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.
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
as instructed. Because I was attempting
to keep perfectly still, I barely used my hands to talk, and I’m one of those
horrible hand-people. This threw me off even further and I
struggled mentally to stay focused. God
only knows what the final piece will look like. Here I had been worrying about coming across like an excitable sparrow
and I was probably closer to a ventriloquist’s dummy.
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
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