It was me or The Stool, and only one of us would win.
I’d gotten the good news that Bloomberg Business News wanted me on the air to talk about my new book. I’d be on Street Smart with Trish Regan, and she would interview me at precisely 4:15. Since I like to get a feel for the surroundings before speaking, Bill and I watched Street Smart many days the week before. That’s when I noticed The Stool. In all of Trish’s one-on-one interviews, the person she was interviewing sat on this backless tall stool, something that I was sure my 5 foot 2” inch frame would find impossible to mount with any kind of dignity. The whole thing was made worse by my friend Dee’s fashion advice: “Susan if you’re going to be on national TV you have to wear 4 or 5 inch spike heels.” So now I had visions of crawling up the face of this stool on stilts.
A dear friend named Angela came with me to NY that week, standing by my side and holding my hand every time I got ready to be interviewed. My friend Brenda sent me there with a friendship bag: a good luck stone, a small candle and 5 cards to open, one each morning. My friends knew I was nervous about the NY week. A lot of people think that because you work in television you’re a pro in front of the camera, but I was always behind-the-scenes. Sure I was taped a few times at HGTV for company videos, but this was different. This was live TV. What if I froze? What if I sputtered some meaningless drivel? What if I scaled The Stool but toppled off mid-answer?
Well, I didn’t rock the interview, but I did all right. As I walked out of the studio toward the green room my crazy brain started sayings things like “It might be nice if I did more of these TV interviews, I kind of like doing these, yep that went real well” – completely missing the whole point of why I was doing it at all. Until a young, fresh-faced girl who couldn’t have been more than 23 years old approached me, and reminded me. “Hi Mrs. Packard, I’m an AP here and I just saw your interview. It’s so nice to know people like you are willing to help me. Thanks for writing the book.”
The book is for all those sweet young women; it’s not for me. But sometimes I need to be reminded. Oh and the stool? I wore my boots, not the spikes, and I climbed up just fine.