I went to a book signing this weekend at Changing Hands in Tempe with my father. I know, I’m so wholesome and intellectual, right? Local, independent book store, literature, spending time with family… I’m practically Julie Andrews, right?
Yeah, I hate to shatter your Mary Poppins impression of me (which I know you totally have; I generally come off as flawless and chaste, right?) but this is actually how that went down:
I met my parents and five other friends at the restaurant/bar next door to the bookstore two hours before the signing. It seemed like plenty of time to get food and walk the five feet next door to be in line for good seats, but it’s possible the excessive amount of time we had detracted from a sense of urgency.
We did shots, is what I’m trying to say.
When it got too close to the signing to ignore the fact that we needed to stop drinking and start moseying next door, my mother and a couple of other people who just came for the drinking part and had no interest in the literary portion (philistines!) took off and half of the rest of us went over to stand in line. The other half of the remaining group went across the parking lot to Trader Joe’s to see what kind of portable alcoholic beverages they could procure to smuggle in (in my defense, A: it totally wasn’t my idea this time, B: several of us had done possibly the most heinous, ill-advised, 11 mile hike in 105 degree temperatures that almost melted my skin off that morning, so we were feeling like we’d really earned tasty beverages. Work hard, play hard, people, and C: due to an unfortunate GOV* incident post-hike, pre-book signing, I had Jason chauffeuring me all over the valley Saturday).
But of course, because we’d been screwing around next door, doing shots and using our outside voices inside, we didn’t get in line quickly enough to get seats. We did, however, obtain primo-standing space right next to the speaking platform AND the bathrooms.
I especially appreciated the proximity to the bathrooms when, three minutes before the author was supposed to come on, my father and my best friend tried to start a chant of, “Knock, knock, Motherf*cker,” to get the author to come out early. But no one else joined in and I’m terrified of authority figures yelling at me so I ran into the bathroom and hid until she came out on stage.
Because, yes, we were there to hear Jenny Lawson, AKA: The Bloggess, read from the best-selling memoir of her life, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far it’s primarily about her upbringing in rural Texas with a legitimately mentally ill father who is obsessed with animals of all types, living and dead. Also she’s pretty much nuts as well.
My father and I bonded over The Bloggess a few years ago and since then I bought him a notebook from her Zazzle shop that said, ‘People to Kill*…. *with kindness’ on the cover for Christmas and he bought me a specially signed copy of her book for my birthday. So of course we had to go see her speak if she was coming into town.
Jenny was hilarious and awesome, as expected. She was actually way more together and poised in person than you think she’s going to be when you read her blog. She told us about how when she found out she was going on a book tour, her therapist told her she was going to prescribe some ‘performance medication’ to help with her social anxiety disorder when she was on stage. Jenny replied, “You’re going to give me cocaine? I’ve never even seen it!” (Apparently it was not cocaine.)
The point is, even if it wasn’t as sweet and innocent of an outing as it originally sounded, we didn’t actually get kicked out of the signing, so I’m considering the night a success.
*Giant Orange Van, AKA: POS.