It’s always an exciting moment for a writer to see herself in print especially when she least expects it.
Over the weekend I was killing time at the Barnes & Noble on 86th Street, one of the few remaining left because Consuelo, my housekeeper, was due to arrive. If you remember in ‘Clean as a Whistle’ (09/22) I wrote how much she drives me nuts forcing me to vacate the premises whenever she’s expected.
My plan was to run, look at books then get my nails done; a good Saturday morning plan I pretty much thought.
“Is all this detailed drivel really necessary Susannah?”
“Yes, and mind your manners.”
Unbeknownst to me the store has 2 levels which includes a cafe and an extensive magazine section. Now I’ll admit, I do hear voices, I think all Italians do same as we instinctively know how to make sauce, fight and grow geraniums, so when I heard Psst, naturally I turned around.
“Who do you think you are, Joan of Arc?”
“You’re asking for it.”
Not seeing anyone, since I just read her book I picked up ‘Poets and Writers’ with Joan Didion peering from its cover when I heard it again. Psst!
Now did Queen Latifah just wink at me or do I need more coffee? Winks are not included in the Italian manual by the way. I approached what I realized was the December issue of ‘More Magazine’ with Ms Latifah gracing its cover when it hit me, you’re supposed to be in there Susannah.
After just seeing November’s issue still on the stands this came as quite a surprise.
Not having my glasses…
“Excuse me, you went to look at books without your glasses?”
“Yes, I forgot them.”
“But you can’t read without them.”
Because I had forgotten my glasses, a common mistake, I couldn’t tell whether or not my essay was even in there. Finally thinking I saw my name I ran upstairs to buy it.
It’s quite exciting to be in a magazine especially one with such a wide circulation so I decided to tell the cashier. I had to tell somebody since, I’ll admit, I was bursting out of my tights.”
“Why didn’t you just call someone? Wait, you forgot your phone, didn’t you?”
“It was next to my glasses.”
I have to say Kitty, the cashier, was very thrilled for me. When I told her how great it was that they included my blog address she immediately wanted to know the name. Now this proposed a problem since, let’s just say she was a very big girl and I felt badly telling her my site is called athingirl.com.
I tried graciously getting around it but like I said, Miss Kitty was very supportive and insisted on knowing the name so to my relief when I told her she said, “Get outta town, a thin girl? That’s funny,” so I might very well have a new reader.
“Where was your faith Susannah?”
“With my glasses.”
When I got home I did notify the world.
My friends Ali and Amy, Chris and Joe all went right out to the newsstand to buy it. Bill and Ed were working but emailed me right away. Evelyn found it on the web while Mary G. put it on her Facebook page. You know who your pals are when you hit a homer and they are genuinely happy for you. It’s quite humbling actually since it gives you permission to bask in the sun for an earned moment or 2.
Of course you will clash with that one crank who when I told her said, “can’t you get some free copies? Ask them then make sure to give me one.”
“What a cheap bitch.”
“You said it. I don’t have to tell you she’s off my Christmas list.”
But I received emails and calls that I am very grateful for.
So, if you’re at a Barnes & Noble or a newsstand that carries ‘More Magazine’ and you happen to hear a Psst, look for Queen Latifah since she might be winking at you. (I’m on page 92) And if Latifah, who claims it’s good to be Queen, and myself aren’t enough to temp you maybe George Clooney, who makes a quick cameo, will do the trick.
Who can say no to George?