It can feel weird to be on video all the time. It's not something I ever did before. None of us at Grommet have. However, I've gotten used to it, mainly because I appreciate what the video medium can do for a story. It's never about us...it's always about the story.
But I also stopped feeling self-conscious about video because it did not change my life. At all. (Well maybe I do notice my frequent bad hair days more now. But just that.)
Yet, I had my first instance of being recognized, and stopped on the street, this weekend. I was in Princeton, NJ. My family and friends were waiting in a group while I darted up the street to take a couple photos of a record store. I didn't hear her, but as I walked by, a woman exclaimed "That's the Grommet Lady!" My husband overheard her, and said, "Yes, that is."
A few minutes later I rejoined the group, now talking to the woman and her husband. It turns out she is an avid Grommet fan, introduced to us by a mutual friend, and I was delighted to hear what Elizabeth Casparian said, paraphrased below:
In my non-profit's office we have an hour from noon to one for personal internet use. Since I'm the Executive Director, I abide by the rule too. But at noon my colleagues and I all gather around a computer and watch the Grommet. Then we go downstairs to our cafeteria for lunch and discuss the Grommet.
Her husband good-humoredly cracked,
If Elizabeth had her autograph book, she would have you sign it.
All I could say was WOW! That was a dream come true. Not the stopped-on-the-street part. That was just funny. But the part about how Elizabeth and her colleagues find the Grommet stories so engaging. I always envisioned people actively discussing and sharing them. But it was so great to picture the scene of this group of people actually doing it together.
I only wish I had taken a picture of me and Elizabeth together. She is my new best friend.
By the way, here is her non-profit, Hi-TOPS, which is clearly full of insightful people. Their mission is to promote adolescent health and well being, through a rich panoply of programs and publications. I am sure they would love their story to be shared too, so check them out.