I get asked to moderate a lot of conversations in this town. And I don’t know how to say no. (Although, fair warning, I’m learning.) So that’s how it turned out one Saturday that I realized in panic that I said yes under duress to interviewing The Beekman Boys. Maybe you know them. Brent and Josh, a couple from NYC who bought an old mansion, The Beekman, in Sharon Springs near Albany in upstate New York. Well, I confess that I didn’t. Not only had I never watched their reality show The Fabulous Beekman Boys, but I had never heard of them. As we say on Twitter #neededknowledgefail. So I was kind of pissed off that I had to spend a rare Sunday afternoon with nearly no plans (except aforesaid interview at the Santa Monica Public Library) driving out to Santa Monica and talking with a couple of people about whom I had no curiosity. Did I read the cookbook sent to me? The one around which a public library based community is cooking family recipes? No. Did I watch the DVD given to me months earlier? No. Did I even google Beekman Boys? No.
So of course the moment of panic hit. What am I going to ask these guys? I’m going to look like an idiot for not doing any research. Fear, as always, is the best motivator. So Saturday night at 8pm I turn to my Apple TV and start searching for The Beekman Boys. Wow, look what I found! A TV Show! With lots of episodes! So expecting nothing I sat down to watch. Soon I was doubled over with laughter and occasionally shed a tear. There were goats. I love goats. My Mom shuffled into the room to check out the commotion. She sat down to watch and within minutes we were off on one of the most enjoyable evenings of TV watching ever. So now I wanted to know them. A totally “out” gay couple who were living in small town upstate New York attempting to juggle a working farm, burgeoning life style brand (farm has to pay it’s way somehow), and one of them, Josh still working very full time in advertising in New York literally to help fund the farm. Digression: Josh is a best selling author of wonderful memoirs. They struck me as unintentionally hilarious with the ping pong conversation of one OCD Martha acolyte (Brent worked for Martha as VP of Health and Wellness) and one former drag queen slacker wanna be (NOT). And incredibly subversive as well. They are a real gay couple who show affection, cry, bicker constantly, in short, have a real life.
And so I became enchanted. Then I met them “backstage” at the SM Library. Instantly I loved them. Real people working their butts off to juggle the dream of that fantasy many of us share of a quiet life in the country. I really hope they get to achieve that elusive quiet one day.
It just goes to show you that you should rarely (I won’t say never) turn town an opportunity to learn about someone new. You just might fall into Unexpected Enchantment with them. Please remind me of this the next time I complain about a f…g panel I have to moderate.
PS. If you love goats, beautiful scenery, homey cooking scenes and real people watch the show.