I was walking through the Reno airport the other day coming back from a girls weekend in Seattle. I hadn’t showered, I was exhausted and truth be told, a tad hung over. Not my ideal combination for being out in public. Because yes, to answer the most common question I get, yes I’m often recognized in public. And it’s a tad embarrassing when I’m not 20121121-090423.jpglooking my best and someone says, “Hey Wendy Damonte… it’s you!” And their “you” sounds more like “eeewwwww.” But I do have to say people in Northern Nevada are great and gracious and I never really mind people coming up saying hi. But on this particular day, I was really hoping to get to my car unnoticed. I made it out of my gate, down the escalator and past the baggage claim. I was about 100 steps from the parking garage when I heard a screech coming for about 15 feet in front of me. As my eyes slowly looked up to see what all the commotion was about, I saw a woman, maybe in her 40′s, staring right at me. By now she was doing mini calf raisers over her excitement at seeing me. And finally she yelled, “OH MY GOD… I LOVE YOU! I WATCH YOU ALL THE TIME. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M SEEING YOU. HONESTLY YOU ARE THE BEST, ERIN BREEN!!!”………..crickets…….. Ok let me quickly pull us out of this post to explain something. Erin and I do work at the same TV station.  She’s great. I love Erin Breen. She’s one of my favorite people in the newsroom because she’s quirky, tells it like it is, and I often find myself eavesdropping in on her when she talks to herself. She’s a hoot! BUT…. she and I have few, very few, common physical features. She’s a brunette, she’s 5’6″ and she has crystal blue eyes. I’m blonde (at least this year!), I’m 5’8″ and have muck green eyes according to my high school boyfriend (jerk!). Ok, so now that you understand how preposterous this woman’s excitement is, let’s click back into the post.    I’m standing there wondering what do I do??? Do I simply reply, “Oh, I’m not Erin I’m Wendy.” Well as I got closer to her, I realized I (well, Erin) was making this lady’s day… possibly her week. It reminded me of when my brother, Jer, would walk through the Dallas airport during his football days and little kids would run up to him and say, “Troy Aikman, we love you!!” He would tell them the truth and crush them. I always told him he should just go with it so the kids would have a cool story on the playground come Monday. So I decided to go with my own advice and just go with it. “Hi! It’s so nice to meet you too!! Thank you so much for watching.” “Thank YOU, Erin! See you tonight on the news!!!!” And with that, I escaped to my car and had a good laugh. And I had an even bigger laugh when I looked in the mirror and saw how horrible I looked. Sorry I represented you so poorly, Erin! I sure hope that woman didn’t say to all of her friends that night, “Hey guys! I saw Erin Breen at the airport today…and boy did she look like shit!”


About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Oh My Gosh that is hilarious and cute at the same time.

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