Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hanging with Emily Giffin, For Reals

So, I had a date with Emily Giffin the other night. OK, so it was me and like 150 others, but still, I was there, at Anderson's in Naperville, to see Emily, but like, she KNEW I was coming, and I got there 15 minutes before the event, and DRAT! I am always, always running late LOATHE being late, but this time it actually worked in my favor cuz all the seats were taken so I just sidled (is that a real word?) up to the front corner and stood there. Like I owned the place. Like I was Ms. Anderson myself. Ha. I don't even know if there is a Mr. Anderson or not, but still.

So, my heart's all a flutter, cuz it's like Emily Giffin, my fave, and everyone else there is probably having heart flutter feelings too, but mine are different cuz mine are more real than anyone else's and they don't know her like I KNOW HER! They don't know that Emily and I have a shared history!

And get this. She walks in. There's a crowd of people. She looks FABULOUS in a gorgeous dress and you'd NEVER even guess that she has borne (born? bored? birthed, yeah, let's just go with birthed) a baby girl less than a year ago, and she walks through the store and sees me, and yes, she gives me a smile. And a wave. And ... and, yes, she says, "Hey Stephanie!" Like she's EXCITED that I'M THERE! TO SEE HER!!!

And I could JUST see like 80 heads turn in my direction as I whisper-smile-wave back, "Hey Emily!" I'm giddy just revisiting the whole experience! So she goes back to get ready for her reading and a couple people ask me if I know her and how do I know her and I think about it. Do I say, "Oh, I stalked her once" or do I say, "We know each other from online and from book readings" or do I say, "We're writer friends" ... who the eff knows? I don't know. So I go with the casual cool, "Oh, we know each other from some writer festivals and things." Ha, so then THEY think I'm really cool and possibly a famous writer myself. HA, again, just kiddin' in the event Emily reads this. I'm cracking myself up. God, it's good to be able to feel jokey and laughy again.

Emily comes out and tells a great story about how everyone thinks about the one that got away, and how her BFF (no, not ME, the OTHER BFF--her college BFF) was in love with Jeanne Pierre, this hottie French dude and she was thinking back to those times, and Emily just happen to be in France so she looked up JP (short for Jeanne Pierre for those of you short on brain cells today) ... and Emily spied for her friend and found out he was married to some big old French chick in an apron yielding a rolling pin living in a hut with chickens and scraggly kids all over the place. And JP wasn't looking too hot these days. So, that's the type of good friend Emily is. She goes the extra mile in FRANCE no less, to prove to her OTHER BFF that the one that got away was the one that SHOULDA got away cuz he was a scumbag gross dude. And he probably smelled too.

Then she did a great reading, and I video-taped part of it, but didn't put it on youtube, and I respect Emily's privacy so no video, but pictures later. After the reading, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hearing authors read from their own work btw ... I love wondering what they'll read, wondering WHY they've chosen what they've read. I love listening to the inflection of their voices as they read. Emily did not disappoint.

During question time, I always like to try to ask some poignant, thought-provoking question that will WOW not only the audience but also the author of the book as well. Maybe it's the interviewer in me? After giving it some serious thought, I came up with a very unique question for the lovely Emily, and when she saw my hand flailing frantically trying to get her attention politely and timidly lifted, she actually called me by name, further cementing our long-lived best-friendshipness:


Again, stunned audience members were shocked to be witness to a friend of Emily's in such close proximity!

"Emily," I asked, with a dramatic pause for effect, "When did you discover that you and your main character share the same initials?"

Her perfectly plucked brows lifted, and she smiled. "Right now," she answered, quite charmed by my insight.

I silently applauded my genius. And then Emily told everyone about the blog contest on Manic Mommy and how cute the video was of the kids. Too bad I didn't come with a large supply of Manic Mommy magnets. Damn, sometimes I am just NOT on my game.

Then, the signing began. And Emily's hand must still hurt. She signed and signed and signed. And some people had the nerve to ask the booksellers to just have Emily sign their books and they would come back for them the next day as they were going out for dinner. HOW RUDE! I told Emily later she should have signed their books, "Dear Cate, Hope you enjoyed your dinner. Sorry you couldn't stay to watch me sign your book. Yours truly, Emily."

Why would you go to an author book signing and then LEAVE DURING IT to go eat? Seriously? Now that I think of it, and of course, I am too classy to have suggested this to Emily, but if it would have been MY book I was signing and I had fans who wanted MY book signed, but THEY had LEFT to go EAT, well, then, I think that maybe on page number 73 or so, I might have just spit in between the pages or something. Maybe.

So, there was this one chick there, who was quite the avid Emily fan, I'll give her props, even wearing a Matchy-Matchy green shirt to go with the book cover, which was quite cute, and I liked this girl because she got her top from Macy's (on sale, she told me) and also, her coat was from Target, which was also cute.

But then she started acting all "Emily-know-it-all" and I just had to shoot her down a little, you know, bring her back to earth. Show her who's up and up on the Em-Trivia.

So, she started doing a bit o' braggin' and then I went with the, "Yeah, well, did you know she named the latest main character after me cuz my middle name is Ellen?"

So then SHE goes, "Yeah, well my name is Rachel Darcy!" (For those of you goofs under a rock not quite educated in the world of Giffin, those are the first two characters of Something Borrowed and Something Blue.

So THEN I went with this one ... think of this as a tennis match and me scoring BIG on this point-set-match-love-rebound or whatever it means to score big in tennis, cuz then I pulled out this one: "Oh yeah, well, my children are named Edward, George and Harriet!"

She gets this blank look on her face and actually says, "Who're they?"

DUH! Who's the Emily fan now beeeeyotch!? Those are HER children!

And of course, then she and her friends all found out that I was going out with Emily after the signing.

Uh HUH! Yes I did!

And it was so fun. And she's so cool, and I cannot reveal anything that would incriminate my client (ha, funny cuz Emily USED to be a lawyer, and that just makes me laugh!) Since she is from the area, some of her fun pals from high school, whom I originally thought one guy, Jim, was her hubby, and Michelle, was her sister, and I actually accosted them in the bookstore, because, that's just what I do. A book signing for me is like a rock-n-roll concert, only without the spilled beer and smell of marijuana permeating through the air.

OK, I just reread that sentence and now I'm starting to sound drunk and stoned so let's backtrack ... or Fast-forward or something ....

So, we went out for margaritas and some food, and hung out and laughed and dude, it was fun, and Emily's great, and her friends were great and fun and funny, and this is just how cool Emily is ... she took a taxi back to Chicago. She is so nice that she didn't make her driver hang out and wait all night for her and then she gets in a crap-taxi to drive her all the way back to Chicago. Of course, I had to read the dude the riot act, and perform some DNA tests on the taxi before I let her get into it, but the guy seemed nice enough so I let her go.

Emily ... you did make it back to Chicago, didn't ya? You do know you've got two more books to write that you're contracted for? You've got a couple more lame titles to come up with and I think some more matchy-matchy pastel book covers -- peach and periwinkle this time right?

Keep it real! And hey you, anyone out there who HASN'T read these amazing books--WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?!?!? And hey, check out her TOUR DATES AND LOCATIONS... she is the friendliest author and she'll pose for all sorts of photos and if you tell her Manic Mommy sent you, well, then, well, I don't know, she might actually run from you screaming, but still ...


Jules said...

Yay for you! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall or even a speck of dust floating around. *sigh*

Bunny B said...

LOL! You're hilarious! Glad you had a fab time! :)

The Gang's Momma! said...

You are a nut! It sounds like lots of fun. Not as fun as jumping on the couch screaming with joy at the win of my DC, but fun nonetheless. And she's GORGEOUS - could be a model, has been a lawyer and now she's an author. Now I feel like a total slacker. Ugh.

My Two Army Brats said...

You're so funny! I'm glad you get the chance to go out and have a good time. You needed it after the past few days you've had!

My best friend since I was like 7 just moved to Naperville.

Moll said...

What an amazing and fabulous night! You really are too hip for me now. I have actually been to Naperville too - so can sort of try and picture the whole thing.

P.S. I am so glad to hear your Dad is doing better. And I was especially glad to hear that your little bro was there watching over him. I work in health care too and it is essential to have someone who can walk the walk and talk the talk be there to help with that sort of thing.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Army Brat--your BF is my neighbor! Too cool! What does she think? Does she like it???

Rebecca--NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN NAPERVILLE-- CALL ME!!! You know you're me, just like 10 or 11 years ago!

Moll said...

I will call! Husband has family there. We have been twice in the last four years. Who knows when the next visit will be, but I will let you know!

Eileen said...

This sounds soooo wonderful. And Emily sounds as great as I picture her in my imaginary friendship with her.

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous!!! I wanted to be at Anderson's Monday night so bad, but I had a friend in for one night only (from Atlanta where Emily lives) so I was in Chicago instead. I even recognized her male high school friend because he still has a connection to her high school. And I bet you went to Potter's or Front Street for margaritas. Jealous, jealous, jealous. (From your long lost friend Milky Way Midnight who can't remember her password it's been so long.)

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I TOTALLY remember my Milky Way Midnight FRIEND!!! HEY THERE!!!!

And YEPPERS! We were at POTTER'S!!!

And YEP again, her friend DOES still have connections at NNHS! And he's the guy I mistook for her hubby too!

Nice to see you on the blog again! I bet if I did a blog search for Midnight Milky Way bars I could find your old code name on here! LOL!

And you know, Emily read in CHICAGO the following Night!!!

Michelle said...

Wow, I think you have a cruch, Manic :)

And I realize we *really* need a decent bookstore up by me. Chicago is too far (especially with the Edens issues), and so is Naperville. I think. I actually don't get down to the southern suburbs often.... Someday, someday!

Tanya said...

Only you would get into a one-up contest with someone else at a book signing.

I am really going to have to check her out. She sounds like an awesome lady. She's in St. Louis next week. I just might have to go.

Amanda said...

LOL!! I just have this image in my head of your "opponent" being all serious about it - you know, "Well I know more than you do" and just not getting the joke! Are book signings all full of geeks (present company excepted of course!) or have I been in the poly tunnel too long again?

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Michelle--is my crush that obvious--hahaha


You HAVE TO GO SEE EMILY TUESDAY!!!! SWISHY WILL BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'll get to see TWO FAMOUS PEOPLE FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!!!!!!

Amanda--NOOOOOO! You actually meet the coolest people at book signings!!! Unless you go to a dorky book signing!!! I mean come on, if you LOVE the author, and you love the books, you're all gonna love each other at the book signing!!! AND everyone THERE is gonna have something in common and something to talk about!!!

Andie said...

Sounds like a blast! i'm glad you had such a good time. I'm sure it was needed.

Have a great holiday weekend. :)

Anonymous said...

I just read Baby Proof and I luuuuuv it!!!! I'm so jealous you got to hang out with her!!!

xxxx said...

For the record, Manic and I MET at a book signing, so OF COURSE cool people go to them!!!


Danielle Younge-Ullman said...

You are so hilarious. Seriously. Love the photos and your BFF is fab.

And I cannot BELIEVE people would leave their books to be signed and go out for dinner. There are no words. Well, there are, but you already wrote them.

Sara Hantz said...

I LOVE Emily's books.... I'm so jealous. I don't suppose she'll be singing in NZ!!!!!!

Joanne Rendell said...

i'm in the middle of listening to "love the one..." and am so bummed that i missed emily in NY. can you call her (now your BFFs!) and tell her to come back here so i can see her?

Jess Riley said...


(That is all I am capable of typing right now. Because I am in awe. Of the FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Kwana said...

Great Recap! So glad you had fun!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

How come authors never come to farm fields for readings??!! ;-)

I'm so glad you had a great time. Loved the hilariousness of your experience!

Trish Ryan said...

There are many things I love about you, but the fact that you look at book signings like rock concerts is at the top of the list! Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one to get super-excited when a favorite author comes to town. (Although I've never videotaped anyone, or created a video for them...I'm learning at your feet, Manic Mom :) )

Unknown said...

Oh my Gosh! Sounds like a GREAT time and yea, you sure should HER who is the fan! Huh? Huh? Yea, take THAT little Miss, "Who are they???"

God, how much would I LOVE going ANY place with you? Even the blood bank!!!!!!

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

That coulda been me! Well, not the whole already published best selling author thing.... Or the blonde hair.

But you could have blogged you and me having appletinis in The Windy City!

I'm so sorry our stars did not cross in Chicago. I smelled the manic in the air though, I did. Smelled like vodka....

Hope you had a happy Anniversary!


Barb said...

Okay so you got my curiousity up and I now have read "Something Borrowed" and "Baby Proof" ~ LOVE THEM!!! I am now on the hunt for "Something Blue" and "Love the One You're With" Wish me luck ~ and thanks for telling us about this fabulous person/author!

Angel said...

her new book is fantastic!!!! and now all I can think of is my old boyfriend!!!

love her books!

ConnieH said...

How very cool that you got to see Emily, and she called you by name. I missed the signing, but was interested to see you live in the area.

And yes....there is a Mr. Anderson. While I may not be as close to fame as you are, I must know, I know Mr. Anderson of Anderson's Books in Naperville. He is a very nice man. Even has a poster sized stand up of Mel Gibson as Braveheart in the basement of the store. I always threatened to steal it, but never quite made it out the back door with it. : )

And for the record, I loved Michael Johns too.

Laski said...

I just ate a big bag of Swedish Fish . . . I didn't even know I did it. I was riveted!!! You are so cool . . .

What an awesome and memorable time!!!