It all started when CBS This Morning did their re-do and became more serious news, and my husband and I started watching it every day while eating breakfast. There were the three anchors: Charlie, Norah, and the third one (but really the first one if I’m being honest): Gayle King. Sure, I had seen her before on Oprah once or twice, but she wasn’t really on my radar until I started my days with her, Gayle King and I drinking coffee and talking about the news together. Well, okay, sort of. I mean, it felt that way.
Gayle King is funny, personable, down-to-earth. She always says the thing I am thinking. For example, if there is a guy on the news who has had a terrible parachuting accident and barely survived but then in the interview says of course he wants to go parachuting again, Gayle King might say something like, “Maybe he ought to rethink that.” She makes comments like, “I don’t know: She didn’t look so happy to me” and “I wonder what his mom would say about that.”
Exactly! I always think.
And somewhere along the line, as the years passed and Gayle King and I would talk about the news every morning together (I mean, kind of), and then when one day in 2016 I was back in my hometown for a visit and I looked across the street, and there, THERE was Gayle King, surrounded by a camera crew, walking along the street with Dave Chappelle (he lives in my hometown), doing an interview, I wanted to shout, “I LOVE YOU, GAYLE KING!” which is the moment I realized I did.
And no, I did not shout that.
Some of you have heard that story already. But here’s what you don’t know: Back in January, I sent Gayle King a letter detailing how much I admired her. I wrote: “I love that you are smart and funny . . . that you don’t shy away from asking tough questions, and that you like who you are, exactly as you are (a hard thing for many women to accomplish) . . . I want to thank you for being a role model to me and many.” I sent that letter with a copy of my latest book, 52 Things I Wish I Could Have Told Myself When I Was 17, because it took guts for me to put this book out there, and Gayle King is the Queen of Bravery, aka Guts.
And guess what. GUESS WHAT? She wrote me back. Well, okay, sort of. I got this, the photo you see in this blog.
“Wish I had your book at 17!!!” it says.
I think the subtext is: she and I are best friends now. Right? I mean, it’s obvious, right?