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).
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.