Last night, Drew and I arrived an hour and a half early to see Heather Armstrong read from her new book, It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita. I have been giddy since Heather announced Seattle as a stop on her book tour and I couldn’t imagine sharing this moment with anyone else other than Drew. The two of us have read Dooce for years.
If you don’t know who Dooce is, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for that. Perhaps you and your FLDS sister wives were just allowed internet access, in which, congratulations for stopping here! Or maybe you were recently released from your captors and the last recent television show you watched was Real World Seattle in 1998. In that case, I must tell you, The Real World really sucks now. But last night, we were amongst many many people who did know who formidable Heather Armstrong is and who also arrived early to grab a seat. Drew and I had picked up some teriyaki so we were quickly inhaling our food, or at least I was, while people filled the seats. Drew placed our coats in the front row to hold our places and I kept eyeing them, ready to cut someone who dared move it. Then I remembered that I kept a swiss army knife in my trunk, so I couldn’t cut someone right there if my coat was nudged out of the way. I would have to say something like, “I can’t kick your ass right now, but if you want to meet me at my car trunk or see me in five minutes, I’ll get you. You know, whichever is more convenient.”
Thankfully, no violence was necessary. We took our seats and the place began to fill up. Mostly there were women and some of their husbands. I saw Mrs. Flinger who was also tweeting the whole time. I love it when I’m in a group of bloggers who just get me. Like I don’t have to feel embarrassed about reading someone’s blog so carnivorously and I can say, “Remember when she wrote about…” and I receive understanding nods and not looks that say, “So how much time *do* you spend in front of a computer?”
Heather showed and the crowd starting applauding and “wooo”ing. She was very tall and from behind the podium, you couldn’t even tell that she was pregnant. She was exactly how I imagined she’d be–gracious, gorgeous and very, very funny. She read a few passages about breastfeeding and boobs and then about having sex after you’ve had a baby. And then she talked about a time she was in a movie theater bathroom in Washington and a woman farted so loud, it sent the rest of the women in the bathroom laughing uncontrollably. Who doesn’t love a good fart story?
During the Q&A, she offered the correct pronunciation of the word, “crayon.”
Then Mrs. Flinger (!) got up and thanked Heather for talking about post-partum depression.
There were a few awkward moments, like when a woman gave her a leather vagina wallet and another woman gave her a computer game she created for kids. I’m sure that Heather must receive tons of off-color trinkets but she was very polite when she received them. I would be like, “AND HOW DOES THIS LEATHER VAGINA REMIND YOU OF ME? WHO HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO?”
After Heather finished reading, the whole crowd made a mad exodus to line up to get our books signed. Drew and I tried to make a ninja shortcut but ended up at the very end of a Disneyland-in-July-long line. I looked at Drew and said, “I’m going to look at this as more time I get to spend with you.” So Drew and I spent about 30-40 minutes with each other, slowly inching our way around the maze of books until we finally got to Heather.
We had a short chat about cameras and how she had bought the new Canon 5D Mark II but it doesn’t focus correctly. I tried to say something funny, but instead sounded like a reanimated Frankenstein.
Then it was Drew’s turn and she had the idea of having Heather sign her iPhone, to which Heather remarked, “Are you sure?!? It’s irreversible!”
But she signed it.
Heather had mentioned that she doesn’t respond to emails unless she feels like the person has enriched her life somehow, which explains why she doesn’t answer hatemail. I would say that the whole evening had enriched my life, I left with my heart full of love for women and blogging and writing.
I would definitely recommend purchasing Heather’s book and if you have the opportunity to hear her read, please do. Get there early though and pack some heat just in case.