This week, the heavens opened up and the voice of my husband’s boss rained upon our home and said, “Yes, husband of BPM, the two days off you requested so that your wife can travel to New Jersey for a book signing are approved.”
Praise be to boss.
So, I began preparing for my first book signing and my first solo overnight trip away from the children. Like most things I prepare for, they have a way of quickly getting out of hand.
In Staples looking for a Sharpie, I stood aghast by my choices. Ultra-fine tip. Why, thank you. Oh, you were talking about the pen. So, I did what any sane person would do and drooled until a representative offered assistance.
“I thought you could use a napkin for your saliva. Also, may I help you?”
“Yes, which of these sharpies say I’m the most famous author you’ve never heard of?”
“I believe you’ll need the 80s glam variety pack.”
“I believe you are correct and also, a genius.”
I packed an incredibly small bag with heels, black clothes to accessorize with my black scarf and black coat and mapped out my course to New Jersey. Four hours. Alone. In a car without children.
The first 2 hours I sat in silence simply because I could. It was beautiful. The next 2 hours I listened to the radio. I sat stunned by news of the world, Boston and Texas. I let that soak in around the silence of the first two hours. This is the world we live in. I balanced my excitement with sober moments imagining parents burying a child and men, women and children still recovering in Boston area hospitals. The yin-yang of the moment is always so present. Joy, fear and pain all wrapped up in a beautiful ball of life. We keep living and celebrating while internally suffering with those in pain. These are the moments that make you really feel your small place in the big world.
I arrived to a home bustling with children and baked goods. Damn her and her delicious baked goods. A new friend with an old soul, she immediately fed me and asked me to make a face like I was having an orgasm while she took a picture of me eating her confectionary delight. No problem. That’s just what good friends do for one another.
We got ready. I came downstairs wearing make-up. Kim’s son asked who I was. I had already met him. He thought I was a different person. This is a true story. This is also a sad story. Maybe I’m born with it? Fuck that, it’s most definitely Maybelline.
We arrived at The (amazing, beautiful, delicious) Farmhouse Store in Westfield and made leaning fortresses of books. Some of the contributing authors meeting for the very first time. We chatted like old friends. We took pictures of decorative, plaster baby heads. Adorable men brought us wine and Cheetos. We waited. And then, actual people came to buy our book.
Excuse me while I geek out over this in a paragraph. People came to meet us and chat and hear us read. They bought our book and asked us to sign it. WHAAAAAAAAAT? They laughed and shared stories of Motherhood with us. They bought copies for friends who are expecting, their sisters, their daughters. They bought copies for women in their lives who they hoped would one day be parents. It was magical and spectacular. We are all connected in the throes of Motherhood. We all just want to pee alone. All of us, except the one woman dressed to the nines who sneered at our table and said, “Oh, THIS is that Pee Alone book.” and with the seething pangs of 100 years of cursed black heartedness, rolled her head dramatically away as if our sense of humor may be catching and life threatening. Have no fear, Cruella. Baby, we were born this way. You are in no danger of catching our terminal light-hearted view of life.
We read pieces aloud to a crowd, but, beforehand Kim made sure to alert everyone that if you were not a fan of the word cock or porn or specifically cockporn, you may want to exit the facilities to which a lovely woman shouted to her husband, “HONEY, GO TAKE THE KIDS FOR ICE CREAM!” She stayed, clearly a fan of the hot, buttered cockporn we were dishing up.
By the end of the night, we were exhausted, my born again virgin feet were dying in their heels and we found an ominous single, black work glove on the ground outside of Kim’s car. Ok, time to call it a night.
The next morning, I was homeward bound. Back to Vermont. Back to my babies who barely missed me. Back to a world waiting with bated breath for news from a locked down Boston.
What did I learn when I clicked my patent leather heels together three times and woke up in New Jersey? That even in the darkest moments, laughter is the best medicine. That dear friends can be found and made in the strangest of places (Thanks, Al Gore for the internet.). That a safe, happy home full of joy and life, even when it is not your own happy home, brings great comfort and peace and, that Motherhood is a bond that resonates and connects us across every line we draw in the sand.
I’m back to folding laundry, wiping rears and signing nothing but checks that I hope are held for 7 – 10 days before they’re deposited. I’m back to minivans, Cheerios underfoot and the rush of the upcoming school week.
But oh, what a wild ride it was. Happily home until the next adventure…
You can visit my lovely co-authors in their internet homes. Wipe your feet at their virtual doorstep.
And, by all means…BUY OUR BOOK. Because it’s special, amazing and we are not the slightest bit biased about that.