I got the message while I was sitting at my desk, looking forward to a full Friday with no conference calls or meetings. Nothing to do but focus on writing and answering emails. Would you like to be on HLN TV today to talk about postpartum depression?
The answer to that is always, "Of course!" because I'll take any mass media opportunity to give moms better information about the most common complication of childbirth, even if it means missing out on the luxury of a rare uninterrupted day of work.
It was 10:00 a.m. and they needed me there by 11:00 a.m. I live an hour away from CNN Center in Atlanta, so I was going to have to run out of the house in five minutes flat. This was a bit of a problem, given that I was in sweats and hadn't washed my face. I had taken a shower the night before and gone to bed with my hair wet, too busy to deal with it because I was on my own with the kids. So there I am with no makeup and hair sticking out all over the place and I have five minutes. I was grateful they agreed to do my hair and makeup when I arrived, so the goal was to get on an outfit and go.
When you appear on television, you're supposed to wear something that looks at least semi-professional and is a solid color. I walked into my closet and realized pretty much everything I own is black. Or grey. I thought, "Screw it!" and threw on the first black dress I saw hanging, put on some deodorant, wrangled on my Spanx, and ran out the door.
When I got to CNN, the lovely ladies in hair and makeup went to work on me. Not just one person, mind you, but three of them. Three. When everyone else in hair and makeup has one person working on them and you have three, that's a bit concerning. Plus, I've gained some weight and some wrinkles as of late, and then there's the completely undignified and enraging mid-40s acne thing going on, so I'm feeling very self-conscious these days. The poor makeup artist applied foundation, and then more foundation, and then more foundation. And then she started using contouring makeup like a boss to make it look like I have cheekbones instead of jowls. I started sinking lower and lower into the chair.
They did the best they could do and I was finally presentable and off I went to the studio. Where I sat. And sat. And watched the ENTIRE SHOW happening live before me without ever going on. I got bumped, and let me say there's something about being bumped that makes you feel all sad panda and unworthy.
I was grateful, however, that the host of HLN's "Raising America" that day, Christi Paul, decided to do a quick after-the-show show with me on PPD. Good. Yay. All is not lost. I do the interview, hop back in the car and race home so I can change before it's time to pick the kids up from the bus stop.
When I arrive, I walk into my bathroom and see myself in the mirror. This is when I realize that I've been wearing a dress that is too short and shows at least two inches of the control-top area of my support hose, all the way around. Three hundred and sixty degrees of Spanx. I just walked all around CNN with my control-tops sticking out, for the entire world to see, and no one said anything. Not one word.
Later that day, HLN sends me a link of the after-the-show segment I did, which is now up on their website for the world to see. In it, for some reason unbeknownst to me, my right ear plays a starring role. The entire time I'm speaking, the viewer is looking at my profile, where my hair has decided to part and feature my ear on full display, like I'm some sort of elfin mother's advocate.
Not only did I just spend my entire day not going on TV, not only am I wearing five pounds of makeup, and not only did I show everyone MY ASS all day long, but my ear decided to upstage me and be the star of the show.
I've got it all together, ladies. All. Together.