The other day I got a call from my accountant, which is always a little unnerving, as it usually means I have to think about taxes and the IRS and other scary stuff. But this time, it was all good: he wanted to tell me he’d seen me on public television (where the interview I did for NC Bookwatch ran again on Christmas Eve) and in Southern Living.
The Bookwatch thing I’d heard about already, from a few people who caught it and called to let me know. Personally, I did not watch, as my mother had pointed out to me when it was on initially that I used the phrase “You know,” about eight hundred million times during the interview. I am not exaggerating. It was like one of those things that once you’re aware of it, you can notice NOTHING else. Like all I could hear was blah blah blah YOU KNOW blah blah YOU KNOW blah blah. I mean, it was pathological. My mom pointed out that at least I wasn’t messing with my hair or gesturing too much, which is what USED to be my big problem when I did TV stuff. I’ve gotten to the point now where I literally will sit on my hands to keep from waving them all over the place. Nobody wants to see that. I have vowed to eliminate “you know” from my vocabulary, from now on, although I’m telling you, it’s not easy.
The Southern Living thing, though, I had forgotten all about. You won’t see it unless you live in NC, where it’s included in the January issue as part of the Carolina Living: People and Places bonus section. It’s a section called The Best Thing About Our State and I was asked to contribute one sentence (only one!) about why I love Chapel Hill, which was HARD as we all know I am long winded anyway, but especially about things I love, like my hometown. In the end, I talked about the contrast of feeling like you live in a small town, but also a shifting population with the students coming and going every year. Then, back in September, they sent a photographer down to take a picture.
I have said here before that I do not photograph well. It is NEVER the fault of the photographer: it’s just me, I swear to you. Plus I am hyper critical, so every time I see a picture of myself I just cringe. So yesterday, after hearing the issue was out, I went to CVS to pick one up. The place was packed, the line long, so I got in it and then began flipping through the issue. Finally I find the picture, and I just laugh out loud, because it’s always so weird to see yourself in a magazine, and of course I always think I look terrible. The woman in front of me, who was waiting to buy some cottonballs, turned around and gave me a weird look, so I tried to quiet down. My husband insists it’s a good picture, because I’m laughing, although of course I think my eyes look squinchy. Then again, at least I’m not saying “you know,” over and over again. So maybe it’s all relative. And it is Southern Living, which is a big honking deal around these parts, and the fact that they asked me to be in it is HUGE.
So really, I should just relax and enjoy these things. So what if I repeat myself, or squint, or don’t look Absolutely Perfect. I never will. I’m beginning to get that, now, although you would be amazed what a hard lesson this is to learn. Someday, I hope to see myself on TV or in a magazine and not immediately think of all the things that are negative, but just be happy to be there at all. That’s what really counts. You know?