It’s possible she set herself up for her own doom that day.
The chest cold started Monday morning. She willed it away, gobbled up wellness formula and olive leaf, trying to be ready for the 10 miles on Thursday.
It was quite cold on Thursday and she was dreading the run ever so much. She drenched her throat in Vicks Vaporub and she got through it despite experiencing her first major wall of the training. At mile 8 all systems were screaming: It’s TIME to quit.
After the run, she tried to eat and replenish but she wasn’t hungry and she felt so not okay.
The next morning she woke with pain in her left knee (new), pain in her right ankle (alarmingly new) and pain in her soul. She felt sick and defeated. She hobbled to the bathroom and knew that if she didn’t have a booking, this would be one of those mornings where she did the bare minimum a mother must do to be a mother, and then go back to bed until it was time to pick the children up from school.
Since that wasn’t an option, she willed the adrenaline of a job to come to her rescue and made it to the set on time.
The first shot was a bathtub scene. She wore an american apparel nude ruched bodysuit for modesty on set, and a bathrobe too. In general she’s pretty comfortable with her pieces and parts being on display, but her trunk was hanging out a bit in the bodysuit. The client had brought her 6-year-old son to the set that day and he was walking around with a little canon rebel on the sports setting taking photos like he was the paparazzi.
He began taking a large quantity of photos of her in this “outfit”. She was totally not okay with his B-roll, behind-the-scenes 200 frames or so, so she enlisted the makeup stylist to put an end to it, “oh, and please have those photos deleted, thanks.” She felt disappointed in the talent coordinator who let that situation happen to begin with, and of course with the mother and nanny who let her down.
She shook it off and did her job, which required sitting in a cold tub with thankfully warm, but quickly turning cold, bubbles dumped on her every so often. The photographer was nice and cozy in his wool military jacket, corduroy pants and boots, she was chilly to say the least.
After the torture was over she was then dried off, lemon-zingered and readied for her second shot. As she sat in for lighting she started to feel the hunger pains that remind her of one thing: mile 4 or mile 7 or any mile on the arduous journey when she starts to feel HUNGRY. She picked up her crochet and tried to will it away. The photographers assistant approached her:
“How are you? Can I get you anything?”
~”I’m good, just a little hungry.”
“Sweet or savory?”
~”Oh…I was just thinking about yogurt”
~”It’s okay, I’m fine…” as he jetted off the set.
Almost immediately after she got back to counting her double crochets, the talent coordinator approached. If her shoes were allowed on set, she’s certain she would have gotten in her face, thankfully the parameters allowed some distance.
“I can’t have the photographer’s assistant leaving to get you food. You’re hungry? Lunch is at 1 o clock, salads and sandwiches are coming.”
~”I am so sorry. I can wait, he just asked me how I was doing and I answered him honestly.”
She was very apologetic and a few minutes later, having missed absolutely nothing but the scolding, he returned with zucchini bread and quiche. She declined it after her talking-to.
When the lighting session was over, she grabbed the food and went to sit down and eat it.
“There’s no eating on the set.”
~”I didn’t eat. I can’t eat right here? right now? I’m NOT on set right now. I did not eat on set out there.”
“I can’t have you telling the assistants to run around and track down yogurt for you. The producer said something and it reflects poorly on me.”
~”Do you want to have an argument right now? I did not ask him to go and get me yogurt.”
“He told me that the talent wanted yogurt and he left the set.”
~”Yes, but after he asked me, I did not demand it or specifically approach him to go hunt me down food…he just asked me.”
“Well, there are snacks over here and bagels.”
~”This quiche is going to hit the spot because I need some food.”
She almost started to cry because she felt angry and humiliated. She felt set up. She reminded herself that she hadn’t done anything wrong, that this woman was feeling like she had lost control of the situation and needed to take it out on her in that moment. She crocheted it out, and thought up all the inappropriate, passive/aggressive things she could have said and then the appropriate WHEN YOU, I FELT, BECAUSE statements, and made it her goal to leave in a good place about it, without exchanging any of those words.
She didn’t get food until nearly 2 o clock, so the photoshoot that day was a re-do of the 10 miles the day before. Her cold got progressively worse and she wondered if she would ever feel warm again. She paid the babysitter to stay while she went to bed as soon as she got home and loaded up on theraflu.
In the mail she received an unexpected surprise. Her second cousin once or twice or thrice removed, who she grew up with, had sent her a book with a little note. She read the note and book and wept. And after seeing this tweet:
She crawled into bed. Perhaps she was a bit exhausted. Perhaps she would have taken that day on set more in stride had she been unexhausted. Perhaps.