Yesterday’s post was all about a time in my life when I ditched my punch bowl since I knew my home would never be big enough to throw so much as a baby shower, (even if the mother was a skinny preggo like TAMN). Besides, why would I invite anyone in to witness my life as Keeper At The Zoo? Someone might get wise and call Child Protective Services. Meanwhile, I had utterly given up my lifelong dream of being a published author since I honestly wanted my kids to live long enough to reach adulthood and my husband to live long enough to see them do it (sorry if that seems overly dramatic but they were sick, people--sick!) even more than I wanted to write and I was too tired to figure out a way to do it all. So my one publishable manuscript spent its life being knocked around in a box (probably the one in which the punch bowl used to dwell).
Fast forward to the night before the Big Day. I knew I ought to go to bed early and get rested up for my speech (about which I was uncharacteristically pants-wetting nervous) and the party (I hadn’t given one in eons—what was I thinking?) and the last of the house cleaning (it’s pretty small but it hadn’t been properly cleaned in, um, eons) and a last ditch flurry of exercise in order to lose four more pounds before afternoon (I’m nothing if not unrealistic) but I hadn’t decided yet on which section of Miss D I was going to read at the signing. I was up until midnight reading, out loud, section after section, looking for a part that said good things about my characters yet refused to reveal my lack of proper elocution (hey, I know what the words mean and how to spell them—mostly—but pronouncing them in such a way that they could be understood is a different matter altogether).
Once I made my choice (which proved to be a real winner) I laid awake for hours, thoroughly sick to my stomach and insanely worried about how everything was going to get done and would anyone show up and what if too many people showed up and what if they were all someone I know, yet, what if strangers came too, and what could I possibly say that would not bore some to tears but make others want to buy the large supply of books the bookstore owner had unaccountably chosen to order. By morning, (I woke far too early) I realized I was as nervous as I was on my wedding day and as excited as I was to (finally!) see England and it was not a good combination. After a number of unfortunate events in the bathroom, the day started. And there was nothing I could do about it.
The Details, Good and Bad:
Good: My kind friend Janey took care of preparing most of the food, all of which was delicious and plentiful and gorgeous to look at. The chocolate dipped strawberries were the real winners, some like tuxes and some like spider webs, soooooo pretty and they tasted even better than they looked.
Bad: The paucity of non-fuzzy, illustrative photographs (i.e, no good ones of the strawberries) as well as the plethora of photos that were just a little TOO revealing (I really didn’t want my nose-hairs, double chin and yellow teeth so thoroughly documented on this day of all days).
Good: My kind friend, Stacey, making room in her schedule to cut my hair earlier in the week which hadn’t been touched by a true professional in, um, eons.
Good: Seeing my best friend from high school, Mary, after 20 some years (is that an eon?) of not (laying eyes on each other) and the fact that she arrived an hour before she was expected which allowed me to laugh and have a great time and totally forget how nervous I was. I rode with her to the bookstore and she kept me delighted and distracted pretty much until it was time to speak. Thanks Mary!!!
Good: Some friends showed up whom I hadn’t seen in half an eon and whom I had not expected to see for half an eon more.
Good: The bookstore owner said some really nice things about Miss D when he introduced me.
Bad: It made me blush to the roots of my hair and I almost burst into tears.
Good: Finally starting to feel comfortable and in my element to the point where I could give my little talk and actually make good work of my chosen section of the book (as suggested by my good friend Shirley Marks—thanks Shirley!)
Good: Getting to meet and hug and spend time with Jami, my good blog friend who I had never before actually met but who is even prettier than she is in these pics (as am I –honest!). Plus, I got to meet her sister-who-wishes-not-to-be-blogged-about. She was a total kick in the pants.
Good: Receiving gifts! Totally was not expecting that! Thanks Shirley (crocheted hand warmers and a combo neck/nose/lips/ear warmer as well as a copy of her new regency romance, An Agreeable Arrangement, which sports a cameo by Sir Anthony and Lord Avery) and Jen, who has been a rock of support and encouragement (love the chocolate bath toiletries! How perfect are they? Can’t wait to try them out!).
Good: My friend Lisa informing me that my Little Guy, who was sitting with a group of his school and church friends, said “The reason why we are all here today is because my mother wrote a book.”
Bad: No pics of Janey, Stacey, Jen, Lisa or Shirley or even my mom and dad.
(This is where pics of them would be had I any.)
Good: Shirley’s husband bravely eating the black gel on the cake (he threw himself under the bus for us ladies—what a guy!!)
Bad: Not getting a picture of his black teeth afterwards.
Good: Getting to eat lots of chocolate-enrobed wheat.
Good: Going to Applebees with Jami, her sister and my daughter and eating Italian-flavored pasta and chicken and then, for dessert, hot chocolate -flavored wheat with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge, and talking and laughing for three hours whilst The Spouse held down the fort at home.
Bad: The Spouse, who was in charge of getting the food out and ready whilst I signed books, didn’t realize that he was supposed to add other ingredients to the fozen berry juice concentrate so the punch bowl contained merely juice rather than “punch”.
Bad: no pics of the punch bowl table with its hot pink tablecloth and ruffled skirt.
Good: The Spouse worked himself to the bone to make my day special, as did the Middle Child. And she didn’t hate me for it afterwards.
Good: My sister adored my damaged heart shaped sugar cookies and even took some home with her.
Good: I got to have a for-real, honest to goodness, “I’m a published author now” book signing and after party. How cool is that?
Good: I think I made my parents proud.