First off let me state clearly that we were over-the-moon-happy with Amy Wallace’s feature story on Daily Grommet in The New York Times Sunday Business section yesterday. Here’s a picture of me holding it.
This is our first “big” national story and we were lucky to be in the hands of such a skilled journalist.
But here’s my former fantasy (held since childhood) about what it would be like to get my picture taken for an important article:
- I’d get a good night’s sleep before the photo session. And I would be serene and composed, having deferred all difficult tasks to another day.
- I would make sure my hair looked good.
- I’d carefully plan my wardrobe to be flattering and, surely, project the right image.
Here is what really happened. We had one hour’s notice of the photo shoot. I’ve been traveling non stop and we realized we HAD to do it on a rare day in the office. The NYT pulled a photographer out of the hat very quickly to accommodate.
Joanne and I each had a brief 10 second panic. Not just for the surprise. More that we were in no state to be photographed. And that is not vanity talking…
It was a 95 degree high humidity day in Boston and we had spent most of it shooting video. That is tiring in itself, but the hardest part is we have to turn off the air conditioning in the office to avoid the blowing sounds. It’s a challenging day for all of us because of that. (No heat in the winter either, but that is not as uncomfortable.)
Joanne and I were stained, rumpled, sweaty messes. Whatever hairdo or makeup we had sported in the morning had been long wiped out. We each made a quick plan to buzz home and put on something clean. I said, “I’m coming back in a white t-shirt and a black vest.” She said, “No! That’s my go-to outfit for pictures.” Clearly we’ve been working together too closely.
I thought about fighting back. But I then realized I could make no such impressive claim to having a “a go-to outfit.” So I stuck with the wrinkled (never ironed it in the AM anyway) linen print dress I had on. (Julia reassured me it was “very Grommet.”) I did go home to slap on some makeup…but the reality of that photo is we were still dripping with sweat and anything but fresh.
When the actual article came out (online first) I was afraid to look (not so much for the photo but for any stray bonehead quotes I had provided). We knew it would hit at 3PM on Saturday and I cowardly stayed down on the dock in Maine while my family and a bunch of friends from Dublin and Detroit were up in the camp hitting “refresh refresh refresh” on the NYT site. When the article finally appeared, 19-year-old Julie (who won Miss Trinity College Dublin this year) used her finest elocution skills to read the article to all assembled. Then, my “toughest critic” son showed up on the dock sporting an iPad and a big smile. I knew I was in the clear.
Amy had spared me from myself, this time.
My hair does look sweaty, though.