The last thing I ever expected from a celebrity interview was to swap parenting stories.
Yet there I was a few weeks ago, laughing as country singer Gretchen Wilson described her trials raising her teenage daughter and asking me about Penny and Rigby.
My other work with this paper occasionally requires me to talk to musicians, comedians and other celebrities who, for one reason or another, are relevant to Western New Yorkers. Most of those interviews revolve around what these people have done professionally and why they're (in most cases) visiting the area.
Rarely do these talks delve into personal matters. Rather, I usually get a few anecdotes, updates and previews of what's new in their careers. So I was surprised when Wilson — about whom I admittedly knew little prior to her recent visit to Seneca Niagara Casino — spent about half our 40-minute conversation talking parenting.
I have to say, the surprise was quite pleasant.
Not only did I get to delve into the personal world of someone who's in the public eye, but I also got a sneak preview of what's to come as the parent of a young girl. And since I am usually the one doling out advice rather than receiving, it was nice to hear.
"When your daughter gets to be 11 or 12 years old, it just gets hairy," she said. "Personalities clash, and they just don't get along with you. It can be scary."
Oh, well maybe it wasn't so nice — at least in terms of the content.
I know, of course, there will come a period of time — likely a decade or so — where Penny and Rigby won't be able to stand the sight, sound, thought or mention of their mother and me. Wilson warned me the kids might even get to hate my past, as if hating my present won't be enough.