About a week ago, Drake and Zeke posted on Facebook that David Sedaris would have a book signing and reading at Davis Kidd in Memphis. What? In Memphis? I could not believe I would be missing this. Just a few days before that Ray Lamontagne had a concert in Memphis that I totally had to miss and then this. Geez. Why does all the good stuff come to Memphis after I leave?
So if you don't know who he is, David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors. Most of his books are autobiographical and discuss his crazy family life growing up in suburbia, his Greek heritage, drug use, homosexuality, and a lot of other things that would make the little blue-haired ladies at First Baptist of Corinth blush. He is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S to the point that sometimes I can't take the sorority rush week smile off my face when I'm reading. While I don't think everyone will get his humor, I, who have very little in common with him, do.
As soon as I saw the post about him being in Memphis, I did a Google search to see if he had been in Chicago. Nope, not until the next Tuesday! Hoo-ray!! I immediately made sure that Clint could get home from work early, so I could go. He had a crazy week scheduled but knew how important this was to me.
So the day of the event I had everything ready for Mimi and Mack, Clint got home from work early, and I rushed to Border's an hour early just to make sure I beat the crowds. I thought this would give me plenty of time to look around and maybe get some coffee. When I got there I grabbed his newest book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, jumped in line to pay for it, and got my gold wristband, which showed the order of my arrival. I made my way upstairs where I saw about 200 other people waiting at the doors to enter the room where he would be speaking. I was in nerd heaven.
After playing on Facebook and the internet on my phone for a very long time and listening to random other peoples' convos about work and school, I heard loud clapping coming from behind the doors. I looked around me to see the confused faces surrounding me. "Did he just arrive and the people who work at the store are clapping for him?" I glanced at my watch, and it was 6:00. "Are they opening the doors now?" Nothing.
And then someone who was a little smarter than the rest of us let those of us in the back in on the secret. "The room was full by 4:00. All the clapping came from the people who are actually getting to hear him read."
Oh. My. Gosh. I was too late. I could feel my heart start racing and tears welling up in my eyes. How could I have missed it? I had been so incredibly excited. Why in the world would they not open up the doors and at least let us hear him? Someone who worked at the store came out then and let us know that although we couldn't fit into the room we would still be able to get our book signed by him when he finished in about 30 minutes. Okay, I thought, at least I would get that. She then told us to go downstairs to the basement and someone would get us when he finished reading.
After I let this news sink in, I walked downstairs to the bakery to grab some coffee and a pumpkin scone since I hadn't had dinner. I told myself I would eventually get over this disappointment, and since I rarely have any time by myself it might be nice to sit in a bookstore coffee shop, eat a scone, and play on my phone. After finishing this and stalking every blog and Facebook page that I cared absolutely anything about, I decided to wander around in the children's section, which was on the same floor as the signing. When I got to the top of the steps, I noticed that the door to the room was open, and I thought I could actually hear David reading. I walked as quickly as I could to the doors only to see him shut his book, look up to the crowd and smile, and then to hear the crowd applaud . . . and then be told to get out of the way so all the people who actually got to hear the reading could line up to get their book signed. I glanced at my watch to notice that the 30 minute reading had turned into an hour and fifteen minute reading.
I spoke with Clint who assured me everything was under control at home, and I should wait it out to get my book signed. So I refilled the parking meter and returned to the store. I have heard that he is a really cool person to meet -- someone who should be on my list to have dinner with if the opportunity ever arises -- so I decided I could tough this out. So I went to the basement with the other gold wristbanders and waited . . . and waited and waited . . . and waited and waited. I began reading through his new book, but I was so hyper from the coffee I had earlier (I rarely drink caffeine after 10:00AM) that it was hard to focus. I eavesdropped on the conversation a group of dorky teenagers were having next to me about how their AP English teacher gives them extra points for attending book readings and how they could pretend that they were actually able to hear David Sedaris to get the points.
Finally I had enough of this nonsense and walked upstairs again. I pretended to care about the sci-fi books near the front of the line so I could see if someone was actually checking wrist bands before people entered. Dang it. They were. Then I overheard a bossy little man telling a girl that the gold wristbands will probably not get their books signed until after midnight. I had to ask him again to make sure I heard this correctly. I had already spent almost 5 hours wandering around in this bookstore, and then I was told that I would probably have to wait at least 2 or 3 more.
I know most of you have already stopped reading this annoying post by now, but you have to understand that I am NOT as infatuated with this author as it may seem. It's a matter of me not knowing what to expect, and I HATE not knowing what to expect. Just yesterday morning I toured a preschool for Mimi and took her thinking it would be okay . . . only to find out it was definitely not okay. But I didn't know, and this embarrassed me and annoyed me to no end. And it was not only this but also the fact that I had actually found some time to get out of the house and do what I wanted to do. So here I was about to have a complete breakdown in front of some bossy little guy over not getting my book signed.
Earlier in the night I had asked my friend Ashley in Memphis, who is also a fan, if she actually got to hear and meet David and at this point she had finally e-mailed me back. She told me that I was going to hate her, but she does PR for Davis Kidd and not only got to meet him but basically hung out with him all day and stood next to him while he was signing books and telling people dirty jokes. Grrr. That was it. I was finished. I needed to go home. This was not going to happen for me.
So Mr. Sedaris, I am obviously very upset about a night that I thought was going to be very memorable for me. If you are an avid fan of the Darby blog, which I'm so sure you are, I would really like a signed copy of a book, any book will do. I don't have the Santaland one yet, so that one will be fine. Thank you in advance for your generosity and understanding.