I like to think I’m unflappable and stoic as I stress the importance of ‘embracing your inner cow’ and quote Zen Koans but I do get caught up in the emotional roller-coaster of nabbing a key signature.
When I saw that Stephenie Meyer was coming to town my first thought was great. I missed her appearance in Frisco many many years ago. I’m sure that book tour was in preparation for the first Twilight movie. I had an inkling of who she was back then. Truly, I thought the movie would fail and no one would know who she was 5 years layer. So I passed on the opportunity. A billion dollars later (she's worth over $100 million herself), everyone knows who she is and wants her autograph, including me who has regretted that decision.
As the norm, I heard about this signing for The Host and I filed the info away until I could figure out if I could make it or not. The signing was scheduled on a work day. Okay, I thought was doable. The plus was the crowds would be ‘lighter’ because of school and work. Then I found out the signing would be DURING the work day and not in the evening as most events are. While that would thin the crowd even more, it also thinned me out.
After a week or so, I toyed with just taking the day off. I would work the day before and then camp out after work until the signing. I was expecting a 1000 or so people and I wanted to be toward the front of the line. I was ready to ask for a day off.
Before I asked, I found out my coworker would be out of the country for an extended period. And that period covered the same time as the signing. Okay. Hopes dashed. I was disappointed. I rolled with the punch and the event was off my plate. In reality, the choice was simple – paycheck or autograph. While not quite a Zen Koan the Rolling Stones 'You can’t always get what you want' came to mind.
As we all know, the fates like to toy with people; the work scheduled seemed to open. A gap in the work load appeared. I didn’t jump on it right away. I feared a mirage. Maybe a trap set by Loki, the trickster. I feared making a move too fast and scaring it away. I waited. I slyly asked if others saw the same thing. They confirmed a small door opened. I just might be able to do this.
The fates pulled their strings again. B&N decided to hand out wrist bands at 5PM the day BEFORE the signing. Ugh. The camping scenario was nixed. In reality, it meant two days away from work. Yes, it would be half days not full days but even that was asking for a lot.
I finally asked if I could take the time off. I made it clear my desire was purely selfish and could be cancelled for anything work related. Work would come first. my boss gave the go ahead. i offical coul go and get my geek on and stand in line.
The day arrived and I got in line 4 hours early. About 30 people had already queued before me; much less than expected. Since there were too many young girls in line, I was glad I had my phone and ‘Words with Friends’ to keep me busy. At times like these, the age gap at signing events is just too large of a gap to find common ground.
As I mentioned, others were in line much earlier than me. A teen walked passed by in flannel pajamas and 2 large pillows. Nonchalantly she walked toward the front of the line. I can only imagine to nap.
Just as the battery was dying on the phone, the warden, aka Store Manager, paroled us. The store announced the handing out of wristbands early. The marathon was being cut short by 2 hours. Not long after the announcement, I was handed my red wristband and told to come back tomorrow. I was in the first group. it's always good to be near the front of the line. Yeah me.
I got home and relaxed the rest of the day.
The next day I got in line and saw the same people from the day before. I got out my phone and surfed. The group had bonded and we actually chatted some. I saw some of my fellow hounds scattered throughout the line and we chatted also.
When the signing started it went smooth. Stephenie signed my books. She thanked me and smiled. I then got in line for the mini poster. That was a little unorganized. The publicity tour announced 2 actors from the movie, Jake Abel and Max Irons who were both very pleasant and fan friendly. As people initially missed the line for the actors on their way out, they cut back in and grabbed for several of the posters intended for me. Such a minor annoyance after 2 days; it barely raised the heart rate.
As an added bonus, the actor Chandler Canterbury was also at the table signing. He only appeared for an hour or maybe less. So most people didn’t even see him or know he was there. Yes, that is the advantage of getting there early and waiting.
Once the line started, I was done within 30 minutes and on my way home. Books and poster in hand I was ready for another relaxing evening. As I drove, I thought of another song, Cheap Trick’s 'Everything Works if You Let It'.