Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Waking up with Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz.

Where to start . . . it was such a surreal, out-of-the-ordinary experience that at the same time felt completely comfortable. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't anxious. I just had the feeling I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Heading uptown in a cab, sky almost black, streets amazingly busy before 7 in the morning, I noticed the sparkling holiday decorations still glistening on building facades. After stopping to get water and cough drops, my two must-haves for every interview-I headed into the nondescript yet daunting by sheer scope lobby. Asking for Dr. Oz, I got a pass for an upper floor. Another security desk was posted outside floor to ceiling glass doors, just past the elevator. As I signed in, noticing several visitors for Howard Stern at 5am, the guard told me he could tell I was heading for fame. That I was confident, a people person, and while many signing in are frozen with fear I was ready to be there. What a lovely thing to hear as I was about to talk to a game-changer who's interest could make all the difference in FLOW's future.

I sat in the lobby for a few minutes, watching the people in the glass-enclosed studio smack in the middle of the lobby, just beyond the black leather couches. Turns out that's where the interview would be. And the man sitting, back towards me, was Dr. Oz. I never would have recognized him. I've only ever seen his author photo on book jackets. We walked into the studio and both he and his wife Lisa, who's also his co-host, stood to shake my hand and warmly say hello. There was some trouble with reverb on one microphone. Seats were switched, tech experts came to consult, and finally we all sat down in comfy black chairs to chat for a moment or two before recording got started.

And then, we started talking. They each had pages of notes, questions prepared. Dr. Oz skipped from topic to topic, wanting to cover as much as possible, apparently well versed in what the book was about. He was interested, engaged, engaging, starting off by saying that while he's talked about everything under the sun on his show, this was the very first time menstruation was the subject. I have to say, that was a super cool moment. My co-author was patched in on a landline, which made the interview far more challenging. It's not easy to get a flow going without all being in the same room, able to read facial expressions, body language, falling into the give and take of constructive conversation. But still, we talked. We talked about ancient greek superstitions, bloodletting and vibrators. Hormone replacement therapy, big pharma, women's rights. Third world countries, what was used before commercial products were available, where Kotex came from. We talked about suffragettes, the ERA, and religious stigmas. Wandering uteruses and where the word hysteria comes from. How FLOW came about, and about how men are far more open to talking menstruation than I'd ever imagined.

Halfway through he paused for a break, came over and fixed my headphones. Apparently one side was flipped inside out and I hadn't been hearing with my right ear. Everyone in the room found that quite amusing. Slightly blushing, he suggested my red cheeks were because we were talking about orgasms. Either way, there was a momentary flush going on.

And then, we were done. There was so much we didn't get to talk about. His wife asked about advertising and as we reminisced about the sterile blue liquid we remember from when we were kids, the next guests were being prepped at the door. They were gracious and thoughtful, both sorry we didn't have more time, they had been so interested in the subject and fascinated by the book.

I headed to 5th Avenue, hopped on a bus and was home in time to take Jack to school. As I walked past parents, huddled together, chatting outside, I thought about sharing my morning, this extraordinary experience, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But I couldn't talk about it.


Day two was a hard shove back into the FLOW saddle.


HarperAcademic said...

Will the audio of the interview be available online somewhere?

Harlem BarBQ said...

This is HUGE! I'm excited for you mama! (this is Benier by the way - the only account I hav on blogger is for my Bar B Q client!) uh ... wanna get some RIBS with me? xx