Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C is for Confidently Colliding with a Cyberspace Cynosure

You know how you look up to someone, you admire their work, you strive to emulate them and to fight harder to be stronger and be a better person because of them, and then you get a chance to meet them, and they are just as amazing in person as you dreamed they would be? That. Just. Happened.

My pre-ordered copy of Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) came as it was supposed to, brightening my day as I ripped open the box like a kid on Christmas. I held that book and just caressed its smooth slate cover with the shiny image of Hamlet Von Schitzel smiling up at me.
It came just in time too, for Jenny (The Bloggess) was holding her first book signing to kick off her book tour not 3 miles from where I stood admiring my new book that I had patiently waited months to possess. The morning that started off with a cold shower and only decaf coffee available at the office again was now full of hope and excitement and anxiousness.  After the initial excitement lessened, I started getting antsy and then started to feel the creepy fluttery "burnies" that begin in my tummy and spread through my chest and then to my extremities. Oh the irony of having a minor anxiety attack thinking about meeting your hero who encouraged you to seek help for your anxiety attacks. Irony's a bitch sometimes, isn't it?

After I left my office, I hauled ass up to the Barnes & Noble on 86th and Lexington hoping that there wouldn't be a huge line 1 hour before the signing started. On the train ride to the Upper East Side I was having mini bursts of anxiety burnies all over, thinking, "What if I'm not there early enough and the line is too long?  What if I'm the only one there and they cancel it? What if I'm the first person there and then everyone stares at me for being the creepy over-eager girl?" I was getting all sweaty on the highly-air-conditioned train car and I thought to my self, "Well, I know what I'm talking about in therapy this week..."

I got to the B&N and meandered my way downstairs to the events room where I was both pleasantly surprised and ever-so-slightly disappointed that I was not the first one there. (I know my conflicting emotions were weirding me out too.) I sat down in the second row and fidgeted the minutes away reminding myself to breathe. One of Jenny's "entourage" of friends who were there for emotional support brought out Copernicus and Juanita Weasel to set on the signing table and a collective gasp/squeal rushed through the ever-growing audience.  It was amazing. I got chills seeing how excited everyone else was to be there.

When Jenny finally walked out from wherever she was hiding, the warmest applause I've ever heard erupted and went on for minutes.  Jenny, flushed and anxious as she was, looked radiant and teared up as we all clapped for her.  Seeing how touched and excited and nervous she was to be there mixed with my own stew of emotions, I got a little misty.  She read a piece of the introduction and she read a short chapter from the book which made all of us howl with laughter.

 When it was finally my turn to get my book signed and to actually talk to Jenny, the words got stuck in my throat, but I was determined to push past it (I didn't want it to turn into the time I got to meet Matt from The Oatmeal at Comic Con...oh wait, I never told that story. Long story short: I met Matt Inman at NYCC and bought some BobCat pins and was so excited, I just stood there smiling at him and swaying slightly like a grinning idiot.  Boyfriend and Matt looked at me expectantly and it got reeeeeally uncomfortable real quick. Finally, Boyfriend nudged me and said, "Are you going to tell him how much you like The Oatmeal..?" Then, overcome by self-consciousness, my brain started working in overdrive suddenly and a rush of random phrases came out of my mouth like when you pinch off a garden hose for a minute and then let it go. Yeah, it was just as awesome as it sounds.)
Shockingly, he didn't tweet back.
I was determined to not have another debacle like that.  But, right off the bat, Jenny told me how pretty my favorite yellow dress was and that helped avoid the Oatmeal-Garden-Hose-Brain effect. I took a deep breath, thanked her for the compliment and thanked her for being so honest in her writing because she has really helped me tackle some of my own demons and helped me through some hard times, and at this point I don't remember what else I said because I was trying so hard not to cry and I got all hot and flustered. Jenny smiled sweetly and genuinely at me with tears in her own eyes and told me it was ok if I cried because she would cry and we would cry together. It was amazing. Then I made the strange request of asking her to sign my anti-anxiety medication bottle. She excitedly snatched it from my shaking hand and said,

"I would LOVE to sign your medication bottle.  And no it does not sound strange at all." 

I knew she would understand. She and her friends were so tickled that they asked to take a picture of Jenny signing my pill bottle! I was truly filled with with so much emotion, it was in danger of spilling out violently. We took a picture together and I thanked Jenny profusely and then darted out of the room into the puzzle/game section of the store where my tears flowed freely.

Jenny Lawson, you are truly wonderful!

Short-story-long: I met The Bloggess and it was amazing! Thank you, Jenny for making me laugh through my tears, giving me courage to push through another day and for sharing your Neil Gaiman mantra with us: "Pretend you're good at it." You don't need to pretend, Jenny, we all think you're spectacular!

My trophyovercoming fear


  1. Love THIS! Love Jenny. Can't wait to see her in Houston next week. And I'm scared that I will be standing agape deer-in-the-headlights style. But I guess that is better than standing IN a deer. LOL

    1. LOL! Truer words were never typed in my comments section! :D

  2. Gurl you are too funny! So often you make me laugh out loud, late at night sitting alone at my computer. We all know it's harder to laugh alone than when you have an audience! Can't wait to check out Jenny's book. DW

    1. Thank you! Your comment made my day! :D
      P.S Jenny's book is freaking hilarious! I was reading in bed last night and Boyfriedn came in from the living room to ask what was so funny. I told him, "Oh you had to be there."

  3. I loved this post, you are so sweet. :) So glad you got to meet your hero. New Reader! Love Elle xo

    1. Yippee!!! Thanks so much for the kind words, Elle!


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