“You’re very interesting.” The reporter said to me and followed up with “I’d like to interview you around Thanksgiving or in early December if that’s okay.”
I shrugged and said “I’m not really that interesting, I’m just a normal guy.”
“Well, you have a very interesting story and I’d like to do a piece on you for the paper.”
I looked over to where my wife was sitting, she was only a few feet away and there was a very odd grin on her face. The kind of grin I rarely see. One that said “Ha, I’ve been telling you for years and you’ve been hiding for years. I’m right, you’re wrong and no everyone will know.”
I hung my head shook it a bit and agreed to the reporter’s request. My main thought, hope, dream was that between May and December the reporter would forget about me. After all there were seven months between meeting her and when she wanted to interview me. So the way I figured it, she’d completely forget about me between then and now.
So imagine my surprise when I got an email from this lady two weeks ago following up on our conversation from May. Her inquiry was professional, polite and sincere. I responded back that my schedule was pretty full and the only time I’d be available on a Saturday morning. She agreed and asked if my wife could be there and that she was bringing a photographer.
I wanted to say no.
I should have said no. But I didn’t.
I agreed and when I got home, I told my wife. Both her and my daughter smiled and laughed at me. They knew my level of comfortability with this sort of thing. Then, they chided me, teased me and basically played upon my fears and nervousness. All in good fun and I took it as such.
Now, on the eve of the interview, I find myself running hundreds of questions through my head and then trying to answer them. Maybe I’ll blow the interview, maybe I’ll be struck down with a case of laryngitis. Hopefully, I’ll catch the flu and end up in the hospital and be unable to answer any questions.
However; and this is an addendum to the email exchange and what I’m writing now.
You see, not two days after I agreed to the interview I was standing on the second floor of the Winter Wonderland set up talking to the woman in charge of public relations for the museums and she commented that there should be an expose done on the exhibits crew and the museum and all the work that goes into setting up the exhibit. I agreed.
As the conversation progressed I let slip that I was about to be interviewed by the newspaper. She got really excited and wanted to know why I hadn’t told anyone. I shrugged and said that I didn’t think it was that important. She then informed me that I was supposed to inform my supervisor, her and the director of the museums. When I asked why, she told me that the City Manager wants to know about any press that deals with city employees.
My blood went cold and I could feel myself getting light headed. Why? Simple, while I’m proud of what I do and I love my job more than any other job I’ve ever had, I just don’t really like being in the spotlight too much. I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid, or I’ll revert back to my sailor talk or maybe even fall back into my Midwestern lilt. Basically, I’m afraid I’ll come off looking like a total idiot.
Or, maybe that someone out in the great big world will find out what I do and then they’ll want to take my job from me. That really would suck.
Now I should say that everyone in my life feels I’ll do well. I’ll come out looking like some great guy. They support this, they can’t wait for the article to be published. They say all will be fine and that this is a good thing.
I don’t know. I’m skeptical. I’ve seen articles in the paper where the information that is conveyed is not so positive. Where the person or people who are the subject of the article comes out arrogant, smug and sometimes, even a bit despicable.
I don’t want that. So, I suppose it’s up to me. After all, I’m the one who has to answer the questions. I’m the one responsible for what comes out of my mouth. I’m the one in charge of my own truth.
And I’m afraid that my own truth is an ugly, mean, cruel and even disgusting truth.
I’m told it’s not.
I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks.
Wish me luck.
Have a great week.