“Wow,” Viviana said. “This place is fabulous!”
I decided to do some work at the reception desk while I awaited my guests. Viviana was not one of them, but she’s always welcome.
“Oh! Hi Viv! I’m sorry…did we have a meeting today?”
“No. Sorry for dropping in like this. Brady and I are in town this week, so I thought I’d just swing by and see the place.”
“Sure, sure. That’s perfectly fine. Ummm…why don’t you go on upstairs and make yourself comfortable. I’m actually expecting two ladies who will be interviewing to host your show! If you can give me about an hour, you can have my full attention.”
“Sounds good! See you later then,” Viviana said as she went upstairs.
No sooner than she disappeared, the first interviewee arrived. I was looking forward to this one because it was a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.
“Cathy Tea! How nice to see you again!”
“It is lovely to see you too, Jessica! Wow! Look at this place! It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s Jes2Grand!”
“Thank you! Would you like the $5 tour before we get started?”
“Oh, could I? That would be lovely!”
“Sure! Ok, so…here’s our lobby. The other side looks just like it, and there is a public bathroom behind that wall.
“We don’t have a need for a receptionist yet, but when we do, part of his or her duties will be a gatekeeper to the actual studio. We don’t want everyone having access to it. We have cameras throughout the building, and the receptionist can monitor the activity right from the computer.
“Let’s go through to the studio!”
“This is so exciting! Cathy Tea other-side has been dreaming about what these sets may look like!”
“I am so proud of how they turned out…
“Ok! Here we are! Welcome to J2G Studios! You’re the first one to step foot in here!”
“Oh my! I feel honored. This is marvelous, Jessica. Simply marvelous!”
“So, none of us have the photography skill, but how hard can it be? We figured we could save money by having our own photography studio. Cool, huh?”
“Very cool. And…let me guess…that is Jes2Gentle’s set behind it?”
“Amazing! It looks just like her.”
“Doesn’t it? To the left of it we have Jes2Geek’s set.
“And, finally, Jes2Gourmet’s set.
“These stairs over here are the only other access inside the studio. It leads up the dressing rooms and break area. We figured it would be best to do it that way so the celebrities can have a little privacy without having to walk through the lobby.”
“This is excellent. Very inspiring!”
“Thank you! Let’s go upstairs.
“So, before, this was just a huge hallway with nothing in it. Then I realized that we didn’t have a proper place to sit down and have a cup of tea or something. So I had this equipment installed last week.”
“You’re very intuitive, Jessica. Always thinking.”
“Yeah…too much sometimes! This first room is the guest dressing room. I thought it would be funny to make it a green room.”
“I put this room right in front of the stairs so the guests wouldn’t get lost.”
Cathy just stood there smiling at me.
“…yes, yes, I know…always thinking! Let’s go next door to Jes2Gourmet’s dressing room…brace yourself, Cathy.
“Look at all this stuff, Cathy! I’ll never understand why one person needs so much stuff. She costs us so much money,” I said shaking my head. “This next room is Jes2Geek’s room. As you can see, she loves loud colors. Her bedroom has the same color scheme.
“A colorful room for a colorful personality!”
“Ha! Yeah, if that’s what you want to call it! Finaly…Jes2Gentle’s room. She likes to keep it simple.”
“Beautiful! I like this room the best,” Cathy said.
“We have a few bathrooms up here too with showers and bathtubs for those long days and nights. If you would follow me, we’ll finish up in the office area….These are the two stairs that went up from the lobby. We have two conference rooms and two public bathrooms. My office is right there.
“Oh! And look who is in my office!
“Hi, Viv! We’ll be right back. I decided to put my dressing room in the back of my office. I figured since I’m more behind the scenes, I don’t need a big, fancy room. My office is good enough for me.
“I know…it’s a lot of orange, but…orange really does make me happy! I figure before I go on camera I’ll need all the positive energy I can absorb.”
We walked back to my office, and I told Cathy to have a seat. She seemed really excited though. I know she’s a really positive lady, but there was something else. Oh well.
“So, Viv…this is one of the candidates to host you and Brady’s show! This is Cathy Tea.”
Cathy was quiet. But, the more and more me and Viv talked, the more excited she got. After a while she was looking like a giddy school girl!
“What’s so exciting, Cathy,” I asked.
“It’s her! I can’t believe we’re in the same room! You’re even more radiant than…” she trailed off seeing that Viv was slightly embarrassed.
She realized that Viv wasn’t game aware and had no clue where Cathy would know her from. But, Viviana played it well.
“Oh! Aren’t you sweet! I hope you do well on your interview. I would love to get to know you…
“…speaking of which…let me get out of the way so you can get on with it. Take care, ladies!”
“Bye, Viv. We’ll talk to tomorrow,” I said.
“Good bye, Viviana. It has been my honor to meet you,” Cathy said.
“Ok, Cathy! Let’s get this show on the road. It feels silly to be interviewing you, but I suppose we have to go through the proper procedures for these things. Oh…sorry I’m sitting across the desk. I’d rather sit next to you, but I forgot to print my questions.”
“Don’t worry about me. I find that when two friends are doing business, it is best to be as business-like as possible so not the blur the line between friendship and business. That’s why I decided to dress up!”
“Oh. Now I wish I would have dressed up. I have that same outfit except I wear the yellow blazer with the white top!”
“You’re perfectly fine just the way you are. I would respect you if you wore pajamas!”
“HA! Ok, well good. Let’s get started. So, Cathy, what kind of experience do you have?”
“I take health seriously–it’s been a motivating factor for my entire life. In my late 20s and early 30s, I was around 30 pounds overweight. My boyfriend and I led an active lifestyle and our general gusto for life included big delicious meals! When I decided to lose weight, I increased my physical activity and ate with more consciousness. I was able to drop 20 pounds in a year. Then, wanting to lose the stubborn last ten pounds, I discovered that I needed to tune into the feeling of when I was eating more calories than I was consuming. Eventually, I was able to recognize the way this felt and that helped tremendously to keep me from overeating. I also addressed the emotional, psychological , and spiritual needs that had led to seeking comfort through food. In the decades since then, our diet has become more and more healthy. I love the way this feels in my body–I love to listen to how my body responds to the food I eat, and to provide those foods that bring energy and vitality. While I love to exercise, I need to be careful not to overexercise. My immune system becomes taxed if I work out too much. So again, it’s been a matter for tuning into the body and discovering what supports it for optimal health. I’m not driven by image–my appearance is not the motivating factor. I’m motivated by health and energy. My professional experience in this area includes serving as a recent host/facilitator/coordinator for the S-GAS Transformation thread.”
“Wow! You’re even more amazing than I knew! If we hire you, I think you’ll add something special to the show and really help the contestants understand themselves. Ok, ummm…right….Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?”
“I am aware of many factors that don’t make me the best candidate: while I have high charisma skills, I am very much a goofball, and this can lead me to make inappropriate jokes or outlandish comments at inappropriate times. I also have a very laid-back fashion and communication style. At the same time, what drives me are the factors that would make me an effective and successful candidate: I am dedicated to health and to promoting others to live in a way that is healthy for them. I understand through my own experience that our paths to health vary, and that the way we express our health is individual, too. I also understand that health extends to mind, body, and soul–we need an integrated approach. Personally, I am inspired by this program and I support its mission and purpose. I would also love to have the opportunity to work with Brady, the J2G network, and Viviana. While my goofballism sometimes speaks louder than my compassion, it is my compassion and love for others which rules me. I truly become inspired when I see others thrive and live in their healthiest manner. To be a part of that would be amazingly awesome! Since I may not be the most well-rounded candidate, I would love to work with a co-host, if that fits the Jes2G vision for the show.”
“Hmmm…I hadn’t considered the need for a co-host, but…I’ll keep that in mind. You know I’m always open to ideas. What would you find to be the most challenging about this job?”
“I would hate to say goodbye to contestants who got voted off. What’s the purpose in having them be voted off? If our goal is health, isn’t it best if we all stay? It would feel so bad to have to leave! I’d try to keep in touch with everyone and see if we could arrange some sort of support team to keep folks motivated after they left.”
“Ugh. Yeah…I suppose that would be hard. That’s show business, I guess. There’s always going to be a ‘winner’ and several ‘losers.’ I have one more question that wasn’t on the application. So, there’s been some back office talk, and we’ve decided to add to the responsibilities of the host. Are you comfortable cooking healthy meals for a group? And, how comfortable would you be supporting the contestants by being a listening ear and giving advice and encouragement?”
“I love to cook! I hope everyone loves vegetarian. No matter. It’s so healthy! Oh, if they’re blood type O, I’ll whip up some healthy beef dishes for them. Otherwise, we’re having veggie burgers, butternut gnocchi, salad (can we have kale?), and spinach frittata. Yum! Oh, and yogurt parfait. Lots and lots of yogurt parfait. Plus, I think we should have cookies sometimes, because it’s always good to have a treat. I mean, health isn’t about deprivation. It’s about nurturing mind, body, and soul! I love to cook. What was the other question?”
“How comfortable would you be supporting the contestants by being a listening ear and giving advice and encouragement?”
“You know what, I’m actually trying to break the habit of giving advice. I will probably still do it, because it’s a very hard habit to break, and I want to be kind to myself while I’m trying to break it, and I do love to help people, but I find that it’s so much useful to ask questions and allow people to find their own solutions, you know? So that’s what I’ll try to do–though I’m giving myself lee-way to mess up so that I can be relaxed, natural, and not uptight. I think my favorite thing in the world is to provide encouragement. And next to that, I love to listen. I do need to be careful not to soak up others’ negative energy–but as long as the other genuinely wants to find a solution and isn’t talking just to drag me and everyone else down, then I love to listen.”
“I know exactly what you mean! Offer encouragement to do something on their own, but not necessarily tell them what to do. Do you have any questions for me? Or, do you have anything else you’d like to say?”
“I’m sure you know this about me, but I need to wear cotton and flat-soled shoes for my own health-reasons, and I do not wear make-up for the same reasons (or die my hair) I am very happy to dress in a more professional manner than my usual hiking-trail outfits. And no need for animal hats, unless you envision the successful host wearing them!”
“He he…you and your animal hats. If you are our host, you may wear whatever you like. I know most people would probably say that we should have a really young, thin, glamorous host, but we’re trying to help people change their lives–not get the most amount of people to watch us.”
“I’m glad you think so, Jessica!”
“Do you have any questions?”
“Can I meet Jes2Gentle?”
“Aww, of course you can meet her!”
I whipped out my phone and called her and asked her to come to my office.
“Yes, Jessica? Can I get you anything,” Jes2Gentle asked.
“Oh, you’re the sweetest. No, thanks. This is my friend Cathy Tea! We met at S-GAS, and I told her about you and the girls, and she just wanted to meet you.”
“Me? Why would anyone want to meet me?”
“Oh, Jes! I am so happy to meet you. It’s really an honor to be here. You know that I love all the Jesses–each of you has something so unique to offer. I really wanted to meet you because I… well, I just wanted to soak up your kindness! It’s true.”
“Oh! Bless your heart! Sorry. I’m not used to people knowing who I am yet….Kindness…I think everyone is kind of the inside. But, life has a way of crowding their hearts with negative.”
“A while ago, I started a new practice in my life which is to notice acts of kindness. You know, it’s so easy to go through life every day and notice all the acts of thoughtlessness or meanness. I mean, those acts are loud and often make themselves heard! But once I started counting kindness, I was so amazed! Kindness, in its own quiet, gentle voice, was everywhere! From the person I passed on my walk who smiled at me, to the receptionist who greeted me with “Hi, Cathy!” in the morning, to my office mate who patiently explained to me the requests that had come in before I arrived at the office that day–little acts of kindness were all through each and every day. When I see you, I think about all the acts of kindness that you both notice and share, and that makes me happy.”
“Awww! You’re kind, Cathy, and I’m glad we met! I wish you all the best on your interview…oh, I just have to hug you now!”
“The pleasure is all mine!”
“I hope to see you again soon, but if not. Take care of yourself,” Jes2Gentle said as she left the room.
“Let me walk you out, Cathy. I’ll be expecting the next one any moment now.”
“Thank you for your consideration, Jessica! Whichever decision you make, I will be an enthusiastic viewer!”
“That means a lot! I’ll be in touch with you soon.”
No sooner than Cathy walked out, Sugar Maple Bough walked in!
Whew! I love Sims who can be on time!
From what I read from her application, I knew that Ms. Bough was going to be the no nonsense type, so I decided to skip the tour with her for now.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Bough! I’m Jessica. It’s very nice to meet you,” I said as I shook her hand.
“Nice to meet you too. Please, call me Sugar.”
“Ok, Sugar. I feel like you want to get straight to the point, so let’s go up to my office and talk.”
“That is an excellent plan.”
“So, Sugar, what kind of experience do you have?”
“I have a zest for life. As a child, I completed Rambunctious Scamp, along with the other three childhood aspirations. I’m a bro, so I love to work out, watch sports, and encourage others. I completed the Mansion Baron aspiration while a teen–nothing to brag about, for our family has a large savings account and an ample estate. We’re a legacy family, see. After completing Mansion Baron, I completed the body builder aspiration–so that’s where my real experience comes in. I know what it takes to bring your body to its maximum potential: the dedication, the focus. I’ll be able to provide accurate assessment of whether the contestants have what it takes to get there. I don’t have much patience for those who lack dedication. Currently, I’m working on the Renaissance Sim aspiration. I’m close. I just need a video gaming point, and a comedy point. And I’ll be there. I guess being well-rounded would be an asset. I don’t know.”
“WOW! You are impressive! Maybe you should be running the show, not hosting it!”
“You might be right. Hey…would you mind if I sat in your chair? This one isn’t very comfortable.”
“Sure. Make yourself comfortable.”
“Thank you. Now we’re not 50 miles away either.”
“I like your take charge attitude! That’s something I work at to get better.”
“Hey! What can I say? I go after what I want!”
“I know that’s right! Ok…why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?”
“I’m really not sure if I am,” Sugar said with a hearty laugh. “One of the people who knows about me through our family blog suggested I apply. So. Here you go. I tend to be really direct. I’m not good at the subtle route. People have told me that I’m intense, though I think I’m down-to-earth and practical. I do go after what I want. I have tremendous respect for others. I think I’m compassionate. I’m just not always able to express my compassion. People tell me I’ve got my own style and that I’d look great on TV. I did host an episode of Open House with the Mansion Baron. The producer said I did a good job. And I got some fan mail. I really want to break into something related to physical fitness.”
“Excellent! Directness can be a useful skill when dealing with habits that need to be broken. What would you find to be the most challenging about this job?”
“Patience. I find it so hard to be patient when Sims who have it all–who are so lucky and fortunate–whine.”
“I definitely understand! Ok, one more question that wasn’t on the application. We’ve decided to expand the host’s role to two other areas. Would you be comfortable cooking healthy meals for a group? And, how comfortable would you be supporting the contestants by being a listening ear and giving advice and encouragement?”
“Yeah, I’m a good cook. I’m all about food, actually. So, yes. I’d love to cook. We might not always eat the most healthy food–I mean, I DO love a chocolate cake. But if we’re working out all day, we can use the extra calories, believe me. And I’ll even go jogging with everyone after the meal, too. Plus–little known secret: I love to do the dishes. I’m ok at listening, but I really, really hate it when people are full of their own sob stories. I wish they’d just keep them to myself. I also can’t stand it–I mean, actually physically cannot tolerate it–when people tear down other people with what they say. That is not allowed, in my book. So, be brave. Share your feelings, sure, but be brave. Suck it up and deal with it. Don’t lay your trip on everybody else. I’ll listen, but only to an extent. I’m not that good at giving advice, I’ve discovered, because I just say, “Do it!” Whatever you want to do, do it. Don’t take no for an answer. I don’t understand how people let anything get in their way. I think it’s the same with encouragement. I love to tell people to go for it–but that’s not always what they want to hear. I like to lead by example. That’s where I excel.”
“Leadership is definitely an exemplary trait. Do you have any questions for me or anything you’d like to add?”
“No, I’m good. Thanks for considering me. Just know that if chosen, I will be the most focused and the hardest worker you’ve ever encountered.”
“I appreciate knowing that, Sugar! It was really great to meet you. I’ll be in touch with you soon.”
So…Cathy Tea and Sugar Maple Bough! What a pair! How in the world do I choose??