Ok, so maybe I don’t do my best work attending book signing events given my tendancy towards awkward (exhibits A and B), so saying they are “the place for me” may be a bit of an exaggeration. But, the Green Acres theme song was playing in my head, and I had to do what I had to do to get it out. If it’s now stuck in yours, you’re welcome :)
Some people credit Beverly Cleary or another author of kids’ books for helping them learn to love to read, but well, let’s just say I didn’t do a lot of intentional reading until well past the kids’ books stage when my friend, Stacy, introduced me to the genius that is Jen Lancaster. Not actually Jen Lancaster, obviously, but her books. (Though - spoiler alert - I am going to meet her before this post ends.) I then read up all of her memoirs as quickly as I could (which is probably not all that quickly given my previous aversion to intentional reading and therefore under-developed speedy reading skills). Side note: if they let me read Jen Lancaster in high school English class (assuming she had gone back in time to start writing them by then), I would have been a much better literature student.
If you aren’t familar with Jen, I can only tell you that she is seriously the funniest person in the entire universe. Hands down. I read all of her early books while travelling for business, and her books had entire planefuls of people thinking I was completely insane. I could not help but to laugh out loud as I read, and well, sitting by yourself and just bursting out into laughter every few minutes tends towards the insanity assumptions. I get that. I’m ok with it. It was totally worth it. Plus, it set the bar low for whatever insanity/awkwardness that actually came out of my mouth as I encountered my fellow passengers.
Fast forward a few years, to when Jen is scheduled for a book signing event in Atlanta for her newest novel, Here I Go Again. (Did I mention I live in Atlanta?!) That book signing took place just over a week ago, and thankfully, my favorite sister (previously seen here) planned a trip into town to go with me — seeing that I introduced her to Ms. Lancaster’s hilarity and all. In my well-thought-out plan, it never occurred to me (until we were on our way there) that she might have been as excited/nervous/soon-to-be-awkward as me about meeting Jen. Uh oh. I feel a train wreck coming. And yet, I couldn’t stop it.
O, and in the interest of full disclosure, I believe I have to mention here that I didn’t have a brush in my car on the way down to the signing and had a case of what my husband calls “crazy mom-hair” so I had to resort to using a fork from my glove box as a brush. Love me some fork brush. It does a suprisingly good job on thin hair like mine. You should try it – you’ll thank me. Anyway, I felt I should mention this here before my loving sister told on me in the comments :) #owningit #forkbrushrules
Jen gave a reading and answered questions before she signed books, and she was just as hysterical as we expected. And then some. Seriously, she did not dissapoint. Except for not asking us to be her new best friends. Yet.
So, here we are sitting in our seats
patiently anxiously waiting for our group to get called for the book signing.
When it was our turn to go up to the table, I just handed over my book and stood there like a crazy holding my gift for her. Luckily, Jen asked what else I was buying to which I just said, “I made you these” as I handed over the letterpress note cards I had made for her. At that point, I was pretty done. I didn’t get any other words out. Luckily, my sister was there to explain that they were letterpress and so on. But, then at some point she went numb, too, and started saying crazy things that didn’t even sound like English to me. I seriously had no idea what they were talking about but was ok with that. [According to my sister, we were both just nervously laughing at whatever Jen said. And, the reason I didn't think she was speaking English was that she wasn't speaking. At all. Apparently, we were like Beavis and Butthead. Or Dumb and Dumber. Or Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I stake claim on Tweedledee, for obvious reasons.] I considered it a victory that I hadn’t stroked out on the signing table or spit on Jen when I tried to speak or jokingly used the word “stalker” and been escorted out. So, yeah, I guess I can’t blame Jen for not asking us to be her new best friends. Yet.
Thanks, Jen, for not acting like my sister and I were completely off our rockers. At least, not to our faces. Should you need to vent about our insanity, I understand. It would be an honor for you to call us @sshats. Or anything, really. Can’t wait for The Tao of Martha this summer – I already have it on pre-order :)
Is it weird that I bought the book in print just to have her sign it and put it on my shelf but bought another copy to actually read on my Kindle? Anyone else an avid reader of Jen’s books or Jennsylvania blog?