Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Was a Dork And Jenny Lawson Was So Nice!

I met Jenny Lawson last night!

You know, Jenny Lawson the Bloggess, author of 'Furiously Happy.' I met a famous person and she was nice!

I was almost late for the reading, but so was she. Traffic was so bad and the limo bus in front of me was having as much trouble getting anywhere as I was, not that Jenny was definitely on that limo bus, but I waved at the back of it anyway, just in case she was sitting in the back seat looking out the window.

When I got into the book store, a spot on my leg, varicose veins I think, went numb immediately when I realized there was standing room only. I stood even though some idiots had saved seats for friends who never came at all. How rude is that? My varicose veins were zinging and throbbing as I stood there and when Jenny came in and started to speak, I wanted to wave at her to pause for a moment while I wrangled a chair from the bitches who saved seats for invisible people while real ones, tired ones, ones with throbbing varicose veins, were standing behind them so politely. I really should get that checked out. It could also be my back pressing on a nerve again and that's bad, but it doesn't throb all the time, so I think I'm good. I've had it on my list of stuff to do for months now, but I never seem to call my doctor. Nick has been to the doctor multiple times since I added my varicose veins to my to-do list, his broken finger, his braces, his lungs, all of it except for his concussion because those people never called me back after three weeks. Really, what is that?

Where was I?

So, Jenny. Remember Jenny? She talked at the podium and she was funny and gracious and didn't have to clutch at it in fear the way I would if I were up there. I loved listening to her read her book and hearing stories that she didn't include in the book because no one would believe they were real. The rat. Oh man, the rat story was great. You should have heard the rat story because it's totally not in the book. She mentioned her influential authors and I loved three out of five of them and I was impressed at how much Jenny and I had in common, good books and all. And people were asking question after question and she was still really gracious even when they asked her about trolls and if Victor is really patient with her. I could never be so gracious as she was, but that's Jenny. Yup, I read her first book, 'Let's Forget This Never Happened' and it was funny. And I read her blog and sometimes I even added a comment. I wonder if she ever read my comments. I wonder if she liked them.

But I stood in the back behind the bitches with the empty saved seats while she spoke. When Jenny was done speaking, I felt the floor move a little as everyone got up. Seriously? Were the floors rated for all these people crowded together in one place? I tried not to estimate the weight of all these people. I remember being at the top of the Twin Towers years before they were bombed and the elevator guy said it was normal for them to sway up to a few feet in either direction in the wind. Once he said that, I was totally sure I could feel those damned things swaying out of control and what happened when they got to swaying in different directions and how close were those things to each other anyway?

Don't you hate when you're really into what you're doing on the screen and your computer pops something up in front of you and you have to pause and think about what it is telling you? I hate that. Whose computer is this anyway? Yesterday, a guy I know said that we don't really own any of our computers, that the companies that put the software on them really have control and they use them to serve themselves and make more money from us.

It's getting that way, isn't it? Think about it. How much of what your phone and your computer does is something that you get to decide? How hard is it to turn that off?

Jenny. Right. I was telling you about Jenny and how I chatted with her. There were so many people standing around afterward that the bookstore had handed out tickets for organizing how Jenny would sign their books. Yellow tickets were given to people who had bought their books at the right bookstore, Third Place Books, and red ones for the slackers who'd saved money at Amazon ahead of time. There is that whole long discussion of independent bookstores and the big brick and mortar bookstores and eBooks and Amazon. Complicated, but from the very beginning, I stood in the camp of the independent bookstores like Eliott Bay Books and Third Place Books. So I didn't mind getting Jenny's book from Third Place Books especially if it got me a better ticket for my three minute conversation with Jenny.

Some woman who was shifting from foot to foot next to me asked what color my ticket was and I wondered if her yellow ticket was proof of her right-mindedness on the argument of independent bookstores and Amazon, the king of book delivery.
She asked me again as I stared in space.

Tickets? I didn't even have a ticket. I hadn't even gotten a chance to buy a book because traffic was so bad and I got there late and it never occurred to me to buy a book on Amazon because I've told Mike I'm spending less so that he can retire sooner and I didn't want him to open the package full of books I bought when I have a perfectly good Nook sitting on the shelf with its battery completely drained because I haven't plugged it in for so long let alone read it. And I thought of all of this as I wondered if I there were even any copies of Jenny's book left for me to buy so she could sign it for me while we chatted for three minutes.

I followed a few people behind Jenny as she was escorted past after she was done speaking and I wandered around to the cashier and found that there were two books left on the shelf that held her books. I was tempted to grab them both, but I didn't really need two books. If I bought two, one for me and one for my friend who couldn't come and whose birthday was two days ago, would someone already have given her the same book already because they knew she loved Jenny too and her birthday was over already and I was belated? And if I bought two hardback books, Mike would definitely notice that I hadn't been saving money and it was obvious that I never wanted him to retire at all. Mike is not like that. He's not, but I worry that he will be sometimes.

I was starting to get a little hungry as I paid for my book and got a yellow ticket, group C. Wow! I would get my time to chat with Jenny in about an hour and a half. Hopefully, I wouldn't be vacant and crazy from lack of food by then. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't go to the food court except that I didn't want to miss my moment with Jenny.

This is pathetic, isn't it?

It really is.

After that, I decided to buy the book that Jenny had suggested that I still hadn't read since I'd most likely love it. I loved two or three other of her other recommendations, hadn't I? Christopher Moore and, crap, I can't remember any of the others she mentioned. Memory of a sieve, I tell you.

I wandered over to that part of the shelves. Fiction. Neil Gaiman. 'Sandman.' There were people in my way and they reluctantly moved from the G section with books in their hands. Had they taken the last copy of 'Sandman?' Really? How unfair was that? The bookstore should have ordered extra copies ahead of time, right? So I scanned the other Gaiman books and there was one with the word 'ocean' in the title.

I wondered why I always read books with water in the title. I'm not kidding you. I do. 'Like Water for Chocolate,' 'River of Doubt.' Why can't I remember any more of those titles? And why are they allowed to put oceans and rivers and water in their titles if the stories aren't about oceans and rivers and water? I pulled my ocean not ocean book off the shelf and wandered away because there were more people who were clamoring to look at Neil Gaiman's books. Did we all think we were going to have a better three minute conversation with Jenny because we'd bought the books that she recommended?

All in all, I had wondered if I should ask Jenny if she'd had a chance to see Seattle, if she liked the weather here, if I should tell her she didn't have to sign my book, that she could just sit there for a minute and pretend to sign my book and take a deep breath and stare into space, and I had wondered how she tolerated living in Texas with Dubya there. I wondered if I could show her the pictures of the elk I took that morning as they crossed the road. I wondered if I should show her pictures of Mike and Nick and ask her if she'd be willing to read my book when I finished it. I had had at least seven three minute conversations with her before I even arrived in the Third Place Books parking lot. So I stood in the D section and stared into space for a bit while I thought about that.

I perused more of the fiction section, looked at the B section where my book might be if I ever finish it. Crap. Bottom row on the end. There couldn't be a worse place for my so-called book. It'll be mid-listed for sure if I can even get an editor to pick it off the slush pile, read it, and send me a hefty advance so Mike can retire.

Then I went into the bathroom to check my hair and ... My hair was flat from all the rain and well, I don't have much hair to begin with, so a drop of rain makes it flat. And of course there was that one curl, my superman curl, that I can never do anything with, but I figured that Jenny would forgive my superman curl. She would, wouldn't she. She's nice that way.

I unzipped my jacket in front of the mirror to see if I looked a little more relaxed but I realized that I was wearing my pajama shirt instead of something normal. Seriously? I'd come to meet Jenny Lawson in person for the first time and I'd walked out of the house in my pajamas? She was going to think I was a total dork.

Oh right. I am a total dork. I was standing in front of the mirror worrying about a three minute conversation with a woman who was out there having a three minute conversation with over a hundred and fifty of her new best friends.

Thank you for listening, jb

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