So Glad People Don’t Suck in Real Life

So I was going to write another post about the Real Housewives– this time about those ho’s from Jersey but I figured you guys might not be into that. Oh, I’ll still write about them. Just not back-to-back posts. I don’t want you knowing thinking I have nothing else going on besides watching Bravo. Besides, if this were about those Housewives the title of the post would be all wrong. I can’t imagine any of them not sucking in real life. I mean, we’re talking “women” who flip tables at family dinners and shout things in front of their kids like “Prostitution Hoo-wah!” Granted that was about the most hated Housewife in Housewife history but still. Even I know to censor myself in front of kids. Usually. By the way, Hoo-wah means “whore” if you’re not from Jersey. Oh crap, I wasn’t going to talk about them. Oh well. I feel bad because two of my best friends are from Jersey. One is even Italian. And they don’t act like this. Not even in college when tables got flipped with more frequency than birdies and hoo-wahs were your friends and neighbors. Sometimes roommates but that’s another story.

No, no, what I want to tell is about the super exciting thing that happened to me on Friday. My favorite author came to town! Jen Lancaster writes these hysterical, addictive memoirs and recently released her first novel. I only wish she would write faster because I’m nearly halfway through that novel and can not wait a full year for her next book. *Sigh*

Jen is the one of the reasons why my next book was late getting handed off to my editor. I was caught up in the Jen Lancaster Feeding Frenzy. Can’t. Stop. Reading. Her. Books. In fact I’m pretty sure my editor would have been there to tell her just that, maybe shake a fist in her general direction, if it weren’t for the fact that she’s about to have a baby and has forgone doing things in public for fear of water breakage and super speedy labor and deliveries that apparently only happen in movies. (I don’t believe it. I fully expect that to happen either to me or someone I happen to be with. I will never recover.)

Anyhoo, Jen did a reading, a Q&A and then signed about 407 books for her rabid female fan base. (My betrothed went as well as my buddy Rachael’s betrothed because they wanted to meet the woman who keeps us up laughing at all hours of the night. They were one of three guys there.) Rachael and I stood in line for about 3 days before finally getting a chance to meet Jen. OMG I was so nervous! For real! I had about 4 million things to say to her but really they’d be much better suited to us chillin’ in my living room with a bottle of Chardonnay and a Real Housewives marathon on TV. That was “Things to Say #82” in case you’re wondering.

I think what I was most nervous about is that Jen would be an asshole. Okay, not the asshole she says she is in her books. (And she’s not even really an asshole in her books. She just says and does the things we all wish we could.) I even had a copy of Confessions to give her but feared that would come off as cheesy, inappropriate or just down-right weird. Rachael and the pile of gifts covering the table from the fans that came before me convinced me it wasn’t. I mean, it’s already published. It wasn’t like I was hoping she’d start up her own imprint and sign me on as client. (Although I totally would.)

The bookstore lady (who was wearing these fabulous green shoes) took our books and ushered us up to the gift covered table. Rachael went right over and shook her hand. I took this weird meandering route which landed me square in front of her holding nothing but a box of hot, smelly leftover sushi.

“We brought you leftover sushi,” I said to Jen. “Which is the custom here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Huh?

Poor Jen looked at me with a mix of confusion and Screw the Pacific Northwest. I ain’t taking your smelly-ass sushi!

“Just kidding!” I said. See? I get weird and stupid and inappropriate when I get nervous. Did I ever tell you about the weird, stupid things I said to my vet when my dog had to be put to sleep? Horrible!

I’m not sure what happened next. I think we got a picture taken with her. She smiled. Looked happy to be there even though we were probably persons 401 and 402 in line. And then I saw Rachael motion to my purse and start to say something like “Shelly has something for you and it’s not leftover sushi.” I pulled out Confessions (complete with promo bookmark!) and gave it to her.

“I wrote this book,” I mumbled. “And I want you to have it.”

She took it graciously, flipped it over, complimented my overly photoshopped photo, and then proclaimed her husband to have been “huge into D&D.” (Which by the way, I totally knew from the way she describes him! It’s like reading a report from Market Research.)

And then there were more niceties exchanged, she thanked us for coming and we were ushered away. I’m pretty sure I’m not managing to get across how nice and sweet and funny and down to Earth and gracious she was. PHEW! Such a let down when that’s not the case (and I’m talking to you John Irving!) I was all blissed out on the way home. I met my favorite author! And she’s not a douchebag! Thank you, Jen for being nice. Even if you do throw my book in the hotel recycling.

Sadly I think everyone has  a story about meeting someone they admired only to discover that person was a jackhole. What is wrong with people? Yeah I get it. Being on the road, touring, meeting throngs of fans night after night is hard work. I’m not being facetious either. I work with authors as part of my real job. R.A. Salvatore loves meeting his fans but man– as his publisher, we put him through the ringer. But these people come out to see you. They’re the reason for your success. The least you can do is put on a smiling face and say thank you.

And then when you get back to the hotel room flip over a table and call your publisher a hoowah.

*look closely in this picture. Can you see my leftover sushi?

9 thoughts on “So Glad People Don’t Suck in Real Life

  1. Dear Shelly,

    Okay, I am find myself laughing at your post today because the first time you responded to my post on your blog, I ran down the hall, grabbed my wife and was like, “Babe, Shelly Mazzanoble wrote back to me! Can you believe it! I am in communication with my favorite author! We’re like friends! She’s so gonna want to read my book!” For all those of you laughing at me right now, I officially narrow my eyes at you -.-. I’d hunt you down, but karma will get you. I think that hero worship is something from which we never quite recover, no matter how old we get.

    Distance tends to lend a larger-than-life quality to everyone in the public eye in any way. When we meet these people, we tend to want a magic moment, and if they don’t live up to our expectations then we feel this enormous let down. It’s natural, but I don’t think its fair, and we might be crushing our dreams prematurely. What if the day you met her, she was squirming in her chair fighting the awful pain of diarreah or fightning pregnancy nausea? Taking people, any people, famous or not famous, on the basis of a brief moment can be a mistake: like the time in college when I threw the door open too hard leaving class and knocked down a passing girl in the hall and then stepped in front of someone and said, “Dude, ladies first!” only to find out it was a short haired female. Maybe I shouldn’t bring up karma… Anyways, I think we’re still aloud to love our “celebrities” even if they have a bad moment. Except Hugh Grant. He’s just frasty.

  2. Teacher, we so like friends! But how come I never read your book? I so totally want to! And you’re right about circumstances maybe contributing to why a person acts the way they do. What do we know, right? I always try to think of that when someone cuts me off in traffic or rams into me in the grocery store and doesn’t bother saying excuse. It doesn’t always help. I’m actually getting mad at that guy in the grocery store right now! Ahhhhhhhh!

  3. Dear Shelly,

    Is it just me or are people in the grocery store getting more hostile? I think maybe I am getting more hostile. Is it wrong to be mentally fireballing entire groups of shoppers blocking the lane and magic missiling the deficient checker?

    Regarding my book, what if I just sent you a few chapters? Committing to reading an entire novel might get scary. I can see all your “readers” suddenly inundating you with manuscripts. I mean, they might not be friends like we are, but I am inclined to protect you from the madness of this post. Watcha tink mon?

  4. Grocery Stores are the WORST!
    Yes– send chapters but only if you want to. No pressure. It might take me a little bit to read them what with me just getting my mitts on Jen Lancaster’s new book and all, but I will read it!

  5. Hiya Shelly,

    Nice post, and congratulations on meeting Jen 🙂

    Your post actually made me think about who I would like to meet or who would make me feel giddy like that. And [no offence ;p] but I can’t come up with a single one. I mean as far as authors or actors are concerned I would much rather meet the character than the creator or face behind the characters.

    We [me and my wife] went to the Dubai bookfair in 2009 to meet Margaret Atwood. She unfortunately couldn’t make it, but we did get to briefly see Karen Slaughter and get some books signed by her [great lady – and definitely doesn’t suck in real life]. My wife was so excited [if a bit annoyed that Atwood didn’t make it] 🙂

    Looking forward to being weird, stupid and inappropriate in the future, now to just find someone to aim all of that at.

  6. Dear Shelly:

    It’s nice to know that when I finally meet you in person, to autograph my copies of your books, and get all tongue tied and goofy, you’ll understand. 🙂

    Seriously, I’m glad meeting your favorite author was an enjoyable experience. I just read similar articles & blog posts where this wasn’t the case.

  7. Dear Shelly,

    I sent you the first few chapters of my novel. When you get around to it, I’d be honored to get your feedback. That said, I will also say that “I” will be more tongue-tied than Mr. Henkle who cannot truly be a bigger fan than I. I am willing to bet he doesn’t even have the Shelly Mazzanoble pez dispenser and hand towel set!

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