So the topic of last week’s reblog dealt with my social anxiety and making excuses for not attending a Bethenny Frankel meet and greet in Chicago (how I ever got on that invite list is still a mystery), then finding out that my friend Jennifer won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to New York City, which she kindly invited me along. This was such an honor and I was very excited but the driving emotion, at the time, which I felt shameful about, was that I was horribly anxious about going. I feel comfortable sharing this now but back then, I would have felt ungracious saying that.
First published November 18, 2013
I flew to New York City with my friend Jen last week and boy are my arms tired, as my dad would say.
A few months ago, I wrote about how my friend won a trip to see the Bethenny show and invited me to go along with her.
|I am definitely the Rhoda in this friendship.|
I was quite honored that she chose me to go and since I had never been to New York City before, I was very excited at the prospect.
That is until the week of the trip.
Then I started getting nervous.
2020 note- shit got real, real quick. The week of the trip I had so many anxiety attacks that I am shocked I even got on the airplane.
I have many neuroses that if I told all of them to you here, you would probably stop reading my blog.
One of the said neuroses is that I am terrified of flying without my children, should the plane go down in flames and leave my daughters orphans.
I have only flown twice without both children.
Once when Anna was three to go to a wedding with Mike in South Carolina and once with Annie but without Ellie when she and I went to Florida to meet my parents in June.
I told my friend while on the plane, in essence, that it took almost everything I could muster to physically get out of my car that morning at the airport (with a sobbing five-year-old in the back seat, mind you) and get on this aircraft.
So this trip was kind of a big deal.
For many reasons but definitely because of the above.
And it will most likely never happen again.
Or my entire family is just going with me.
I am just not a “girls trip” kind of person. I like having all of my persons with me because of that scenario up there.
Then my suitcase got sick and died, but my friend Rebecca came to my rescue by lending me one of her suitcases.
2020 note- I was almost hoping that my suitcase dying was an excuse not to go. That is anxiety for you.
Side story: While waiting at O’Hare for our plane, I politely asked the person at the American Airlines desk if our plane was on time. She (visibly annoyed by my question) replied, “should be” without looking up at me.
I came back relayed the reply to Jen and said something sarcastically about how I was so glad we are flying with confidence here at American Airlines.
It wasn’t until we landed in New York City that we noticed Miss Personality was our co-pilot.
Lesson: don’t ask your pilots about flight schedules. ISN’T IT ENOUGH THAT THEY GET YOU FROM POINT A TO POINT B?
The Bethenny show sent a driver for Jen (and me by default).
I was so excited that “we” had a driver, that I wanted to somehow work that “we” had a driver into any and all conversations the entire time we were there.
Something like, “I don’t know how to navigate midtown traffic, you know since “we” have a driver.”
Meet Walter. Our driver.
While Walter (our driver) (never gets old) was driving us from the airport to our hotel somewhere in Manhattan, I tried to take out the window pictures.
See that green sign under the rearview mirror?
It said “Brooklyn” on it and I got so excited because we were close enough to Brooklyn to see a sign for “Brooklyn”.
So that sign says “Brooklyn”.
You’re just going to have to trust me.
Hello, New York City.
2020 note- I remember us driving over this bridge and thinking about the show Friends, oddly enough. I think because I associated a lot of my memories of this shot with the television show for some reason. But I had so many out of body experiences when I was here. I couldn’t believe I got myself here, that my anxiety let me go. In fact, when we flew in, we saw the Statue of Liberty from the plane and I began to cry because I was so overwhelmed. I didn’t think I would ever see that for myself for many different reasons.
This, my friends, was the hotel lobby.
I never saw anything like it in my life.
And I can guarantee, had this been on my dime, I would be at the Super 8 in Queens.
See that chandelier?
It was above only one side of the registration desk.
And I would never have noticed it until the lady ahead of us said something like, “so do only the fancy people go under the chandelier to check-in?”
By the way, we didn’t get to check-in under the chandelier.
Isn’t this room amazing?
It looked like a Ralph Lauren store in here, without all of all the polo shirts.
New York City is famous for many things.
One of such things?
Which is a logistical nightmare when you have two females trying to get ready for their television debut.
Actually, it was MY television debut since my friend has been on TV several times.
Wait a second! I HAVE been on TV before!
At the end of the Channel 7 newscast here in Chicago, while waiting outside on the street.
At the end of the newscast, they move the cameras to the street to show the
hooligans common folk the people of the city of Chicago outside the studio.
We didn’t have to wait in it since my friend had won the trip, which was quite nice of Miss Frankel.
Above is what the “VIP room” looks like.
This is nothing like the “green room” because we aren’t THAT important.
We didn’t get snacks or bottled water and I am pretty sure my rider said I like the WHITE M and M’s to be removed, hmph.
We DID, however, get to watch a video about Bethenny Frankel’s life over and over.
They gave everyone one of these forms to fill out and that was their first mistake.
Giving me ANYTHING with spaces to write something on, that is.
I turned this in, as is.
I have no filter.
Backstage, there were “important” papers just laying around, like schedules and rundowns and scripts.
I don’t know why I didn’t take a couple of these because that is something I would normally do.
But then I didn’t want to be the “bad seed” who “ruins it for everyone”, according to my friend.
We had to wait in line and I really do hate waiting in line for celebrities. Especially talk shows. I mean we are doing her a solid by being here. Shouldn’t she be waiting on US? We aren’t even getting paid! Oh wait, we are here on her dime.
I really should have eaten breakfast, I’m getting cranky. I guess I thought there would be M&M’s or Chex Mix in the VIP room.
Ooh, I do love behind the scenes. I wonder what this button does…
I am not going to lie, when I got out here, I was a little giddy.
Or maybe that was the caffeine on an empty stomach.
See all of those monitors?
We weren’t allowed to look at them.
Now imagine being told you cannot look at these or the camera, only Bethenny wherever she is in the studio for an entire hour plus. Now imagine being smart-ass me.
Hungry, smart ass, ADHD me.
IT WAS ALL I WANTED TO DO THE ENTIRE TIME.
Because if you put me in front of a TV screen of any kind, chances are, I am gonna look at it.
I made a duck face because I was so hungry, my face just started puckering.
This was actually the last picture we took until the show was over because taking pictures is frowned upon while taping even during commercials, as my friend found out. Don’t ask me how I know SHE GOT YELLED AT.
So here is what happened:
– the “audience coordinator” or as I called her ” the funny lady with curly hair” told jokes, held dance contests on stage, had us dance to Beyoncé ..etc
– they work you into a frenzy. Case in point, when I would watch the show at home and hear/see the audience dancing and going crazy while the theme song Calling All My Girls was playing? I was shaking my head and thinking LOOK HOW STUPID THEY LOOK. NO WAY WILL THAT BE ME.
THAT WILL BE YOU.
You get so much adrenaline pumped into you from the curly-haired girl who yells, WHO IS COMIN’ OUT THAT DOOR? WHO IS COMIN’ OUT THAT DOOR?? That by the time Bethenny is comin’ out that door, I was ready to buy any and all of the Amway products she was selling. YES, YES I NEED THE FLOOR WAX BETHENNY!! CALLIN ALL MY GIRLSSSSS!! PASS THE FLOOR CLEANER!
– Bethenny is good at what she does. She didn’t have to do any takes or whatever they call it when celebrities mess their lines up. She was professional and seemed pretty down to earth, for a celebrity anyway. She even offered a guest in the audience a breath mint. Don’t worry, we all probably needed it since they didn’t give us snacks.
– Bethenny recognized Jen when she raised her hand to talk about the topic at hand. She said to Jen, “don’t I know you” or something like that. My friend mentioned how she won the contest and something to the effect of “here is Kari, you talked to her on the phone”.
And this is when Bethenny looked at me like she had no idea what the hell Jen was talking about. The camera probably won’t capture that but I saw it. It’s all good though. I got on camera. But I can’t wait to see the goofy CALLIN ALL MY GIRLS I LOVE YOU BETHENNY look I gave to millions of viewers. Which is part of the reason I might not tell you when the show airs?
2020 note- they cut that part out.
So since my friend is essentially best friends with Bethenny at this point, during a commercial break as Bethenny walks by, Jen says to Bethenny “can we get a picture together?”
Bethenny gets down off of the stage after filming, looks up at us, and waves us down which was really nice. That did seem quite genuine because she was really busy and for her to remember that we wanted a picture, was a nice gesture.
The only other people down there were security guards (lots of them) and producers, etc.
Remember the time I stood next to Bethenny Frankel?
Neither do I.
It was a blur and I was numb from the neck down.
And see those girls above our heads?
Don’t they look a little upset?
Because here is the thing, we were the only people in the audience that day to get a picture with Bethenny.
The more I look at it, I realize it is quite possibly the best photobomb ever.
Listen, I would have made that face that day too if I didn’t get a picture with her. I feel your pain, ladies.
The restaurant right behind the registration desk is called Tequila Park and leads to an outdoor area.
This had so many dope colors and textures that I put the picture in black and white so you could just enjoy how cool this is.
It looks like Pinterest hurled in here, doesn’t it?
One last look at the city from our room.
I am sure it wasn’t easy to put up with me and my nervous energy the entire time but I am so glad I pushed myself to go and I am so glad she chose to share this gift with me. Such an amazing experience that I won’t ever forget.
The episode of Bethenny will air today, November 18th, so check your local listings.
Stay tuned for part two where I tell you how not to be a tourist in New York City.
No, I don’t actually know how to do that.