North Dakota Today | May 24, 2023

On Monday, I went on North Dakota Today to talk about North Dakota Nice.  I work in marketing, so prepping people for media appearances is a standard part of my job; without exaggeration, I bet I have coached over 1,000 interviews.  There are a few baseline rules for television: sit up or stand up straight with your shoulders back; avoid noisy jewelry or garments that will interfere with the microphones; wear fitted and/or structured clothing to look thinner; don’t fart.  I didn’t have “don’t fart” on my list until I was privy to the worst interview I have ever seen with my own eyes during a press junket for the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  Melissa Joan Hart was in her early 20s and VERY MUCH over child stardom.  She slouched in her chair, one arm thrown over the back, and began every answer by smacking her gum and saying, “My best friend, Britney Spears…” or “My best friend, Soliel Moon Frye…”  After ten or so uncomfortable minutes someone on the stage let out what we were all feeling – a nervous fart, and every reporter immediately bent down over their cameras and notepads.

“That fart is going to be anything anyone talks about, thank goodness,” the intern next to me whispered.

“No farts; got it,” I whispered to myself.

(I feel compelled to note that Melissa Joan Hart is now a grown-up and seems to be living a lovely, non-slouchy life.)

Here’s the thing: while I have prepped a million people for interviews, I haven’t actually been on television.  Sure, I was in the background of the commercials for my family’s clothing store when I was a kid – but in terms of saying things into a microphone with a camera pointed at my face, nope.

There’s a reason for my lack of television prowess.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “She has a face for radio?”  Well, I have a situation for a blog.  In compliment of my nasally, Jewishy voice, my normal speaking speed is faster than the Micro Machines Man.  I am so pale – but not like “Nicole Kidman porcelain,” like “Guarding the Ark of the Covenant in a tomb in anticipation of the arrival of Indiana Jones” colorless – that one of my friends mistook me for wearing sweat socks instead of my own bare legs after a sunny college summer.  Also, I’d describe my body firmness as one of international appeal, in that I look like a French croissant.

Knowing these things, when I scheduled my North Dakota Today appearance I did what any person in my position would do: I bought a pair of shoes.  If you watch North Dakota Today you know that you never see the hosts’ or guests’ feet, so this was the right choice of action.

We have a bunch of great women’s clothing boutiques in Grand Forks, and so for the next two weeks I popped in to find a fitted outfit to go with my new shoes.  I bought sweats, a baggy short-sleeved denim shirt, a pile of floppy summer dresses, a novelty greeting card, and zero TV outfits. 

“No problem,” I told myself.  “I have lots of clothes; I’ll wear something I already own.”

I needed to be in Fargo – a one-hour-and-change drive from Grand Forks – at 9:00 am Monday morning.  At 6:30 pm Sunday night, as dinner was baking in the oven, I went upstairs to try on my plethora of outfits to find the best fit for television.  At 6:45 pm, Kyle came up to see what I chose and found me surrounded by the WORST CLOTHES in the WORLD.

“I look horrible in all of these,” I said, on the vergiest-verge of tears.

“What about this one?” Kyle asked, picking up one of my usual favorites.

“Too tight,” I said.

“Or this?” Kyle asked of another favorite.

“Too short,” I said.

Kyle patted my shoulder gently.  “Maybe you should run out and get something.”

“Everywhere is closed,” I said.  “And dinner is ready.”

“Target and TJ Maxx are open,” he said.  “Eat quickly, and then go.”

At TJ Maxx, I half-heartedly flipped through the racks.  Next to me, a lady sighed. I sighed, too.  Then, suddenly, the clouds parted, and a green dress appeared.  It was $19.99, and I bought it without trying it on (and there were about fifty left in every size if you want to get one so we can be a team).

The next morning, I woke up bright and early and realized I had meant to book a makeup appointment – and, like turning down that extra croissant, didn’t.  So, while the boys slept and Kyle made me coffee and breakfast because he is the BEST, I YouTubed “How to put on makeup for TV” and then slathered on foundation because that was basically the bulk of it.  I buttoned up my new favorite green dress, drove to Fargo without spilling any coffee or food on me, and was interviewed on North Dakota Today.  I don’t remember any of the interview because I left my body briefly somewhere in the middle, but I do know that both of the hosts and the secretary were incredibly nice and I had a wonderful time.  I didn’t fart.  Oh, and I didn’t wear my new shoes because they are five-inch heels and I honestly don’t know what I, the Queen of Converse Chucks, was thinking.

You can watch my interview here:

I welcome all comments, but only if they are positive because my croissant heart doesn’t do well with criticism.

AND GUESS WHAT.  I (and Kyle) get to do this rigmarole again because North Dakota Today is giving me a weekly segment to tell nice stories about people and happenings in North Dakota.  You can find me on North Dakota Today on Monday mornings starting June 19.  However, they are going to kick me off if I don’t have anything to say, so you can help me by telling me all about your nice friends and neighbors and flowering trees.  Please, please send me your stories at Amanda at (and if my friend, Scott, is reading this, I was serious about the duckling thing).

The photo above is a screenshot from the show.  There are only so many $20 green dresses in the world, so maybe I’ll put my normal outfits on Instagram on Sunday, June 18 for anyone who wants to help me decide what to wear.

 A group of Mandan High School seniors went back to elementary school for some cookies and memories. (KX Net)

Speaking of seniors, 28 of the 34 graduates of Nueta Hidasta Sahnish College graduated with honors, making it the highest (and largest) GPA class in college history. (KX Net)

This is my friend Dave, and I can guarantee that there is few more deserving of all of life’s blessings. (Grand Forks Herald)

Batter up!  It’s almost time for the 3rd annual Liam G Medd Memorial Baseball Tournament, held in Fargo in memory and honor of our friends’ son with the goal of reducing stigma around mental health, building hope, and ending suicide. (Facebook)

I love this!  Williston High School held a signing ceremony for students going right into the workforce. (KFYR TV)

Sixteen-year-old singer/songwriter Annabelle Maher has released her first album, two years after appearing on Today with Hoda & Jenna. (Fargo Forum)

As the mother of a child who used to make us stop what we were doing to watch the garbage men drive by, I can appreciate a good Touch-a-Truck event. (KFYR TV)

This one is a bit self-serving, but Number 17 is my godsister (i.e. the daughter of my godparents) – Grand Forks’ Leonora Pitts! (KX Net)

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