Except not actually because she’s Michaelle Jean and I’m, well, a 21 year old J-grad who doesn’t throw out socks until describing them as ‘threadbare’ would be flattery.
But. I did get to talk to her. The story goes like this:
It was a regular Friday in Saint John (so, foggy) and I was leisurely working away on a story about gas taxes. My editor calls me over to his desk, and as usual I walk over with my chest vaguely tensed in fear that I’ve sent some horrible libelous mistake to the presses.
Instead, I’m told to drop gas taxes and spend the next hour and half researching Michaelle Jean, because *surprise* I’m interviewing her at 3:30. My eyes widen. Come again? Apparently, my senior journalist colleague had been trying to set up an interview with her, but wasn’t sure it would pan out, but I guess last minute it did and now she was out of the office for the day and I had been the reporter slotted to cover her talk at Congress, sooo…
I returned to my desk to begin researching a woman who I knew pitifully nothing about beyond the fact that she was Canada’s first black governor general. When 3:30 rolled around, I called the PR girl to get connected to their private line. According to her I had 15 minutes, no more.
We ended up talking for 40 minutes. (oh yeah, her husband Jean-Daniel was also on the line). They just kind of, kept talking and never hung up. Eventually I was the one who was like, ‘okay, I’m pretty sure your PR girl is going to kill me if we don’t wrap this up.’
So that was Friday. Today, I was supposed to be covering the talk she and Jean-Daniel would deliver about their new ‘Michaelle Jean Foundation’. Afterwards, one of the Congress media relations agents whisked me away, saying if I want to go to the media scrum I’d better hurry. I’m jostled through the crowd, told to follow a tall woman in a white coat, and suddenly, I’m standing in an ascending elevator with Michaelle Jean.
For a second I just stand there stupidly, repeating “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” in my head.
We arrive at our floor and I extend my hand, saying I’m Sabrina Doyle from the Telegraph-Journal, we spoke a few days ago.
Honestly, I don’t mean to romanticize my brush with fame, but she just smiled real big, said Oh yes! How ARE you?! as if I were an old high-school gym partner. And then she pulled me into a half hug and we walked towards the room where me and two other media guys would get a few questions with the power couple (the Globe and Mail had reserved a private interview with them for afterwards, la-ti-da).
Anyway, not sure how well my article turned out as I ended up having to write it quite rushed with my other Congress story for the day, but I guess we’ll see. I just wish I could have more time to actually fully transcribe and make the stories the way I want them. Such is life with daily news I suppose.
But yes. That is how I became best friends with Michaelle Jean. We parted ways with a warm handshake and her saying she hoped to see me again. Here’s hoping I should be so lucky.
Ps, she’s just as pretty as she looks in pictures.