I don’t know if other reporters feel this way, but I often sit listening to someone and just think, “I’m intruding. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be asking these questions.”
The other day I met a woman at Ronald McDonald House. She has been staying there for nearly two months while her son is in the hospital in a coma that doctors don’t expect him to get out of.
I asked about her son, she cried. I asked about her future plans, she cried. I asked about some neutral topics, she cried.
I was very uncomfortable. Of course she cried, her son is 100 percent dependent on machines and she is dealing with that reality everyday.
I only have to deal with it from interview to write up and then I let it go. I think if I held on to everyone’s burdens I would be burnt out within the week.
I’m getting used to feeling like an intruder during interviews. It comes with the job, I suppose.
Lately, though, I feel the intruder-ness (we’ll make it a word just this once) in my “real life,” so to speak.
A co-worker of mine is getting married in a week. Her groom was recently diagnosed with cancer so they wanted to have their wedding before he started treatment.
The thing is, I met this woman in November and have probably talked with her a total of seven times since then.
I wouldn’t say we’re exactly close.
I like hearing about weddings and plans so while she was planning I asked questions and commented on her answers. I guess that got me an “in” with her because my e-vite came through the ole email.
To make matters more awkward, I somehow found myself helping decorate and taking photos of the ceremony and bridal party.
I don’t mind helping out and pitching in wherever I can. I just keep thinking in a couple of years when they look back and find this random girl was apart of their wedding they’re going to not even remember my name.
Shouldn’t someone a little more special be a part of “the most important day of your life?”
I guess feeling like an intruder is more than just a part of journalism. For me, it seems to be a part of life.
Cheers to the happy couple!