Boston University signing went pretty well. My daughter Kim was sitting in the
front row, smiling at me the entire time, telling me to stand up straight, and
watching my every move, fully anticipating me to do something bizarre and
humiliating at any moment. I imagined
her praying to herself the whole time, “Dear God, please don’t let my mother
sneeze and pee in her pants or start talking baby talk.” My niece showed up
with her best friend and roommate, and at one point, she leaned over to her
roommate and whispered, “Don’t forget to ask questions at the end.”
is the reason we are put on this earth, in case you didn’t know it. All the boring stuff that happens in between
is just filler. The waking up and going to bed, the eating, the drinking, the
writing to all hours of the night, the picking up the kids and dropping them
off, the walking of the dog, the beating of the heart. All filler. Seeing your daughter look up at you with enormous pride, and a huge “I
love my mom,” grin on her face, and hearing your niece taking care of you by
forcing her friend to make up a question, is the reward for getting through the
rest of it. For some reason, my book signings always remind me of this.
was a woman there who had come to see me last year, except this year she had a
baby with her. She made a point of
saying it was hard for her to leave the house. I know all too well how hard it is to leave the house with a baby in
tow, which made me appreciate her presence all the more.
BU alum team were there, with hugs and gift-wrapped T-shirts, and some COM
students, and Jennifer O’Connell and two of her newscaster friends, who are
also writers, and a few girls in PR — and way in the back was a familiar face
that I couldn’t quite place. It turned
out to be the face of one of my myspace friends. When I figured out why she looked familiar, I was so surprised, I
blurted out, in the middle of my reading, “Oh, wait a minute, now I know where
I know you from!” The poor girl. Next time I’ll remind myself that people who
sit in the back probably don’t want to be pointed to and yelled at.
the reading was going really well. I was doing all my character voices, really
getting into it, when all of a sudden, someone asked me a question.
notice in both of your books, there’s a strong sister relationship. Do you have a sister?”
And that’s what did it.
I have a sister and we’re very close.” My voice cracked on the word “close.”
And then it sort of crumbled and crashed, until I was forced to apologize for
crying. I saw Kim looking up at me, wishing she could save me from myself,
knowing it was only a matter of time before I did something unacceptable up
there. But she was smiling at me so
sweetly, as if to say, “It’s okay mom. You can cry about Aunt Robin.”
And so, in the future, if any of you come to my
readings, ask me anything. Anything at
all. Seriously, I’ll even tell you what size bra I wear. But please don’t say
the word sister. I love her too much to
talk about her without falling apart.