Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jen-A-Palooza 2008


What a doll! Here my Spouse and I are with Jen Lancaster (in pearls!) a moment after I assaulted her. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here. First let me tell you what led up to the assault.

My Spouse, who thinks her books are as much of a hoot as I do, volunteered to drive me to the land of the nouveau riche otherwise known as Northpark. Now I know that you know about Northpark Center. It's the place where Farrah Fawcett filmed her famous fountain scene in Dr. T. and the Women (a much better book than movie by the way). Anyway, about an hour before the signing we arrived at the bookstore which was directly across the street from the mall and it was very New Yawk-like. Think soaring tray ceilings and glittering glass and chrome abounding. So far so good.

Up the escalator we flew and then oh no! There were about two dozen chairs set up for the book signing and all of them were taken. Down the escalator I flew, seeking Elaine, the gal in charge (real Jen stalkers fans always come prepared with the name of the gal in charge of her store appearance). I let her know that there were about 80 people at Jen's DC appearance and about 125 at the Atlanta one (real Jen fans know these things) so we would be needing way more chairs, thank you. Oh and the sales tables and kiosks? They'd better be moved out of the way, too.

Then up the escalator I flew and waited for my throne folding chair to arrive and sent Spouse in search of a venti latte with nutmeg, thank you. True to her word, Elaine supervised the setting up of a couple dozen more chairs, then glanced nervously at the crowd of bleached blondes in pearls and twinsets beginning to gather and instructed her minions to move the fixtures back from the aisle (told ya). She then pulled out a pad of post-it notes and a roll of carnival tickets and gave each of us one numbered ticket and a sticky note with the name we'd like our books personalized with. We shall meet Jen in an orderly fashion! I'm really starting to like Elaine.

At about 6:45, there was a general gasp and countless hushed murmers of "Oh, what a cute purse!" "Did you see her purse?" "I love the Prada purse!" "Did you see her shoes?" By the way in case y'all didn't know, Texans never say handbag or pocketbook, it's always "purse". Jen had arrived. Elaine assured us she would return and then whisked her off while her minions continued passing out tickets and post-its.

At exactly 7:00 on the dot, my idol floated up the escalator to thunderous applause. She was beautiful, she was charming and she had very exciting news. While in Dallas, she was told that Such A Pretty Fat had debuted on the New York Times Best Seller List. Upon hearing this news I may or may not have crunked my fist over my head shouting "wooof wooof".

After a reading from her book, she opened the floor for questions. I took the opportunity to do a quick head count. There were about 200 people give or take (Dear publicists who wanted her to skip Texas, ha!). Some questions from the crowd were funny, some were inane and one was downright idiotic. Attn: Idiot Woman who prefaced her question about where Jen shops on-line with the statement: "Dallas doesn't have any good stores..." Girl, the women around me were talking lynching. Seriously, you could feel the mass hatred in the room well up around her. Why not just accuse us all of being barefoot hillbillies? What a twit.Never disparage a Dallas woman's barbecue, bleach job or shopping options. That's free advice.

Next came the part I'd waited for all evening. It was my turn to meet Jen! She was absolutely lovely about taking time to make conversation with everyone who wanted her book signed. I won't tell you what she wrote in my book, but I will tell you that when I asked to have my picture taken with her, I told her I wanted to post it on my blog. She asked me what my blog name was and to her credit, I only saw the tiniest flicker of fear in her eyes before she told me that she knew me and gave me a great big hug. It was at this point that I assaulted her.

That is to say, I put down my giant Andy Warhol & Edie Sedgwick banana bag for the picture and when I straightened back up, I clocked her with a tremendous banging of heads. Look how sweet she is smiling in spite of the pain. Everybody who told me that I would love her in real life was wrong. I absolutely adore her. Thanks for coming to Dallas, Jen!