I’ve met my share of celebrities. And I lived in Brooklyn long enough to know how to behave. Keep it cool, Lady. Casual nod on the street to acknowledge, but don’t bug and do NOT ask for an autograph. I mean, really, don’t be that way. And then there are exceptions. Last night’s reading of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, at Watchung Booksellers was one of those exceptions.
Granted, a book signing is kind of open-ended permission to ask for an autograph. But gazing into an author’s eyes and explaining deep thoughts that have crossed your mind as you’ve read her work? After she’s given out one hundred autographs and smiled for the camera for one hundred people already? Not cool, Lady. Not cool. Sometimes you’ve got to leave the cool behind. That’s what I did. No, really. Deep thoughts. Look.
You can see the interest and enthusiasm as The Bloggess patiently listens to whatever the heck I’m spewing. Complete with gesticulations. Really though, Jenny (I can call her that now.) was just lovely and gracious and answered with a sentence, not just monosyllabically acceptable responses. It made me feel loved. Accepted. Or at least tolerated.
Because my day had been just a tad crazy, I showed up bright and early – at 7:20. For a reading that was scheduled at 7:00. Yeah, fun. But I wasn’t the last person to show up – so there. The useful thing about being towards the end of the line was being able to see approximately 102 extremely happy fans of The Bloggess leave while still basking in the glow of her presence. Wait – what? Did Rosie O’Donnell just walk by muttering “Yes, yes, okay now, have a good night…” Yes, it was! It’s true. Rosie O’Donnell introduced Jenny Lawson. How’d that happen? (Really, how did that happen? Does anyone know?) ** Updated! See Southern Fried Jersey‘s comment below (4th one down) for how Rosie ended up at the reading.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun getting to see super-fans leave with the glow of Jenny-ness still blanketing them. Several people brought meaningful tokens to be signed. I didn’t see a Tardis (which, had I been prepared, I would have dragged to the front of the line for a signature), but there was a lovely red dress, a few Beyonces, a Jazz Hands print, and a skunk. Or the shell of a skunk. Click on the photos for closer inspection.
Jenny read from her book to share a chocolatey ExLax experience gone awry. The gathering laughed about diarrhea, anxiety, possible physical assault, and cat paws as the story developed. Thankfully, there was a microphone set up – because really, my late arrival meant I was in the back. The Back.
But that was okay, because I heard the questions and answers about the Zombie Apocalypse (The Bloggess called it on CNN!), finding your writing voice and tribe, and Jenny Lawson’s humble appreciation for her commenters: “My commenters are the best. They leave really great material. For free.” And it’s that brand of humility – that we kind of only half-believe because we know that she knows – she MUST know – how fabulous she really is, that keeps people coming back. That, and the cathartically funny reads.
Check out the slideshow for more fantastic photos of Jenny, fans, and the lovely ladies of Watchung Booksellers.