I met Terry Gross today. And I’m pretty sure from her perspective, the experience was not exactly the same.
Seeing myself through her eyes, the 30 second interaction probably went like:
Girl with red hair and a big smile sticking her hand out. She’s talking really fast. I can’t quite make out what she’s saying. I have three books to read tonight. Ok, the girl is saying how much she loves my show. She’s listened to me her whole life. She worked for WUNC.? Great station. And WNIN? Never heard of it. Is that in Ohio somewhere? Ah, Indiana. Is she even in radio? She talks really fast. I’m not quite sure what she means about my voice. Is she going to be one of those weird stalker fans? Oh, now I see. She’s not in radio anymore. Marketing. Ah. That explains it. Nice to meet you too.
Here is how I saw it:
Terry Gross is so tiny. I could put her in my purse. Ok, it’s my turn now.
“Hi Terry! I am such a fan of your work. I’ve been listening to you for almost my entire life and then I worked for WUNC in Chapel Hill. Oh, you know it? Yeah, great station! But I was also in commercial radio too. It was like this weird skitzophrenic position. Ack. Wierd, I know. Anyhow, then I went to WNIN to host Morning Edition. It’s in Evansville, IN. Some of my friends didn’t know me when I worked in radio, but I always tell them that I wanted to be just like Terry Gross. So it became like this thing when we talked about my radio years – my Terry Gross voice. And now I’m meeting you. It’s just such an honor! I just love your work. Thanks so much for speaking today. I’m so glad I got to hear you.”
Wow. Did that all just come out of my mouth? I told her about my “Terry Gross Voice?” Wow. Walk away from the tiny woman who is your radio idol. Just hope she doesn’t remember you.