I DID IT! I did the Today Show wearing jeans and a tank top and my plain old normal hair and ZERO chicken cutlet boobs and THAT IS WHAT I CALL PROGRESS, PEOPLE!!!!
For you newbies: Here you go. Here’s the story about the first time I did Today- when Chris Brown flirted with me and Martha Stewart cooked at me and I lost my boobs.
Originally published September 2013
My fast allowed me some much needed time for reflection. I’ve been reflecting. Let us begin with the kick- off of the book tour- my Today Show appearance.
This is how THAT happened:
I was at home minding my own business when my phone rang. It was my dear friend and Carry On, Warrior’s publicist, Lauren. She told me that as the kick off to the book tour – the Today show wanted me to come to New York City to discuss the book and the Monkees on air. I said YAY! OH EM GEE! and all the others things I assumed someone who was really grateful and excited and who generally had appropriate reactions would say. Then I called Sister and said, “Obviously, this is never, ever, not in a million years going to happen. I will change my name and move to Mexico and live off the land if I must. I am not going on the Today show. Ever and Never and No.” Sister was quiet and then said, “do you even know what live off the land means?” And I said, “YES. Something about more cows and less Facebook. I can do it. Cows have always really liked me.” And Sister said, “Kay. Are you listening to yourself?” And that’s when I knew I was going to end up on the Today show.
Sister called COW’s publisher and told them that without any intervention, I would likely humiliate everyone who had any involvement with Carry On, Warrior and that it really could end so badly that even real warriors and people who carry things might feel ashamed. So my wise and lovely publisher sent a woman to my condo. This woman was like a “fixer” that mob folks have except that she helps ward off impending publicity disasters. And she spent a full day teaching me how to Sit on a Stool, Keep Breathing, and Not Run Off Set. We agreed that this was the only “triple threat” of which I’d be capable. Then she taught me some interview tricks, like, think of two “go to” stories – one funny, one serious- and if you get stuck, just tell one of those.
On Today Show Eve, I found myself in bed, staring at the door of my New York City hotel room, waiting for Sister to come distract me from this insane situation in which I found myself. While I waited, I remembered that food is also a great distraction, so I ordered a sandwich. This was my first room service order ever and I felt grown up and fancy and pleased, until I got the bill. It was thirty dollars. THIRTY DOLLARS. For a turkey sandwich. This thirty dollars would be charged to my publisher, since I was their guest. So like any sane author would do- I immediately called my publisher’s office and when my editor, Whitney, answered the phone- I said, “WHITNEY. Thank God you answered. It’s Glennon. I am so sorry. I just ordered a sandwich and got the bill and it was thirty dollars so now instead of eating it I am mining it for pieces of gold. Maybe it’s a gold sandwich and that’s why it costs as much as shoes. I’m sorry. I’ll pay you back. Tell Scribner I will pay them back. Or maybe I’ll just bring you guys the sandwich. I’m not hungry any more. New York City is so stressful. I don’t think you guys know that turkey sandwiches are pretty common and therefore not worth maybe quite as much as you assumed.Or maybe it’s because we’re in a city? I don’t see any grass. Maybe you have to import the turkeys? Maybe this is fancy imported turkey or something?” And Whitney was quiet and then said slowly, “It’s okay, Glennon. You’re allowed to have a sandwich. Also, how about don’t call me for a little while?” “Okay, Whit.” I said. “It’s good to have a plan in times like these.” “Yes,” she said. So I hung up and lay in bed in my teeny silent hotel room and repeated to myself my favorite Simpsons line- the one that Homer says while he’s tripping on magic peppers and finds himself in a terrifying, alternate reality (my situation almost exactly): “Note to Self. Stop. Doing. Anything.”
The stopping doing anything strategy worked till Sister arrived. She was trying VERY hard to act like we were starting a book tour tomorrow– not shrooming our way to the guillotine – which was my take. I immediately explained to her sandwichgate. She begged me to tell her that I was joking. She implored me to explain immediately that in fact, I had not actually called the publisher to report the cost of a sandwich. I told her sorry, I wished I could help her. She should have arrived earlier. We went to bed.
The morning of the Today Show I arrived at the Big Bustling Building and started chasing people around. In New York City- everyone is running. Even if there is nowhere to be – even if you are just going to get a sip of water from the water fountain- you must run there. It’s like everyone is very late for everything but they like it that way and so they refuse to just get up a little earlier. At the Today Show, this phenomenon is ten times more intense than in regular New York because: TV. So at the show- I chased after people who I am sure were giving me important directions about what not to do on camera but I couldn’t hear any of it because no matter how hard I pumped my smurf legs, I was always three paces behind whoever was talking. I am telling you they should have Jillian Michaels meet all the guests at the Today show because that is what it would have taken to get me to match these folks’ intensity. Since Jillian wasn’t there- I just stumbled along and tried to nod and smile like I heard them and understood. This is not an unfamiliar process to me, so I was convincing.
I wound up in the make-up room and sat down in the chair. The make-up artist and I both stared at my shell shocked face in the big mirror. She asked me what I wanted. I said, “all of it, please. All the make-up.”
I stayed in the makeup chair saying “a little more, please” until they kicked me out. Then I went and sat in the quiet green room. I had ten minutes ‘till I went on. I kept repeating to myself my two “go to stories” for when I froze on set. I could always talk about the Kindness Revolution and the Anti-Perfect Revolution. That’s what I was doing there. I was the kindness and imperfection lady. Perfect. I mean Imperfect. I could do that. I reminded myself that I am, truly, a kind and imperfect person. I wouldn’t even have to act much.
And then I heard a voice coming from my left. The voice was male and it sounded extra slick and it said in my direction- “Heeeeeeey, beautiful lady.” At first I assumed this was a shroom induced hallucination but then I remembered that I was not actually shrooming. So I very carefully turned my head to see Chris Brown smiling at me. Chris Brown.
Oooooooookay. I thought.
And then I turned my head to the right.
And standing right outside of the room was Martha Stewart.
I stared straight ahead and tried to think. Chris Brown to the left, Martha Stewart to the right.
I was here to kick off my KINDNESS and IMPERFECTION Revolution Tour with Chris Brown and Martha Stewart.
Note to Self: Stop. Doing. Anything. Again.
But then I started to panic. Because on top of everything, it was April Fool’s Day. And I could see on the little TV in the green room that the hosts were playing tricks on the guests. And so I started thinking. WHAT IS OUR TRICK GOING TO BE? Why are we three on the show together today? What do me and Chris Brown and Martha Stewart have in common?
And then it hit me. Oh, for the love.
This was going to be a show about Public People Who’ve Been To Jail.
Lindsay Lohan must have cancelled because she was planning to be hungover and I was the best they could do on short notice.
This was it. It was the only logical explanation.
And so I accepted our tangled fate – Me, Chris, and Martha’s. I stared at the green room walls and felt bad for Bubba and Tisha because they had told all of their friends to watch the show and now it was turning out to be a segment about jailbirds. I worried that they’d really been through enough. I hoped, for them, that next to Martha and Chris – maybe I wouldn’t look so bad. Perspective really was everything, I told myself.
I kept resisting the urge to lean to my left, wag my finger at Chris and say, “Listen, Mister. LOVE WINS.” And then lean to my right and whisper, “Hey, Martha. I don’t even have PANS. What do you THINK of that, sister?”
But then one of the running ladies came out to get me. And I ran onto the set and just as I was about to sit on the tall stool in front of the big glass window with all the waving, screaming people- one of the publicists yelled“WAIT!” and ran over to me and removed a very long trail of toilet paper stuck to my foot. Which neither Chris nor Martha had bothered to mention to me. So much for ex-con solidarity. And the next thing I knew the camera was on me. And then this happened. I just watched the entire segment for the first time last night, you guys.
Sweet Jesus on a Bicycle.
Thank you, Monkees. It is a true testament of your love for me that none of you…NOT ONE OF YOU… pointed out to me that I went on national TV to discuss a A LIFE UNARMED and SHOWING UP AS WE ARE and The BEAUTY OF IMPERFECTION wearing hair extensions, fake eyelashes, 6 inch heels, 8 pounds of make-up, two pairs of Spanx, SILICONE CUTLETS IN MY BRA and a few gallons of Botox in my forehead.
Yes, I did.
Yes. I did.
I did that.
When introducing me, Savannah should have said, “Ladies and Gentleman! Meet the Unarmed Warrior, wearing forty pounds of armor!! If you shoot her in the face- no problem! Her 12 pounds of foundation and Botox are bulletproof! Meet the expert on TRUTH TELLING AND SHOWING UP AS THE REAL YOU! She is here to prove, once and for all, that IRONY IS A WALKING, TALKING, OBSERVABLE THING!!!
Since some of you don’t know me in real life, I think that in order to grasp the hilarity of this situation- you are going to need to see the real me. So here it is- here is the TV me compared to the real me. I sent this pic to a friend recently to show her my new headache remedy. A headband to hold my head together, obviously. That’s what I really look like, you guys.
And on the left – that’s what I did to myself for TV. For my once in a lifetime opportunity to walk the walk. To practice what I preach. It’s so amazingly amazing, I can hardly stand it.
I am either the worst, or THE BEST IMPERFECTION EXPERT EVER. I can’t even be imperfect perfectly. I kind of love it.
In retrospect, I know what happened. I spent a few weeks “getting ready for TV.” And tragically (on many levels), the only show I was watching regularly then was The Real Housewives of OC. So, subconsciously I must have decided that people on TV look like those women. And so I morphed myself into one. And when it comes to fashion- one of my many problems is that I have never, ever truly understood the difference between an OUTFIT and a COSTUME. My only outfit is jeans and a tank top. That’s what I know how to wear like an outfit. Everything else is a costume. I have jeans, yoga pants and tank tops. Then – in the back of my closet – I have my church costume, my parent teacher costume, my dentist’s office costume, my TV costume- you see what I mean.
My main concern right now is that these days the only show I’m watching is Breaking Bad. And so I am afraid that on the paperback book tour in April I will accidentally show up to TV shows looking like a 50 year old male chemistry teacher. Please, no.
My next favorite thing is My Today Show Caption. Please read it. “Aware that time goes by fast- and okay with it.”
That’s my claim to fame. That’s it you guys. I am the woman who is aware that time goes by fast. Not only am I AWARE of this, but I’m OKAY with it. I mean, does it get more revolutioary and/or heroic than that?
It’s like- the only way my 15 minutes of fame could have been more impressive would have been I were “The Woman Who is Aware That Rain Is Wet. And Thinks That’s Fine.”
That’s the caption I’m hoping for next time. We can dream.
Anyway. One more thing. Those silicone chicken cutlet boob inserts I wore on the Today Show? Well. I left a drawer full of clothes in my NYC hotel room that night. And long suffering editor Whitney had to go pick up my forgotten stuff and Fed Ex it to the next hotel stop on the tour. And when I opened up the delivery box, my fake boobs were sitting on the top of the nicely folded stack of clothes. MY BOOK EDITOR FOUND AND MAILED MY BOOBS.
And so I sat on my new hotel room bed and thought about that situation for a while. And then I decided that I had to say something to her about it. Because someone else handling my boobs is a big deal to me. For the past decade, at least. And this had to be acknowledged or it would forever be The Thing Whitney and I Don’t Discuss. And so I texted her and said- “Whit. Sorry about the boobs.” And I waited for a long half hour until she texted this back: “G. I can honestly say that I have never, ever returned an author’s boobs to her. We have reached a new level.”
Tour’s over. Boobs are in a drawer. Extensions are gone. Hair’s back to brown and grey. Botox ran out. This is me this morning. Back to normal. And by the way- I’m not ashamed or mad at myself for my Today Show experience- not even a little bit. I look at myself on that stool and feel amused and protective of that sweet plastic version of me. I think to myself- Look at her, doing the best she can up there, with the little armor she has left. It was a tough, wild year and she kept showing up.
I’m really, really quite proud of that kind, brave fool.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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