This is the story of why Glennon Melton thinks I’m bananas.
When I arrived for the Carry on Warrior book signing, the line was already winding through Books A Million.
The store was decorated with balloons and banners for the “birth” of Glennon’s book.
To complete the baby shower experience, favors were handed out
Including Twizzlers, of course.
I got in line behind the dozens and dozens of Momastery fans that were already there and within a few minutes, the line was longer behind me than it was ahead.
I was surrounded by groups of Monkees laughing and chatting. I quickly realized something awful. I was the ONLY person that had come to the signing ALONE.
I expected to see a light hanging from the ceiling flashing Loser. Loser. Loser. With an arrow pointing at ME.
No worries, I thought. “I will just pretend like I have sooo many friends I’m texting and chatting with on FB. Cell phone to the rescue! What??? 18% battery left??? Crap. If I get on Facebook, I will drain my battery before I can get a photo with Glennon.”
Panic set in.
I resorted to blankly perusing books from the shelves next to the line. After staring intently at the cover of one book for several minutes – without actually reading it, since I was in too much of a tizzy to actually focus on anything – I realized I was staring at a book called ”Assassin’s Creed.”
Great, now everyone in line thinks I’m a loser AND a psychotic killer.
I suck at chit-chat, especially with strangers but I always struggle with it even with people I know. Small talk is a big stressor. I either can’t think of anything to contribute to the conversation or I babble on and on like an idiot. There doesn’t seem to be any in between with me. I’m either a faucet that won’t turn on faster than an annoying drip or one stuck on full blast, with everyone dodging the splashing water.
So I continued to stand there in silence listening to the conversations and fun going on around me, while staring blankly at more book covers (and yes, I had 3 copies of Carry On Warrior in a bag in my hand, but did it even cross my mind to use the awkward time reading? No. Not once.)
I’m surprised I didn’t leave. Between feeling like an outcast, a bit claustrophobic (I’m not normally, but this store was packed!), not eating dinner before I went and standing there in high heels, I was having visions of passing out and taking down the aisles of books with me. I’m sure you can picture what I mean…a domino of shelves knocking down one after another after another until the entire store is in shambles.
Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – I COULDN’T leave because I was getting a book signed for someone who injured her knee and couldn’t stand in line. And before you say I should have loudly announced that bit of information to prove that I DO in fact have friends, I have never met her. She posted on the Momastery Facebook page asking if anyone could take her copy to the signing, and since I live in the same town I offered. (Side note: We HAVE messaged back on forth on FB since the signing and discussed meeting for lunch when she is, literally, back on her feet. She didn’t get great test result news from her injury so send her some healing thoughts please!)
Glennon made her grand entrance right on time. With all the squeals and applause, it sounded like a rock concert. She had the entire room mesmerized with her words of welcome.
And yes, she is on a ladder!
After Glennon put her feet back on the ground, she soon began signing. At least the line began inching along. But what happened next is one of those “What was I thinking???” moments. Since the crowd was so huge, index cards were handed out. Everyone was allowed 30 seconds with Glennon when they reached the coveted front of the line position, so if there was anything I wanted Glennon to hear that would take more than 30 seconds, I was instructed to write it on the card and leave it in a basket for her to read later.
I guess the anxiety of standing alone in the crowd with an empty stomach and aching feet caused temporary insanity to set in. I started scribbling away.
Here is the gist of what I filled up every inch of that card with. It began innocently enough. But then took a turn for the nutso.
“Glennon, Congrats on your much deserved success. I don’t comment much on your blog, but I adore your posts. I wish I had the opportunity to get to know you when we both lived in the same neighborhood! I think I am going to just keep writing until this card is completely full because I’m convinced I am the ONLY person here alone and I feel like an idiot standing here in silence. Everyone else is chatting happily with a group of friends and I’m just feeling totally AWK. WARD. Hopefully I won’t have a full on panic attack or anything. I’d probably pass out and hit my head on the corner of a bookshelf and get a gash in the shape of an “L” on my forehead, which would confirm what I’m sure everyone is thinking right now. Well, I guess now I will go back to randomly staring into space while everyone else is enjoying the company of their buddies. I can’t even retreat to Facebook because my phone battery is almost dead and if it dies I won’t be able to get a photo with you. Sorry for the sloppy hand writing. I wrote this while holding the index card in my hand. Palms are very bumpy. Well, I’m out of room now. K, bye!”
And I signed it. First AND last name. Yeah, I know. Sigh.
As we rounded the corner that was about the half way point, I think I must have looked pathetic enough that the group of Monkees in front of me took pity on me. They turned around and told me I looked familiar. I – completely jokingly – said “maybe you recognize me from my blog.” Unfortunately I don’t think it came off as a joke. Surprisingly, they kept talking to me anyway. I don’t think I said much else, since I already stuck my foot in my mouth once, but just the APPEARANCE that I was standing in their group made me feel included. Ahhh, I may survive this evening after all. Monkees to the rescue!
The second half of the wait was much more enjoyable because I only felt slightly anti-social, plus we were in a more open area of the store and the end of the line was at least in sight even though we still were no where near the end.
Finally, after almost 3 hours in line, I was up next. Before I continue, I must digress for a minute. I don’t normally have a get-all-giddy-over-celebrities personality. I never have. I don’t watch the Oscars nor read People magazine. No teeny-bopper posters plastered all over my room when I was young. The closest thing I had to a teen heart throb was Andy Gibb (I did have a t-shirt with his photo on it). Once a Redskin’s football player rented a house on my street, but I didn’t give it much thought (my husband on the other hand…total bromance.). Even when I met Melissa Gorga of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, I wouldn’t say I was starstruck. Don’t get me wrong, having lunch with her was an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, but I think I was more freaked out about official “press” photographers being there (I hate getting my picture taken) and trying to make small talk (or big talk) with a diva (she didn’t act like one). She even made a comment that it was the first time she had a lunch and talked about something OTHER than RHONJ (I’m still not sure if she was pleased about that or offended that I didn’t fawn over her more).
So imagine my surprise when I set my books down on the table for Glennon to sign and this squeaky, squealy, overly-excited voice appeared out of no where and spewed,
“Ohmygawd! I’m soooo excited to meet you well we may have met before our sons were in the same class in 1st grade but I don’t know if we actually met or not but I wish we had because I know we would have been great friends what? his name is Eric McKeown M C K E O W N which doesn’t look like it should be pronounced Mc Q N but it is I asked Eric if he remembered Chase and he said yes I remember seeing him at Petsmart one day when we were in class together but we never had play dates together isn’t it funny the things that kids remember but they can’t remember where they put their shoes 5 minutes ago oh and I also have lyme disease and I went to JMU but I’m sure I’m older than you so we didn’t get to meet there either but don’t we just have so much in common? I feel like we have been friends even though we haven’t and I just loooove your blog and you are such an inspiration I just hope one day I can somehow help even a fraction of the people that you have helped this copy is for Lisa that copy is for me and the third I’m going to give away on my blog what? yes I write a blog what? ohmygawd I would loooove to email you the link to my blog so you can check it out that just made my day that is so awesome thank you soooo much you are going to be here really late signing books you must be so excited that so many Monkees came out to see you but I bet you are going to be tired tomorrow and you don’t really get to rest because you have to go to you next stop on the tour what? no it hasn’t been 30 seconds I just started talking to Glennon I still have more to say why are you grabbing me by the arm sir? oh wow I get a personal escort out of the store you guys are just too sweet you really know how to make a gal feel special let’s do lunch love ya’ bye! ”
I found my inner starry eyed teeny-bopper.
I think I reacted this way because Glennon is doing what I dream of doing. And doing it exceptionally well. Maybe I don’t swoon over singers or actors because I don’t want to be one. But an author, now that is something I admire. And an author that uses her talents and influence to help others. Wow. Now if only Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. the Bloggess, would bring her book tour near me, I just may be reduced to tears. I DID foster her cat’s long lost brother after all.
On my way out I said goodbye to my new friends – you know, the people in front of me in line – and we exchanged names and said we’d look for each other on the Momastery page. But come to think of it, they only gave me their FIRST names. Hmmm.
As soon as I got home, I emailed Glennon. Not once, but twice. Then I told Jim about my adventure, including the uncharacteristic gushing adoration and the index card, assuming he would laugh. Instead he got a look of horror on his face and said, “but you didn’t actually give her the index card, right?” I told him that I had indeed.
Cue the crickets.
I think I know the title of my memoir. “Carry Out Wackier.”
Don’t worry, not by ME!
Click HERE to enter to win the signed copy of Carry On Warrior. I promise I didn’t add any insane gibberish anywhere on it. I only do that on index cards. And verbally. Don’t worry. If you win, you can give me a P.O. box address to mail it to. Because I’m sure NONE of you want me knowing where you live after reading this post!
And in case you haven’t already heard me shouting it from the rooftops, I am in a book! It was released the same day as Carry On Warrior. My kids heard me say was that I was “going to a book signing.” The next day they excitedly asked how many people showed up. I wasn’t sure why they were so curious about the success of Glennon’s book but they ooohed and aaaahed when I told them around 500. When they asked if my hand got cramped, I realized what they thought. Talk about dejected faces when I broke it to them that I was GETTING an autograph, not giving them. Sorry to disappoint fellas.
“My” book is “Parenting Gag Reel: Hilarious Writes and Wrongs” which is the 4th book in the best selling series published by Life Well Blogged. It contains a collaboration of writing from 40 bloggers and a portion of the proceeds goes to Autism Speaks. It made it to #10 in the Kindle store’s Parenting & Families category and hopefully will go to #1 when the paperback is released (should be released within a week). Don’t be surprised if you see me sitting on the floor in a corner at Books A Million with a balloon tied to my wrist begging people to take signed copies of the paperback. Gotta’ make those kids proud somehow.
Click HERE to buy the Kindle download of Parenting Gag Reel. It is only $2.99!
You also have a chance to win a copy (5 winners) when you enter the Carry On Warrior giveaway. Plus there are instructions to enter a Kindle Fire giveaway!!
Giveaways Galore: Carry On Warrior signed by Glennon, Parenting Gag Reel and a Kindle Fire!