And then I met The Bloggess

Here’s one thing I am not: a fan girl. Not that I’m not a fan of anyone in the blogosphere. I am. Trust me. But I haven’t been in it since the beginning of time and seen the virtual unknowns rise to superstardom. That has probably been totally exciting to watch.

And I have to say that from the outside looking in, the blogging world is really its own subculture. When I attended BlogHer ’11 in San Diego, I was trying to explain this to my non-blogging friend, Dave, who lives in San Diego. I told him about the cliques and the hierarchies and even the celebrities. Blogging celebrities, I mean.

Really? he asked. Clearly this whole idea was foreign and a bit incredulous.

I relayed the story of my friend who arrived at the conference hotel only too eager to share her story of airport transportation.

“You’ll never guess who I shared a cab with. The Pioneer Woman!!! OMG!!!!”

I personally think The Pioneer Woman is fabulous. I love her story, her photography, her dog, her cooking. But I’m just not a fangirl. I’m a fan. And not really a starstruck one.

The same is true for The Bloggess. I tend to shy away from the “really big deals” in the blogging world because I usually sense it’s more hype than substance. I’m always pleasantly surprised when that’s not the case.

So everyone raves about how funny The Bloggess is. But I knew nothing about her except that she has a confidence wig and hides in bathrooms. A lot.

And then I read some of her stuff and thought, Wow. She is funny. Like really, genuinely funny. And also a good writer, a very important trait when your medium is actually the written word.

And all of this background is leading up to a field trip I took yesterday. I’ve been in Maryland a little over a week and I get a DM from my blogging friend Cara (@carabee) asking if I’d like to attend a reading in Annapolis for The Bloggess’ new book. She had planned to meet Mary (@marymac) for lunch and head over to Barnes & Noble.

Side note: I heard on CNN yesterday that Barnes & Noble is slowly sinking into oblivion. PLEASE B&N – don’t go out of business. We NEED bookstores!

I thought, sure, fine. That would be great to see some fellow bloggers (I love that social media gives me instant friends in a new town) and it would be pretty cool to see The Bloggess.

Well, Mary is a total fangirl and scored us early signing tickets and front row seats. So we had a fattening lunch, complete with drinks because it was Sunday afternoon and why not? Then we headed to B&N and I took a few crowd shots.

It was impressively full.

And she came out promptly at 2pm in a very unassuming way. She told us about her really good medications that made it possible for her to be there and standing in front of all of us and still speaking coherently.

And then she charmed the pants off of us. She read us a chapter of her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), and she reminded me of why I love audio books so much. There’s nothing like hearing the author read her own words. And now I will forever read her blog in her voice. (Incidentally, she is recording or has recorded an audiobook version).

Jenny Lawson

So I bought the book and I stood in line and it was all very regimented. I had to write on a post-it note what I wanted Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, to say to me. I considered a few things like:

“Fadra – you have been my one and only inspiration. Here’s a check for $10,000.”

“Fadra – I am relinquishing the title of The Bloggess to you because deserve it.”

“Dearest Fadra, Will you co-write my next book with me?”

Instead, I went with simply my name.

I approached, handed her my book, and told her I had nothing memorable to say so I wasn’t even going to try. We both agreed that it was late in the day for witticisms.

She looked at my page and said, “Fay-dra – oh, I know you!” (I wrote it that way so you would know she said my name exactly correctly.)

And now, I think I am a fangirl.

  • Colleen – amadisonmom

    That picture right there makes me feel a little bit like a fangirl.

    • FadraN

      If you’re going to be a fangirl, she’s a good subject for it.

      • Colleen – amadisonmom

         I’m talking about all 4 of you in one pic!  :)

  • KeAnne

    That is so awesome! I wish I could have gone to Concord to see her last week :-(

    • FadraN

      She was in Concord?? I’m really glad I went. She was genuinely funny. I can’t wait to read her book!

  • Jana A (@jana0926)

    I love it! I saw her on Wednesday in ATL. I got all excited when she knew who I was, too. (we emailed back and forth about band back together a while back) 

    • FadraN

      I was talking about how you, Anissa, and Katherine went together. I love this little subculture of ours!

  • robinplemmons

    Blogging is totally a subculture in it’s own hilarious little way. It’s always refreshing when people live up to the hype. Jenny is wonderful, all the way around. 

    • FadraN

      I always talk about how Kelby said once, “If I walk out on the street and say, Hey I’m @typemom:twitter the general populace could care less.” So it’s hilarious that we have “celebrities” and fangirls. But yes, Jenny seemed truly deserving of her success.

  • Mandi McClure

    My sister and I went to see her in Concord last week.  I was excited to see her in person and now when I finish reading her book or read her blog, I too, will totally hear her voice in my head now.  

    • FadraN

      I think it only makes the book better!

  • MelACulbertson

    It reminds me of Cars when Fred says “he knows my name! he KNOWS MY NAME!” That’s so cool that you got to meet her AND that she knew your name. Awesome!

    • FadraN

      She might have just been humoring me but she said it RIGHT!!

  • Anne Hogan

    That is SO COOL!!  It killed me that she was in G-burg and Annapolis on the ONE FREAKING WEEKEND I was away.  I mean, Bloggy Boot Camp was great, but still.  The Bloggess.  I adore her.

    • FadraN

      Oh yes! I want to hear about Bloggy Boot Camp! I’m glad I was asked to go otherwise I wouldn’t have but it was a blast!

  • Lindsey Collier

    Awww!!!! She is too adorable – it’s hard NOT to be a fangirl!

    • FadraN

      She is totally adorable. Makes you really happy for her success.

  • Rose’s Daughter

    That is so cool! I hate that I missed her when she was in Atlanta!!

    • FadraN

      Maybe you’ll catch her at a blogging conference…

  • jessica

    I tend to never be a fangirl either, I just don’t get overly excited about famous people but an amazingly talented author? I don’t know what I would say. And she said she knew you? This means you will have fangirls soon.

    • FadraN

      Actually, I get sort of fangirl around celebrities, even if I’m not really a fan. I just freak out with celebrities. But meeting the Bloggess was kind of like meeting an online friend.

  • Alissa Enders

    Yay! Glad you got to have some fun after the stress of your move and a house without internet.

    • FadraN

      Yes, me too. I so needed it!

  • Mamamash

    I could sit on Brad Pitt’s lap and not break a sweat. I could have dinner with Michelle Obama and not forget my table manners. But I would fawn all over Jenny Lawson and probably make her terribly uncomfortable because she’s just THAT wonderful. Very cool that you got to meet her.

    • FadraN

      See, I do the celebrity freak out. But celebrities bloggers? They’re just online friends I haven’t met yet.

  • Carabee

    I’m so glad you came! Meanwhile, I’m no fan girl, but when I was standing face to face with her I produced the blogger equivalent of “I carried a watermelon”. Eloquent, I was not. Still super glad to have gone. And she really does have fantastic teeth. Made me want to go out and buy a whole shelf of Crest White Strips.

    • FadraN

      Thanks for the reminder. I have some Crest White Strips I was sent to test…

  • burghbaby


    I’m a wee bit jealous.

    • FadraN

      Yeah, and the awesome part was CARABEE KNEW MY NAME TOO!!!!

  • Jennifer Williams

    I’ll admit it. I’m a total fangirl. I wanted to meet her so bad last year at BlogHer, but I was too nervous.

    • FadraN

      I would feel totally weird and fangirl-ish to try and meet her in a crowd at a blogging conference. It felt much better that I stood in a line after I bought her book.

  • Stephanie Bernaba

    Yay! Because I’m a fan of both of yours! :-) And I appreciate your high standards. She’s coming to Boston soon. I may be able to get up that way. If not, barring any eventualities, I should be at BlogHer.

    • FadraN

      I will TOTALLY look you up at BlogHer and you would love it if you saw her in Boston!

  • lucilleinthesky

    I think it’s cool that you’re not a fangirl. I’m like a closet fangirl. I loved Britney Spears as a teenager, but when I saw her in Beverly Hills a few months ago, I pretended she was a normal person. Because, after all, she is. 

    • FadraN

      I’d be more inclined to say Britney is a bit abnormal. And even though I’ve never been a fan of hers, I’d probably freak out if I saw her.

  • Jessica F. Hinton

    This post made me smile. Her signing your book and pronouncing your name right is all so awesome. 

    • FadraN

      Yes, awesome all the way around.

  • Tracy Morrison

    I love Jenny and LOVED her book! So fun that you went and enjoyed it. Very awesome!

    • FadraN

      I’m definitely a fan but I won’t let it go to my head.