I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
January 22, 2015
A few days before Christmas, I got a phone call.
And a Facebook message. And an e-mail. And a Tweet.
They were all from a Today Show producer who wanted to talk to me about those clothes I bought from Singapore. I was impressed by her thoroughness in reaching out– as well as a little unnerved, since my phone number is supposedly unlisted. I called her right back.
She was reporter Jeff Rossen’s producer, and had read my story about the clothes on The Huffington Post. She asked if Jeff could come interview me about the post here in Nashville on New Year’s Eve.
I thought about it for approximately .00042817 milliseconds… and then I said yes.
I was grateful for the advance knowledge– I’d have five full days after Christmas to clean up evidence of our holiday merriment before the Today Show crew arrived. The producer had told me that they might shoot the interview in my closet, which was laughable since my closet is more aptly described as “step-in” than “walk-in.” But I knew I’d need to make the closet spotless, just in case– as well as my bathroom, where the closet is, my bedroom, which you have to walk through in order to get to my bathroom, and, well, the whole damn house. I’ve learned enough about news to know that they (“they” being my reporter husband, who often uses our house as background video for various stories) always want to shoot the one spot you didn’t clean.
I certainly hadn’t planned on getting the flu the day after Christmas. And that flu was TERRIBLE. My whole body ached, I couldn’t stop sleeping, and I didn’t get out of bed for three full days. By the fourth day, my Tamiflu prescription kicked in and I felt well enough to come downstairs and assess the damage that my family had done while I was in bed sleeping, eating Ghirardelli chocolates, binge-watching Netflix documentaries, and generally feeling sorry for myself.
Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Wrapping paper, bows, toys, books, cards, candy, pine needles, dolls, Legos, and other assorted crap was EVERYWHERE. Although I was feeling better, I was by no means well- and I had just two days to clean up before the Today Show was set to arrive at my door. I cried just a little, and then got to work. Two days later, I was exhausted… but my house? My house was SPOTLESS.
At precisely 6:45am on the morning of the 31st, the Today Show‘s camera crew rang our doorbell. I let them in and they quickly determined that my closet was, in fact, too small to shoot in (disappointing since my over-the-door shoe holder was looking FABULOUS). They decided instead to set up in my bedroom, along with a clothing rack the producer had authorized the photographer to buy.
A few minutes later, the producer showed up, along with JEFF ROSSEN. I have to use all caps when I write his name, because JEFF ROSSEN is an all-caps kind of guy. He arrived at seven looking like a life-sized Ken doll with his snappy cardigan and perfectly brushed hair. I got the impression that JEFF ROSSEN was used to making a Grand Entrance, but I’d been up since 5:30 getting ready, so my excitement was probably a bit lacking. Fortunately, JEFF ROSSEN was a stand-up kind of guy (well, of course he was), and he made himself at home, smoothly chatting with my husband and me as the crew finished setting up lights for our interview.
And then, suddenly, it was Go Time.
JEFF ROSSEN and I stood in my bedroom before a clothing rack filled with all of my questionable NastyDress finds.
“You THOUGHT you were getting A GREAT DEAL,” JEFF ROSSEN intoned as the cameras rolled. “But what REALLY happened?”
“I got a bunch of junk,” I said. “Everything was too small and poorly made.”
“Great. Now say that again,” JEFF ROSSEN said. “But in a different way.”
“I, uh, what I ordered was NOT what I got!” I said.
“One more time,” JEFF ROSSEN said. “These clothes were too small, BUT THAT WASN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM, WAS IT?”
“Oh no!” I volleyed back, in what was starting to feel like a verbal tennis match. “Some of these pieces CAME WITH HOLES IN THEM!”
On and on it went. Every question was asked multiple times until I found myself struggling to think of any other way to say what I’d already said five times. I’m sure this kind of interviewing style makes for great television once it’s edited, but it certainly wasn’t an easy conversation, particularly at seven in the morning.
Eventually, we got through it, and then the crew spent the next hour or so getting ‘b-roll’– video of me on the computer, walking outside with my husband, and playing Uno with the kids. Two hours after they’d arrived, everyone left. I was exhausted– and it was only 9am. On New Year’s Eve.
Fast forward to last Thursday, when the story aired across the nation:
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Well. Wow. I’m having weird flashbacks of A Current Affair. You?
I was glad that my whole family made it into the story, and I still think it’s pretty exciting that a post I wrote for my blog became a television news report on the Today Show. But I was a little bummed at being portrayed simply as a hapless victim in JEFF ROSSEN’s ‘investigation’– particularly when that investigation basically consisted of reading my blog post and then finding people to talk about it.
Still, I knew this kind of story was a possible outcome when I agreed to do the interview– and so I laughed it off and chalked it up to yet another crazy blog experience. I only wish I had the technological know-how to autotune the story, because these two lines in particular ARE GOLD:
“That’s LINDSAY FERRIER, a mother of two from Nashville. AND SHE FELL FOR IT.”
“And if SHE can be fooled, ANYONE CAN.”
My ten-year-old daughter, however, didn’t think it was so funny. I showed her the story after she got home from school and when it was over, she had tears in her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her.
“It’s just that… I mean…” she paused, struggling to articulate how she felt. “That’s not really how it happened,” she said finally.
I knew what she meant. Punky had been so proud of my blog post about the clothes after I told her that it had been viewed millions of times around the world, that the adorable pictures of her wearing the clothes had been reprinted in Singapore newspapers, that the Huffington Post had translated it into Spanish, German, French, and Italian.
It had been our story, told our way. She was a huge part of what made that post go viral, and I’d told her that, more than once.
What she saw on television wasn’t our story. The way she saw it, some random dude had come into our home and taken it. And then called it his.
“I think you should sue that man,” she said resolutely. I smiled.
“Honey, I hate to break it to you, but that’s just how TV works,” I said. “You agree to do an interview and you hope for the best, but in the end, you’re at someone else’s mercy.”
It’s a tough lesson to learn at her age, but I think it’s a valuable one. I have no doubt she’ll watch the news with a more discerning eye from now on.
“Besides,” I said, “How many ten-year-olds can say they’ve been on the Today Show TWICE?”
She couldn’t help but smile back. This wasn’t our first rodeo. Back in 2009, the Today Show anchors did a segment on the Snuggie— and guess who was featured on the big screen behind the crew members?
Yep. My daughter and me.
(The photo, incidentally, is from the time I wore my Snuggie out in public and then wrote about it. No, not my Forever Lazy. My Snuggie.)
So that’s my Today Show story. For me, it’s ultimately just more proof that when you have a blog, you never know what’s going to happen next.
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Unfortunately, that seems to be more then norm in daytime TV than a one-off occurrence. I still thought you all looked and sounded fabulous, so at least there’s that =)
No kidding! I can’t say I was surprised- just a little disappointed. It was still fun, though. 🙂
I knew that it was your story. And Punkie’s too ; )
I’m super glad that your article got national attention because you truly are
a fabulous writer.
Thank you, Fina! The good thing is that anyone who read the post and saw the story knew exactly what had happened- and a LOT of people read that post! So… no worries. 🙂
If I had any warning at all, if I knew the inside of my house was going to be on tv, I would have hired a cleaning service to clean instead of stressing myself out. I wouldn’t care what the cost.
I cleaned places that I don’t think have ever been cleaned before! LOL
The link above isn’t working. Is it my phone? I even tried searching the Today site and Google and couldn’t find the video.
The link right below “Fast forward to last Thursday, when the story aired across the nation: – See more at: http://suburbanturmoil.com/hey-remember-that-time-i-was-on-the-today-show/2015/01/22/#sthash.sSR1eu6S.dpuf”
However, I went to this post on my work computer and the video came right up. So apparently it was my iphone.
I agree with you on the video. They did portray you as the “helpless victim”. However, it was interesting to see how similar clothing fit his producer and how the pics were taken right from legitimate retailer sites.
Yeah, I told them about how the pictures were stolen from legitimate sites– and sent them the photos of the Nordstrom dress. :/
I was on the TODAY show last week too for a piece I wrote on the washington post! They were here for over 2 hours which translated to 20 seconds. And one of my kids didn’t make the cut. Ha! But honestly it was fun!
It’s definitely an experience to remember! 🙂
I’m cracking up because they made it sound so dramatic and traumatizing. Your post was better. 🙂
Ugh. No mention of all your achievements, blogging, TV… They made it sound like you were just *INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER* Dennis Ferrier’s silly silly wife who will fall for anything.