I truly, honestly don't get star-struck. In fact, I typically roll my eyes at people who do. Why would we get all googly-eyed at someone that we, the public, made famous? Isn't the real miracle the fact that by buying their record, or their book, or going to their movies or whatever, we made them that way? Wealthy and famous? Yes, I think so. We should be walking around high-fiving each other, hooping and hollering at the power we have to make or break people, don't ya think?
There's my rant about that.
(I must disclose, however, that I was awe-struck by Bon Jovi a few years ago. And I even went to the concert asking, "Who is this again? Would I know any of their songs??" Totally serious. He effectively cast his spell on me. I couldn't help it. I was blown away.)
But other than that I'm usually more annoyed than I am impressed. And with a husband who works in radio with endless passes to concerts, movie premiers and film festivals, meet-and-greets, endorsement gigs, etc, we've met our fair share of uber-famous people. (I have always appreciated how he's arranged for our little siblings to meet all their idols: The Jonas Brothers, Raven Symone, Aly and AJ, Taylor Swift, blah, blah, blah...) But the vast majority of the time he asks me to go backstage or whatever, I violently opt out and suggest he invite someone else. I'd much rather pluck my eyebrows anyway.
But then there's Anne. Yes, we're friends now so I refer to her simply as Anne. We're very close.
My dear friend Christine introduced me to her a few years ago, and it was love-at-first-paragraph. Her book Bird by Bird is hands down the best book on writing ever penned in my opinion. I also loved Traveling Mercies, a memoir on faith. I confess I don't and haven't loved all her books, but I do love her. She's just so stinkin' funny and transparent. She's also terribly introverted, almost elusive. No facebook, no twitter, no blog, not even a general website. It honestly baffles me. How do you sell books in today's economy with no self-marketing whatsoever? But then again, it kind of makes her all the more mysterious and appealing.
You can imagine my surprise when Erin (of course a devoted Anne Lamott lover) announced that Anne would be in Dallas doing a reading and book signing! I immediately texted Christine, who also flipped out, and we all started planning and freaking out and screaming how we might pee our pants or fumble our words or something crazy like that up on meeting her. (Erin and Christine both sorta did, I might add. Well, no pee, just fumbling and general fear of approaching her stuff. ;-)
I did not. I oh-so-bravely raised my hand and asked her a question, in fact. "Hi Anne. We're curious why you don't have a website of any kind?" To which she brilliantly responded (paraphrasing here), "Yes. Because I'm afraid if I did it would mean I'd actually have to interact with people or do something. And I wouldn't have anything to say, really. One day I'd say, 'You can do anything. Believe in yourself. You are beautiful and wonderful.' And the next I'd say, 'I hate everyone. I hate Sam. (her son) I hate John Boehner. (she's a liberal) I just hate everyone.' It wouldn't be very life-giving. It's just better that I don't."
She borders on too honest. But that's what we love about her. We all giggled and blushed a little, exchanging happy glances. Kyle was there too, and Josh played with Luci Belle in the background so Christine wouldn't be so distracted. She kept blushing every time Belle gleefully screamed quite loudly. Anne kept asking 'the woman with the baby' if she'd like to come to the front and sit on the carpet. Christine declined. I think that embarrassed her a little, too. It was so great. I loved it.
Then the moment came. We all got in line to meet her. I ripped a page out of my journal for her to sign having forgotten my books. Josh snapped photos of all of us acting silly. We asked her if she was an INFJ (like us), to which she responed, "What's that? Does it mean you're screwed up? Then, yes." We all giggled again.
Erin's eyes were closed in her photo so I dragged her back to take another. She about lost her mind, freaking out the entire time. Christine down-right refused to go back for a second. It was greatness.
When Josh and I made it to the car I kept saying I felt like all the world was right. I wasn't star-struck per se, but I did have this grand feeling of accomplishment. I spoke to Anne Lamott for goodness sake! I told Josh, "I don't have a bucket-list or anything, but if I did that would have been on it!"
I feel inspired. I must have gotten some sort of impartation of something. I feel like I could write a memoir! ;-)
If there were one person on the planet you'd love to meet in the flesh, who would it be??