewed separately. What? We wouldn't get to turn to each other when we got stumped or were mangling our words, letting the other person run with the ball?
first. I was excruciatingly
self-conscious of the fact that I couldn't find a comfortable way to sit
without hurting my back (newly broken rib). I crammed my purse behind me, held myself upright and tried to keep my
Luckily, Carol saved the day.
Whereas she tends to be the more introverted of the two of us, she seemed downright in her element during her interview—laughing, smiling, telling funny stories. She was clear, calm and confident. (Am I smelling a new career?) I felt a bit like a peeping Jane, listening to her describe the evolution of our relationship to someone else. After our individual stints, they got a few shots of all of us sitting at the table together, eating and drinking like normal people and taking a walk down by the pond.
All in all, it was pretty painless, thanks to Elizabeth, who was endlessly patient while helpfully prodding, and Steve, who seemed to enjoy zooming in on the little ham that is Jacob. (Thanks so much to both of you, and to HEB for letting us shoot on their property at Central Market.)
I've said it before and it still holds, when our two families come together, even if it's not all of us, there's the feeling of pieces of a whole reuniting. I never had a sister, but Carol feels like one to me. We both knew that the other was scared shitless, but we also knew that if we were in it together, everything would come out alright in the end. Even if it had been a total disaster (which, come to think about it, remains to be seen!), we would have gotten a good laugh out of it. And I mean more than a chortle.
So if you feel like rubbernecking, tune in this coming Monday, May 12 on the five o'clock news for KEYE, CBS channel 42, and see for yourself!
© 2008 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved