Ok, maybe I am overselling my booking-signing-attendance skills again with that title a wee bit. But, the Green Acres theme song is still playing in my noggin, and well, I figured a corny piggy-back on the title from Monday’s post (book signings are the place for me), might just force it out of there once and for all. Or at least have us all singing it together. Hee hee.
I swear that I’m not usually chasing down famous people and trying to meet them — seriously, why would I do that just to have an awkward encounter?! It just happens that several different events were scheduled very close together lately that had me going to meet some of my favorite folks and unleashing my
awesomeness awkwardness on them: first, Rhoda of Southern Hospitality (not once but twice), then, author Jen Lancaster, and now, Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love for their Atlanta book signing.
As I explained when I went to meet Rhoda at her HomeGoods party, it’s a really weird feeling going to meet someone you feel like you already know. Especially, when they definitely don’t know you. At least, not as anything other than someone who makes
comments bizarre comments on their blog. That is, if you’re lucky and they even remember your name at all. Considering YHL has over 5 million page views a month, the likelihood of them knowing my little name from a comment every day or two is highly unlikely. In fact, if there were odds on it in Vegas, I’d say that they would pay off extremely well.
I did feel a little comforted going in, considering John and Sherry have called themselves awkward before. So, I kinda figured with them
being awkward supposedly being awkward and me being certifiably (is there a certification for this?) awkward, that this could go one of two ways: 1) it would be so awkward that we would literally hear crickets, then I’d panic and knock over their table and freak out more, and then just run out and forget my book and not get a picture and never be able to show my face again or 2) it would just be nominally awkward and nothing to write home about but at least I could still go out in public.
Think you know which way this goes??
First, let me give you the lay of the land. Word on the street (out in front of FLOR that night) was that they had 700 people who RSVP’d yes – how crazy is that?? Pretty sure all 700 (and at least another
handful boatload) showed up! I got there about 30 minutes early thinking that would put me at the beginning of the line. Silly me. That put me at least 600 people deep in line. Uh, did I mention these guys are crazy-popular?? (Pssst - in case you just discovered the internet and don’t know of them yet, they are like the rockstars of the blog world. Blog royalty, if you will.)
The weather didn’t exactly cooperate. Though, at least the rain stopped before the line formed, and it was just cold and windy. (Translation: bad hair night. Too bad I didn’t have my trusty forkbrush on me.) I opted not to wear my nice warm boots because I was afraid the rain might ruin them, so instead, I made the unwise decision to wear ballet flats. So, uh, no nice warm socks… Just some almost-bare weather-exposed feet that I apparently flexed for this picture. (Nice, even my feet are awkward.)
Once, I made it into the store, I was no longer thinking about being that awkward weirdo that came a la carte and didn’t wear socks. Now, I’d started to obsess on something totally new. I noticed that everyone else with gifts for John and Sherry had actually wrapped them. Oops. Party foul? I had put mine in a lunch bag in my purse to keep them from getting purse-funk on them but they were definitely not wrapped, and I could definitely not deliver them in the now crumpled up lunch bag that surely had something unidentifiable on the outside of it by this point. (Worth mentioning here: one of the women about ten people in front of me in line made them each a throw pillow – that day – and they were nicely packaged up in gift sacks.)
As I got closer and closer to the front of the line, I started to get my normal meeting-people anxious stress. Plus, where do I set my purse/coat when I go up there? Is my phone charged up enough for them to take my picture? Then, what am I actually going to say?? Why didn’t I wrap these cards? Where was my forkbrush when I needed it?
Then, it was suddenly my turn, and well, I didn’t see what was waiting behind scenario door #3. At all. Um, they were sooooo nice and welcoming and non-awkward, that I hadn’t planned for this scenario and just shut down. (Not that I didn’t think they’d be nice, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t plan on them not being awkward right back at me!) I went temporarily deaf to my own voice. No kidding. I could not hear a word I was saying. (Is this what happens to seriously crazy people?) I know I walked up and practically threw my book across the table at them and then tossed the note cards I’d made them down and said something like “I made these for y’all” and then trailed off with something like “they’re not pillows or anything…”. John asked if I had a shop, and when I said yes, he started looking for the tag in the cards. Oops. I didn’t include one. And, then I said something completely insane to that effect. Truth is, with their very public ‘no swag’ policy, I was afraid that including anything with even my little logo might get the cards thrown out, and since I wasn’t giving them the gift for the publicity but just because I appreciate their blog and am a huge fan, I didn’t think I should include it, anyway. (Hope that wasn’t weird — it really isn’t that it’s super-secret or anything. I promise. There is a link in my side bar…)
Then, luckily, they asked if I wanted a picture and that awkwardness I’d created melted away — I mean, I still couldn’t hear, but at least I wasn’t saying anything else crazy. At that moment anyway. After the picture, as I was clearing out to make room for the next fan, Sherry mentioned that she liked that the cards were printed in lowercase, and then I said “I’m a lowercase kinda gal” and tried my best to escape before I accidentally knocked over their table or said something totally insane. As I was wandering off, John said “you should totally make that your tagline: lowercase kinda gal”. Hmmm… he may be onto something – he was in advertising, right? #lowercasekindagal
Somehow, I just assumed the signing would be filled with a bunch of other fans like me and didn’t realize that any of those other fans would be real bloggers. Whose blogs I read. So, luckily for Sarah from Ugly Duckling House, I started talking to her in the line like she was just a regular ole fan like me – it was crazy because I didn’t recognize her without the paint on her face from her profile picture, so for once, I was only minimally (for me) awkward, and Sarah and her friend, Ellen, were super-nice and never once tried to run away. Of course, in true form, I didn’t ask to take a picture with them. Oh, well, next time. (You can read Sarah’s entertaining recap of the YHL book signing on her blog here.)
I also got to meet Katie Bower from Bower Power Blog, which was really cool. I knew there was a good chance of her making an appearance that night since the Bowers and the Petersiks are BFFs, and I had been thinking how cool it would be to see her. But, I was thinking, like, across the room. I didn’t imagine that I’d get to talk to her. Unfortunately for Katie and her husband, Jeremy, I was like a deer in headlights – I think I only said (and sadly more than one time) “I’m Katie, too”. Luckily for me, my new friends, Sarah and Ellen, went up there with me, so they did most of the socializing and I just smiled and looked
pretty crazy. A special skill of mine.
Was anyone else at the YHL book signing? Who would you wait in that kind of line to meet? Do you think they could run a small
city country on power harnessed from my awkwardness?