When I see famous people, even ones I really admire, I am generally reluctant to go up to them. I don't want to bother them and say the same dumb things a hundred million other fans have said, forcing them to fake a smile while secretly thinking, "Jesus, she couldn't have come up with something more original?" So I admire from a distance, staring and smiling and perhaps creeping them out more than if I would have just said hi.
But last night when I had the most ultimate pleasure of meeting Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce, it was all I could do not to wrap my whole body around her face in a gigantic, suffocating bear hug. I LOVE DOOCE, OK. I distinctly remember stumbling across her blog several years ago (before I even knew the WORD blog) and thinking, holy shit. What is this treasure?! What the hell is all this free, awesome, hilariousness?! I have been a constant reader ever since, and in one way or another, reading Dooce has led me to a few other blogs I read rabidly, particularly those of Maggie, Kristy, Jenny and Kate. All such fine, funny women, whose blogs you should really be reading this very minute, because their shit is way better than mine.
Heather is on a book-signing tour for her New York Times bestseller "It sucked and then I cried: How I had a baby, a breakdown and a much-needed margarita." I'm already halfway through it, even though I have owned it all of 16 hours. It's a fantastic read, unless of course you are pregnant, in which case it is a petrifying and gory horror story. Oops.
Last night at Mountain View's Books, Inc., Heather read two passages from the book, and then took questions from the audience. In addition to being a total knockout, she was just as hilarious and honest as she is on her blog. At first she struggled with the volume and was trying to adjust the mic, raise the stand and lean in closer. Then she began to read again, and was interrupted by someone in the back who bellowed "CAN'T! HEEEEEEEAR! YOUUUUUUUU!" She stopped, heaved a patient sigh, and then said politely into the mic, "Well, I'm practically giving this thing a blow job." Awesome.
Up there on the mezzanine is Maggie Mason, aka Mighty Girl. She lives in San Francisco and is good friends with Heather, yet I didn't even think until a couple hours before the program began that she very likely would attend. When she tweeted that she was on her way, I nearly wet my pants.
So when it was my turn to see Heather and get an autograph, of course I immediately broke into a cold sweat and my voice got loud and shaky. I said something like "Thanks for coming. And you kick so much ass." She flashed this dazzling smile and asked me where I lived, and then said something about the weather. To which I blurted out, "I'M PREGNANT, TOO!" So much for not looking like an idiot. But she was cool, congratulating me and asking how I'm feeling and when I'm due. I THINK I answered those, but I was so starstruck I can't be entirely sure. I do know, however, that I stifled the urge to ask if we could rub our pregnant bellies together for luck.