She Wrote: NYC, Boston, and Speen Street, April 5, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We started yesterday by meeting Mollie in a coffee shop called Pecan. I know coffee shops with names like “Ye Olde Coffeee Shoppe” are annoying, but there’s such a thing as going too far the other way. But other than the name, it was lovely. Christy Turlington was trying to get her baby carriage through the front door as we got there, and Bob held it for her and got a million dollar smile in return which he missed because he didn’t know who she was. Well, she’s still beautiful even if you don’t know who she is, but he was focused on the meeting we were having next with Meg, so he missed all of it. Then Mollie arrived and also looked gorgeous and very New York in a pink cashmere hoodie with a black polished cotton peacoat over it (Bob is reading this and saying, “Huh?”), and I hugged her and so did Bob, and then she said, “If you’re celebrity watching, that’s Christy Turlington,” and I said, “I know,” and Bob said, “Who?”

We had a great forty-five minutes before Mollie had to go back and interview people for jobs in her department at the Tribeca Film Festival (she coordinates transportation) and then we went to meet Meg for lunch. The agency is in this great brownstone which Bob had never seen, and we got to talk to everybody, which was fun because only really fun people work at Rotrosen, plus they had the NYT ad which was huge and even better in real life than it was here on the blog, and the new Romantic Times magazine which had a headline at the top that said, “Jennifer Crusie: What About Bob?” which makes me laugh every time I think about it. Plus Meg likes Bob’s Chasing the Ghost proposal, including the title, which I kept nagging at him to change, so once again I’m outvoted because everybody at the agency liked it, too.

Then Meg took us to an Asian restaurant whose name I cannot remember (Vong?), so I’m hoping Bob does, and it was wonderful except for the restroom doors. I hate places that get cute with restroom doors and label them “Hogs” and “Heifers” or something else that makes me go, “Oh, Christ which one am I?” Just put “Ladies” on one of them, people, it shouldn’t be a mystery. In this case, one door had a smiling Asian mask on it and the other had a monster mask, and you know, it really just depends on the day which one is me. But I was feeling pretty good so I went for the smiling face and that worked out well: no urinals.

And it was very much a potlatch lunch because we gave Meg her mermaid and necklace, and then she gave us crystal paperweights engraved with part of a scene from Don’t Look Down. But Bob’s gifts were the best: he got Meg, Jen, and I all our own challenge coins with our names engraved on them. If you’ve read Don’t Look Down, you’ll know how cool this is because Wilder gives Lucy one. I did wonder what the guy who engraved them thought because I think the idea is that you get them engraved with the name of your significant other, so Bob goes in and says, “Put ‘Jen’ on one, ‘Meg’ on one, and ‘Jenny’ on the third one”(yes he spelled it right). Bob Mayer, Mormon Green Beret. But they are VERY cool and I love mine. Once again, Bob Mayer is a god among men.

Then we went back to the apartment, went out for water and chocolate (hmmm, good book title) and met Kim “Needles” Cardascia to start the stock signings before the booksigning. Kim is an old pal; when she was just starting as Jen’s assistant, she was helping with a big booksigning and came up behind me with more books, and I reached back and grabbed her breast by mistake. I apologized and a bond was formed that is strong and enduring, although I have managed to never grope her again. She’s now doing a great job as an editor—one of her books is up for a Rita, so go Kim—but she came out with us this afternoon, bringing amazing chocolate with her, and we had a great time. I know this is starting to sound like “We’re So Happy, Pass the Kool-Aid,” but the truth is, we’re hanging out with terrific people, so it’s hard to be snarky. So we pretty much laughed all the way through the stock signings and then we drove out to Springfield, New Jersey with Kim apologizing to the limo driver because we were laughing our asses off in the back seat again. Then we went to the B&N in Springfield and met Debi who did a terrific job of putting the booksigning together. Again, sounds like Kool-Aid, but this was a great signing and Debi was more fun than we deserved since once again we were completely disorganized. We’re going to work on that tomorrow, so we should be improving by the time we hit Boston.

Biggest surprise:

The Cherry Bombs who drove three hours from Pennsylvania. I wanted to say, “Are you insane? I wouldn’t drive three hours to see us and I am us.” But they were clearly a fun-loving bunch—well, we laughed a lot—and there were other Cherry Bombs there, too, and somebody requested Moot immediately, so she sat on the books for the whole thing, and the Moot stamp was very popular which was nice for Bob who needed something to do with his hands. And one of the Cherry Bombs brought her lovely daughter Samantha who did a cartoon of Bob and me while we were speaking and she made me very thin which I loved but I also loved it because it was funny. I’ll try to scan it in when I get home but I wouldn’t count on it if I were you because I’m not really good with technology.

Biggest screw-up:

Me again. I cannot shut up. If somebody asks a question, I answer it. I’M TALKING TOO MUCH. And I don’t realize it while I’m doing it, so I can’t stop. Bob and I analyzed it tonight, and we realized that we both move to our comfort zones. I gravitate to center stage where I can control everything and he gravitates to the sidelines where he can observe and react in case of enemy fire. Okay, not quite that, but when you spend years trying not to attract attention to yourself so nobody will kill you, it’s hard to walk out into the center of a room. Whereas I spent years teaching junior high art, where if you weren’t at the center of the room, controlling everything, you were a dead woman. So we’re going to try switching positions: he’ll force himself to the center of the room, and I’ll force myself to stand to one side, and we’ll see if that will even us out in the talking. Plus I’m going to try REALLY HARD to shut up.

Biggest preoccupation in topic:

This blog. We’re both fascinated by it and by the Cherry Bombs who show up, and we forget to talk about the book or recognize that there are non CBs in the room who can’t be having much fun being out of the loop. It’s such a big, shiny toy for us that we keep discussing it instead of the book. Basically, we are really lousy at sales. Which you probably figured out when we asked you to remind us of our talking points. (We have a sixth one now that Kim gave us, but I’m damned if I can remember it. If we keep this up, there’ll be thirty of the suckers by the time the tour is finished. And for all of you who are using the talking points, what we ever did to deserve fans like you is beyond me, but we are so grateful. Since we can’t remember them to save ourselves.)

Then this morning (Wednesday), Bob put in one contact (he always does, I don’t know why) and we met with Meg again early enough that I was still half asleep so I didn’t notice until Bob took off his jacket that he was wearing the oldest T-shirt in the history of the world. And there was nothing I could do about it. I’m going to bribe the hotel maid to let me into his room so I can burn that son of a bitch because it’s HORRIBLE. I mean, when it was NEW it was ugly, you can tell, and now twenty years later, it hasn’t improved. Thank God, Mollie didn’t see him, she’d have gone into cardiac arrest. But we were in a business meeting so I kept my mouth shut. Then we picked up the rental car and began the drive up to Natick with many planned stock signings along the way. while Bob kept saying, “You know I can’t even feel that contact in in there, that’s pretty good.” Then we got horribly lost in Yonkers (yes, I know that’s a play, but you know, it’s not that funny while you’re doing it,) and then we found the store and Bob said, “Oh, YEAH, we used to come here all the time when I was a kid,” (oh, good, NOW you remember) and then we did two more which sort of surprised Bob because there would only be six or eight copies of the book at each store. The thing is, that’s a big hardcover buy for most stores, but Bob’s looking at me going, “We’re stopping at stores to sign six copies?” And in every mall I looked for a clothing store because I hadn’t brought a coat and I was freezing to death and Bob kept saying, “There is no cold on book tours,” but I never found one. And then after the third stock signing it was almost five o’clock and we had to get north so I said, “Let’s bag the rest of them and just go,” and Bob got this Mr. Bob look in his eye and said, “No, we’re going to hit every store between here and Natick.” I slapped him and said, “Snap out of it, damn it,” and shortly after that, we got on the highway and, well, I blogged about that before.
Then we got closer to Natick about eight and I saw a Filene’s sign from the highway and said, “Turn here! Turn here!” and Bob said, “No,” which is when I said, “If you ever wear that damn shirt again, I’m gonna burn it while you’re still wearing it,” and then we got off at exit 13” which is when things began to go horrible wrong because “The hotel is one mile from Exit 13” is not a help when you have many choices when you get off on Exit 13. I won’t go into detail because I’m pretty sure Bob’s blogging about it because it scarred him permanently, but basically we got lost in Natick and kept ending up on this street called Speen, turning around in the same people’s driveway. And the thing is, we’d been laughing since we left Manhattan because the signings and everything else were all so ridiculous, and we were so tired, and about the third time we hit that driveway we just came unglued so that every time Bob passed the exit for Speen, he’s scream, “It’s drawing me in, I can’t stop it, ARGHHHHHHHH” and swerve the car toward the exit.

It was exactly like being in junior high again. If you could drive.

Then we got lost BEHIND THE HOTEL but it’s just too painful to talk about. And now Bob and I are going to name a villain in a book Speen because we both hiss when we hear it. But the thing I realized when I got into the blessed non-moving silence of my hotel room is that Bob must have slipped me something when he met me at LaGuardia because we’ve been cracking each other up ever since then. And not in a way that seems to be amusing to anyone else, so we must get our acts together and be SERIOUS damn it. Or people are going to think we’re immature and not very deep. Which is true, but we’ve got an image to maintain.

So tomorrow, Serious Blogs. No more of this helpless giggling.

Except I just got an e-mail from Bob that says, “apparently I didn’t have a contact in after all,” and I lost it again. But by the next booksigning, I’m gonna be SERIOUS damn it.

Speen. Hee hee.