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Tuesday
Aug142012

Heather scares a celebrity.  Again.

  The next time I have an opportunity to meet one of my idols, can someone please stop me?  Use whatever means are necessary – chloroform, a baseball bat, whatever.

I went to Denver last night for a reading and book signing by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, who I admire greatly.  She deals with depression, anxiety and sometimes-debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, and yet she’s managed to build a hilarious blog with gazillions of followers and now has a book that’s been on the New York Times bestseller list for 14 weeks.  As someone who once dropped a creative writing class because the teacher said on the first day, “I expect everyone to participate in discussions,” it means a lot to me to see a shy, anxious woman achieve so much success.

This was the second time I met Jenny Lawson, the first time being about a year ago at the BlogHer conference in San Diego.  Because of her extreme anxiety, the organizers of one of the parties built a large, fake bathroom in the corner of a ballroom so Jenny could stay in there while still being part of the party.  (Thus alleviating her need to go find an actual bathroom to hide in.)

When I met Jenny that time, I was a little tipsy and I gushed about how much I love her blog, and then asked for a photo with her.

This is about when my turn-into-an-idiot-in-front-of-people-I-admire gene kicked in.

Jenny agreed to the photo and said, “If you post this online, you have to Photoshop it to make me look skinny.”

There are so many things I could have said here.  Maybe a laugh and a Don’t be ridiculous!  You’re beautiful!  Or something self-deprecating to show that I, too, wish to be skinnier.

Instead, I got a worried look on my face and said, “I don’t have Photoshop.”

I. Don’t. Have. Photoshop.

I may as well have said, “There’s no way iPhoto is powerful enough to make you look pretty!”

I almost immediately wanted to stab myself in the brain.

Fast-forward to last night, when I had a chance to redeem myself during this book-signing event.  Jenny was lovely and hilarious and so very nice during her reading and the Q&A that followed.  Then we lined up to get our books signed, and I had a good hour to come up with something to say that would capture how much I admire her.

Here are some things that crossed my mind to say:

“Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us anxious, depressed girls in the world.”

“I love that you’ve been able to achieve so much based mostly on your silly personality.  Keep being you, because you’re awesome.”

Or even, “What the fuck is up with Nathan Fillion?”

Instead, this is the conversation I actually had with her: 

ME: I met you once before.

HER: Oh?

ME: Last year, in San Diego.  You were hiding in the bathroom.

HER:  Oh. … Heh.  … Yeah, we bathroom buddies share a special bond …  Did you want to take a picture?

No context, nothing.  Just “you were hiding in the bathroom.”

That’s me, folks.  Making celebrities uncomfortable since 2002.  What a shitty superpower.

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Reader Comments (5)

You make me laugh. But I'm not a celebrity. And I would probably say something even more embarrassing if I were. Which is probably part of why I'm not. That and I'm just not all that funny. Or, you know, talented.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPammeey

That's EXACTLY the reason I don't want to meet celebrities of any degree. Too much pressure.

Give yourself credit, though. That wasn't as bad you think. AND, you did awesome when you met David Sedaris. He even asked you to help him out...and you did! (While I avoided even getting into line to meet him as I'd not know what to say but would blubber some sort of nonsense anyway.)

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

Heather, I absolutely love your blogs. They are very funny. Maybe someday we can get a picture together:)

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Jim A.

Too funny, Heather. Frankly, I suspect you might be doing Ms. Lawson a favor. Given the sorts of stories she tells in her book, she probably remembers you as the Photoshop girl and thinks, "ah, a kindred spirit ..."

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Hahaha. Well, you could be Moisture Man instead! I think you're great. Regardless.

love love,

C

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJazzwriterchick

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