So that TV thing…well…that could’ve been worse.
I didn’t, for example, vomit on myself, which would’ve been particularly embarrassing because the show was live. LIVE. Imagine my horror. The number of things that could go wrong in that scenario are more numerous than the French fry crumbs on the floorboard of my car.
You say “live television” to me, and I immediately become convinced I’m going to develop Tourette syndrome. As it was, I just turned into someone’s Italian grandmother. Seriously. Did you see the clip? Who talks with their hands that much? Am I practicing my sign language? Is there a fly in the studio? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
I was nervous, that’s what. Gut-churning, flop-sweat nervous. As my Midwestern people would say, “I was like a whore in church.” And by “my people,” I mean people not related to me. My family members do not say “whore.” They might say “hussy,” but then they’d probably spell it out because everyone knows you don’t go to hell when you spell naughty things out.
You’d think I’d be used to being on TV by now, and I sort of am when I’m pretending to be someone else. That’s easy. If I look stupid on a sitcom, hey, it’s the nurse/ticket taker/taxi driver who’s the moron. It’s like I wasn’t even there. The costume renders me invisible, don’t you know?
But on talk shows, they want you to actually, you know, talk. As yourself. You don’t get to wear scrubs and flip through fake charts and talk to fake doctors about fake patients. They won’t let you. I asked.
My agent sent me an e-mail afterward. “YOU SAID CONTENTIOUS ON TV…” (The caps were hers.) And I did. Now the whole world knows I’m the sort of person who says “contentious” on television. What sort of person does that? The sort who organizes her bookshelves by color, that’s who. Yes, I do that, too! Will the horrors never cease? Why am I telling you this? You’ll never respect me in the morning.