I guess this is my week for personal videos.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from my Aunt Joan, telling me that my cousin Willow (daughter of my first cousin Susie...) was going to be on the Today show, doing pregnancy exercises.
This not only was fascinating to me for the obvious reason -- but even more perhaps because no one had bothered to tell me she was pregnant in the first place. Quite an interesting way to find out.
Unfortunately, I didn't read the email until after the segment had already aired and I missed it. Happily, a video is available. Unfortunately, it only includes the first part, in which Willow is just doing a lot of deep-knee bends. I'm told that later she actually gets a chance to talk a bit. Since the hosts were Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, I think it's impressive that she got to say anything at all.
What most surprised me is that Willow is quite shy, so it was strange that she went on the show. (It came about because of some publication, The Bump. Long story.) Willow is quite wonderful, a very bright, accomplished and successful marketing expert, journalist and writer. Oddly, like my friend Elisabeth Berkowitz whose appearance in a Poco video I posted yesterday, Willow too was a model early on -- though in Willow's case when I say "early on," I mean it literally: she was probably seven years old or so. Her most notable job was the Sears catalog -- quite a big get, I must say, especially in Chicago where Sears has its world headquarters -- and in Sears newspaper ads, of which my aunt (her grandmother) had the world's largest collection, to the point that Aunt Joan could probably have opened the Willow Musuem. For all I know, and suspect, she still can.
I believe when this early career gets mentioned, Willow tends to get a bit mortified, having grown a wee bit past it, but then she just was on the Today show with Kathie Lee Gifford, doing deep knee bends while bulgingly pregnant, so the whole "mortified" thing holds less weight...
(Side note: my favorite Willow story is that several years back, she came out to California for a short vacation and along the way stopped first at some counter-culture flower child-ish type event in Arizona, I think, because her mother insisted she do so. I remember her saying how all the many people there who she met called "Willow" were SO excited to discover someone whose honest-to-God, real name was, in fact, actually Willow.)
Actually, my favorite Willow story is a children's book I wrote for her (as yet unpublished) when she was a little girl, called The Laughing Willow. It was about a young willow tree who didn't want to weep like all the other weeping willows, but wanted to laugh instead. As the story goes on, all the other trees convince her that she has to weep because that's what willows do -- and so she does, too. But try as she might to fit in and conform with all the other weeping willows, she just can't keep from laughing, and laughing. And in the end, that's what she does. She just laughs. Because, as the last line says, after all, a willow can do whatever it wants to.
Anyway, as for the Today show video, the best part of it for me is the very end. For the most part, Willow (the one in pink) doesn't do much other than those deep-knee bends -- but at the end, if you look closely, around the 2:28 mark, you can see a very sardonic expression cross her face. That is Willow's signature look. She does sardonic as well as anyone I know. When you're naturally shy, it's the language that speaks a thousand words.
There may be a short commercial that comes first, and then, on to the show. It's not much, but hey...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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