Rule #16 Be Willing to Address Even the Most Difficult

put it off.  put it off. put it off. Now it’s a mess. Procrastination is not our friend. What to do?

I love fountain pens.  Last night gathering fountain pens to be serviced at Vanness discovered my Mont Blanc’s tip-of-the-top broken off, missing.  GRRRR.  I didn’t do it, so who did?  No idea.

My only great fountain pen was given me by my parents upon college graduation.  It was beautiful, 14K gold, it was stolen while traveling in my first post-college job.  Stolen by a stranger from my hotel room.  I replaced it, some years later, with this Mont Blanc. It is not sentimental in any way.

This now broken pen is my reminder of life situations. This pen, along with mine and my Mother’s fountain pen set were hidden, in their original boxes.   Thankfully, my Mother’s set was intact.  Certainly, the Mont Blanc was broken by accident, so why wasn’t I told?

Breaking this pen might have been terrifying for someone.  Probably still afraid to admit the mistake. But why?  It’s no secret that I love, love, love beautiful things, but nothing I have,  N.O.T.H.I.N.G. is more important than my family , friends,  or any relationship.  It’s perplexing.

Did the person who left my pen in this ‘state’ think “I’ll do it later” or perhaps, “she has so much she will never miss it” and believe it?  Both statements have potential, but at what cost?  Speak it, live it, talk it.  Hiding or putting off the inevitable makes any situation more difficult.

Usually I will tackle the most difficult face-to-face.

When I owned Applause, a Nashville-based audience seating business, we built audiences for Disney shows. I delegated all the work for Applause, filling a need in the entertainment community.  It also gave me time to build MPR, my boutique PR firm.

Delegating the job to young men who’d worked with me for a long time, I felt good about their efforts.  Sure we had a few snags, but that’s expected.  I always showed up for the actual event, to make certain everything ran smoothly.  My ‘team’ said they were bringing in a bus from the college they’d attended, and it was full.  We were set for the first show.  They said they would just ride the bus to the venue. PERFECT.

Waiting for the bus to arrive, in came the team without the bus or people.  It was only THEN these young men told me what they had been afraid to for the past week!  The bus FULL of people for our audience was not coming!

So here I am with the Disney producer, ready to roll-tape, Aaron Neville on stage, waiting for our audience.  Now I had to tell him the bus was not coming.    Needless to say it was a near-disaster.  We solved the problem,  created an audience with every living breathing person in the studio that day.  So it looked like Aaron Neville had the audience he deserved. How much smarter, easier on everyone involved if these two really (really) decent guys had told me what happened when it happened?  A little notice maybe?

From that time, anyone who knows me, works with me, knows not to surprise me.  I am shocked by little, and telling me will not change how I feel or react, it will give us both the opportunity to make better decisions.

And if I work for you I will tell you my mistake the very moment it’s realized.  Not a moment later, I owe that to those I work with, just as my team owed me the truth. After all — and as I say often — we were not curing cancer.  We will survive.  But let’s do it in the most humane and AUTHENTIC way possible.  Putting off something difficult only makes it more difficult even tomorrow or heaven forbid, next week.


I sold APPLAUSE! to T. Clark Miller and continued to be part of the dick clark company ‘family’ through my Nashville-based PR firm, MPR. This photo marks the  first night T. was on set. L to R Me, T., RAC Clark; Executive Producer; Nancy May  & show host Gary Chapman.

facebook twitter linkedin

Rule #15 Do the right thing even when no one will know but you.

These posts — haven’t established an editorial calendar yet — my writing, so far, just takes me where it takes me.  Lately it’s had a darker side, yet doesn’t make me sad or upset.  Now it’s just fact, a history of life, my journey.

If you know me, you know I love bargains almost as much as I love Louis Vuitton, I do not spend money frivolously.  I don’t buy schlock.  It’s wasting money.  For example, I paid $400 twenty years ago for a Louis Vuitton bag I still carry today.  When I have the time I’m sending all my Louis Vuitton to Chicago where they will make it like new again.  To me, this is working smart!  (This working smart girl is the same one who misspelled GENIUS in her post yesterday….among other faux pas.)

While I don’t do department store shopping per se, I will race you to Walgreens if I see a bargain in their Sunday circular!  (I get it early now!)

Walgreensand no, Walgreens isn’t paying me!

And I am a magazine freak.  Ask anyone who works with me.  Right now, even after giving away hundreds of magazines, I have a gazillion magazines waiting for me to decide their fate. I have the first twelve issues of O – OPRAH, each in it’s own sealed plastic bag for posterity!  I still regret giving away my Vanity Fair magazines some ten years ago. And I think I would frame every issue of Cottage Journal  if it didn’t make me look like an total idiot.

Cottage Journal This issue of Cottage Journal reminds me of one of the paintings we have at Conway Art.  It’s a great work by Renaissance Man, Don Bingham.

It’s not for a lack of magazines I tell you what I did in the dark.

Waiting rooms with magazines were my Achilles heel.  Inevitably there is always a magazine I do not have, or a very old magazine and I absolutely must keep an ad, a photograph or feature, so I would just steal it from the lobby.  I was a thief.

Go figure.

Eventually, my behavior got the best of me.  This is what changed: I started asking (a novel thought)  if I could take/have the magazine; then I also carried other magazines back to that same lobby for their use.

I can remember sneaking magazines into my Louis Vuitton!  Pathetic, I know and stupid.   I can see it now, sunny, beautiful room and they had a two year-old ELLE DECOR with a bedroom I would die to have, but knew I would not remember the visual without the visual.  Or, that’s what I told myself.  Sure.

I still don’t have that bedroom, don’t even know where the ELLE DECOR is!

Isn’t this a little like life sometimes?  We take those pens from work or copy paper, don’t return our messages or call in sick when we are not sick?  — cough, cough — I know I have. 

Or, we tell ourselves it’s okay to miss a friends birthday party, or a funeral, that we won’t be missed. But we are missed, someone knows and wonders where we are and why we aren’t there.

I can tell you even tho’ I was deep in grief at my Mother’s funeral I KNEW who was at the funeral and the graveside. It made such a difference.  Friends Deborah Evans Price and Vernell Hackett drove all night to be there even tho’ I told them it was not necessary to make the drive from Nashville, Tn.  They never listen!  Thankfully.

NOW I understand.  Having them drive all night to be with me for a few hours was more comforting than they will ever kinow.  

Deborah, being interviewed for a Religion & Ethics feature on PBS.

Deborah PBS

Deborah accepting a Dove Award for Alan Jackson. DEP accepting for Alan Jackson

Vernell, signing copies of one of her books!

VH book signing

If these busy women can show up, so can we!

We are missed when we don’t show or we think no one sees what we do/don’t do.  I am certain others saw me steal some of those magazines, and I remember years ago when I didn’t show up for a party, thought I wouldn’t be missed, was told the hostess cried when I didn’t show.

There are legitimate reasons for some things, for others it’s greed or laziness or maybe we are just tired.  I’m trying to make extra efforts for friends, go out of my comfort zone now, because that’s part of my Authentic Grace.

Head in the sand is just pretending no one knows.  That’s the fallacy. To be Authentic, give Grace, we must not hide.  EVER.  Authentic Public Relations practitioners, above reproach, will be untouchable in the marketplace.

…and if you want any magazines, you know where I am!

facebook twitter linkedin





Comedic Genius of LuLu Roman and Robert Wynn

LuLu Bill Reardin story

Left to Right: Melissa Cross; Bill Reardin; LuLu Roman; Robert Wynn & me, backstage at IFCO.

Bill Reardin came to Nashville to visit Robert Wynn, a then writer for Nashville Now.
Our desire was to give this ” New Yorker”  — then EP for The Joan Rivers Show — a weekend to remember.
LuLu dressed in a chauffeurs outfit, including hat, short skirt and cowgirl boots!  She sat on the hood of the cadillac we borrowed from Hee Haw Patriarch Sam Lovullo as she held a REARDIN sign, lined up with the other Chauffeurs in her RED uniform. Bill did not know LuLu, he really believed she was our chauffeur.
Robert’s plan and LuLu’s physical comedy did not disappoint once we left the airport, LuLu behind the wheel and Robert riding shotgun.
Bill sat between Melissa and me in the back seat.
All Melissa Cross and I could do was laugh and Bill simply thought we were laughing at the bad chauffeur!
When we arrived at the IFCO Show — our destination for the night thanks to the Johnson Sisters — Bill was so distraught he actually wanted to carry his luggage to the IFCO stage!
This photo was taken after we revealed our truth to Bill…He was a great sport and remains a dear friend to this day.
How lucky am I?
facebook twitter linkedin