I was just about to go Google an appropriate name to put in that blank, but then I realized admitting my own indifference to and ignorance of Star Trek merely proves my point. You may have no idea who Laurie Perry is, but for the standing-room-only crowd at Barnes & Noble tonight, she's a bit of a hero.
She was also warm and funny and adorable, and that's actually what I decided I should talk about, rather than rattling on examining the very specific ways we all embrace our nerdery.
If you've ever read Crazy Aunt Purl, however, then you're already well aware that the woman is down-to-earth and hilarious, so I probably don't even need to talk about that.
Instead, then, let's talk about how -R- is a famous Internet phenom as well. Let me explain to you a little bit about how tonight's meeting with Crazy Aunt Purl went.
- -R- and I arrive at the bookstore a half hour early, just in time to grab the last two seats, in the very back row.
- We chit-chat to pass the time, taking advantage of the fact that we are not the only ones in earshot using the words "blog" and "comments" and "search engine hits." We are with our kind, and therefore don't have to speak in hushed tones to avoid being looked as though we've openly admitted to playing Dungeons & Dragons in our parents' basement every Friday night. Or so I tell myself, anyway. I may actually have been the only person to use the phrase "search engine hit." I care not. The woman in the row in front of us is writing down her own blog URL for the stranger she's just met, so I tell myself our conversation is completely normal in every way.
- Crazy Aunt Purl comes out to rousing applause, reads a few amusing passages from her book, and then wins us all over with Southern charm and witty responses during the lengthy Q&A. Well, wins almost all of us. I'm just going to forget about the guy who stood in line simply to tell her that he wouldn't spend money on her book, and I very much hope Laurie forgets about him too. So much for Minnesota Nice. That man? Just a damn fool.
- -R- and I wait patiently while an overzealous Barnes & Noble employee mad with power because he's holding a microphone corrals us row by row into an orderly line for autographs.
- -R- and I are the second-last and third-last in line, respectively. I hand Laurie my book, along with the Post-it that Mr. Microphone gave me upon which to write the correct spelling of my name. Laurie says that her best friend in high school was named Stefanie-with-an-f, so she's always careful to spell it properly. I thank her, say I very much enjoyed her reading, and ask if she wouldn't mind terribly posing for a photo with us. She doesn't mind at all. See?
- Next, -R- hands Laurie her book. On her Post-it, she's written [RealName]. She's ignored my advice to add "a.k.a., -R-, of And You Know What Else" below it. It matters not. Laurie looks at the Post-it, looks up at -R-, then back down at the Post-it, and says, "I know YOU!!" She jumps up from behind the table and gushes, "I'm so thrilled you came! It's so great to meet you! [Friend's name that I forget even though she's probably written it a hundred times] and I talk about your blog all the time!! You're so funny! You're an amazing writer! And you wear cute shoes!"
- OK, I may be paraphrasing (I may also be forgetting the point of bullets and the itemized structure they're supposed to provide), but I am not exaggerating. I swear, she mentioned the shoes. And the writing. And the talking about -R- with friends. Crazy Aunt Purl totally knows who -R- is. She couldn't care an iota less about me if she actively tried. In fact, I do believe she forcibly pushed me out of the way as she lunged forward for another picture. One with just -R-. And on her own camera. OK, so I am kidding about the pushing. A nice Southern girl would never ever do that. But seriously. Crazy Aunt Purl? Fan of -R-. Check it out.
I assure you, that is not what my inscription said. -R- is special. -R- is a rock star. But we all knew that already, right? Maybe she'll at least let me be in her entourage. It may be a thankless job, but I'm certain cute shoes would be involved. And maybe even microphone-wielding.
A girl can dream, right?