On Air and Scared

Never say never.

In my wildest dream there’s one thing I thought I would absolutely not be doing again and that’s co-hosting an hour-long live TV show. Back in the day, like way back in the day, being on morning television was my gig. As my kids grew older I gently segued to print journalism.

Three of my favorite things about working in print are that it’s primarily a Spanx, contour concealor and wrinkle filler foundation with space age polymers free environment. In other words I’m not sucking in my stomach or worried about smoothing out my crows feet while I type. It’s a lifestyle one can get used to.

So, when I was asked to do a brief vacation fill on KCTV’s Better Kansas City with Bill Hurrelbrink, who is one of my favorite people, I said a very enthusiastic yes please! I love the thrill of live TV and add in the amiable camaraderie of a morning show and I’m all in.

The reason I was scared is that doing live television is not easy. The challenging part is making it look effortless and it’s not like I’ve had a lot practice in that arena lately. Television can be unforgiving. It’s like your mother – it sees everything from your posture to your sincerity.

My initial challenge was making sure I was high definition TV ready. I was working in TV when high def cameras first debut and we would play a game called connect the pores. It was brutal. Now, I have more than pores to worry about. Today, I’m “stylin” some prominent wrinkles and no amount of make-up is going to camo those bad boys.

I was also a tad panicked about what to wear. Most of the females on TV favor the sleeveless dress. I, not blessed with arms of steel, (they’re more like arms of cookie dough) prefer to keep my upper limbs swathed in fabric. So, I decided to kick it old school and wear the most forgiving of clothing items ever – a blazer.

After I got passed the appearance conundrums it was time to open the floodgates on worrying about the twin terrors of the teleprompter and the IFB. The teleprompter masquerades as a very helpful friend but it can turn on you in a millisecond. One minute you’re besties. The next it’s having a tantrum, you’ve lost you place and don’t even know what you’re reading.

The teleprompter is why I started wearing clinical strength deodorant. There’s no sweat worse than the “I’m on live TV and I think the teleprompter is trying to tank my career” sweat.

The IFB (Interruptible Feedback) is another helper that takes some getting used to. It’s an earpiece where someone can talk to you while you’re on TV. I was excited to dig out mine yet worried. My last IFB was made twenty years ago. Basically, you have a mold taken of your ear so it fits securely.

My concerns were two-fold. I was dreading to find out if my ear had fatten up like the rest of my body in the last two decades and it wouldn’t fit. I was also worried that it would no longer be up to date. Thankfully, my ear was still in shape (I know that’s not really a thing but I enjoy telling myself that I have very svelte ears so let’s just leave it at that.) and it still worked. Yippee!

When it came time for me to go on TV I was surprisingly not nervous. It felt almost normal and was very akin to being a mother. You’ve got someone talking in your ear while you ask someone else a question. Then there’s someone else in front of you that also wants your attention and all you can do is hope for the best and pray nothing goes rogue.

So, yeah pretty much exactly like motherhood.

Dear Snarky


You may not know this, but I get a lot of emails and messages on Facebook asking for advice – as in WWSD – What Would Snarky Do?  Today I debuted a new weekly segment on KCTV’s Better Kansas City where I answer letters sent to me by confused, concerned, and mildly crazed people. Here is today’s letter and my response. If you want to see the TV version of “Dear Snarky” I’ve uploaded it to my Snarky Facebook page.

Dear Snarky,

Valentine’s Day, is by far, for me the worst day of the year! I work in a fairly big office where most of us are in open cubicles which means you can see into everybody’s work space. Every Valentine’s Day I’m humiliated by the huge vases of flowers all my female coworkers receive from their husbands and boyfriends while I get ZERO from my hubs. 

It’s not that he’s not a great guy. He’s just clueless about the importance of Valentine’s Day. So, while everybody is oohing and ahhing over their flowers or worse asking me what my husband got me I just make excuses for him. There is one woman I work with who won’t shut up about how great her husband is because he’s gets her a flower arrangement that is so big it takes up most of her desk. She then walks around all the cubbies and comments on how she got the most flowers! What should I do? I’m really thinking of calling in sick on Valentine’s Day so I don’t have to deal with any of this.

Signed, Catherine

Dear Catherine,

I feel your pain as I’m married to perhaps the most unromantic man in the inner galactic sphere. Let’s just say gift giving is not his strong suit, but he does clean the guinea pig cage every week and that’s worth a lot. There’s only one way to deal with a romantically challenged spouse – get over it and buy your own gifts. That’s right girl, I’m telling you to buy yourself you own Valentine’s Day flowers. I’ve done it for years.

I’ve also had to deal with my share of show-offy “look at me, look at my flowers” coworkers.  This is what I did several, as in a lot, of years ago to neutralize that situation. Now some of you may call what I’m about to tell you a descent into a shame spiral. I call it protecting my man’s good name. Which is what any wife should do – right? 

After a couple of Valentine’s Days where I got nothing from my husband in the way of flora or fauna delivered to where I worked and after dealing with smug looks, whispered comments about hints of maybe I was enduring some marital strife and hearing women go on and on about their flowers like they were the seeds of world peace I took matters into my own un-manicured hands. I marched myself to the nearest florist and ordered a huge bouquet of roses where I had a male employee at the flower shop (because I wanted the handwriting to be a guy’s) copy on a card these words – “You are my beginning and end. My day. My night. Your beauty takes my breath away. You are the reason I smile. The reason I look so forward to tonight.” 

Yeah, it was that sappy, but when those flowers got delivered and I worked that card around the office you would thought I was married to Lance Romance. It’s called having your husband’s back because if you’re married to a great guy who just doesn’t get what the big deal is about Valentine’s Day it’s your duty as a wife to protect him. Think about it – what’s more important a bunch of flowers taking up valuable desk space in your cubicle or a man who cleans a guinea pig cage? I think you know my answer. Now go buy yourself some flowers.

Yours, Snarky

If you have a question you would like to answer in my weekly Dear Snarky segment you can email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or message me on my Facebook page.

For all things Snarky including T-shirts, my newest book and deliciously snarky ecards click here  – www.snarkygear.com