A while back, I clicked a link on a friend's Facebook wall that led me to a blog that would change my life. At the time, I had never heard of The Bloggess or Jenny Lawson. I think the Beyonce post was my very first encounter with her. I laughed SO hard... I couldn't believe how funny this woman was. I was immediately hooked. Then I read about all sorts of things ranging from homicidal monkeys to traveling dresses and everything in between. She is a fellow fighter of Anxiety and Depression and has not been afraid of being open and honest about her struggles with both. I even had the opportunity to receive a Traveling Dress... This one...
Which I have been saving for months trying to find the right moment and occasion to wear.
This amazing woman very quickly became my Hero. I have the biggest platonic crush for her that I have ever had on another woman. I very badly want her to be my friend and come over for dinner... I will buy the plane ticket, even if I have to sell my own blood to afford it. When I read about her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened I pre-ordered it as soon as I possibly could. When she offered hand signed bookplates to those who pre-order I very nearly peed my pants and signed right up for my very own bookplate. When it came in the mail I almost built a shrine to it... something she had touched. GAH! When her book came in I about died laughing from the back cover alone. I stuck in my bookplate and felt complete! Now I can not only practically stalk Jenny Lawson on her blog and twitter and Facebook, but I can now carry her life story around with me and read it wherever I go.
(Note: So I started writing this post finally to try and calm myself down from a series of panic attacks that started at a graduation party and continued when I realized I couldn't find my panic attack pills. I believe that is the definition of Irony... panicking over lost panic attack meds. My handsome just walked in and asked how I was doing. I said okay... considering. Then he said, "Would these help?" and pulled them out from behind his back. He found them while cleaning. *Yes he cleans, is ridiculously good looking, and insane in the sack - he is also taken... stay away! He saw me typing and asked if I was writing about how awesome he is. I said no, I was writing about how awesome Jenny Lawson is. But I need to give him a shout out right now because he truly is amazing. More to come on his awesomeness soon)
Because Jenny (Yes I'm calling her by her first name now...) wrote her book, she gets to go on tour all over the United States and meet crazy people like me. I pretty much begged in comments on her blog for her to come to this side of the country. I made my Handsome swear to me that if she came withing a 5-6 hour drive that I would be able to go. He said yes... I didn't even have to get the knives out or anything. When Jenny posted about adding more legs to her book tour I squealed OUT LOUD. Atlanta was on this leg of the tour, and it's only a 4 hour drive away! I COULD GO! Then I saw the date and my heart broke into a ton of tiny pieces. May 16th. T-bone's, my now 5 year old, birthday. I knew there would be no way in HELL I would make it. I almost didn't even ask Handsome if I could go or not, because I knew the answer would be no.
How would we make this work? Mother's day on Sunday, our 8 year wedding anniversary on Tuesday, then T-bone's 5th birthday on Wednesday... I worked up the nerve and called Handsome, told him about the Bloggess coming to Atlanta, and then proceeded to swear that if I could somehow make it to the book signing, that would be all I would need for Mother's Day and our anniversary. I still didn't think I'd get a yes, because of the logistics of it... Getting T-bone out of school for 1/2 the day on her birthday and Handsome needing to take a 1/2 day off work if we were to all go... or I go alone on my daughter's 5th birthday and miss that... It was just something I didn't think was going to be possible.
And then Handsome made me the happiest wife EVER. He said YES! I could go! We all would go! I was so thrilled and my heart was whole. I had an idea to make a gift for my favorite woman in the world (who is not related to me! atleast that I know of.) Because she is my HERO, I would make her a cape. And I knew just what would go on it. Beyonce, the giant chicken on one side, and a silver ribbon on the other, for mental health awareness. (I'm cursing myself at the moment for not taking pics of the cape prior to giving it to her, but maybe she'll show it at some point.) I also decided this was truly an example of the meaning of the Traveling Red Dress (IN SO MANY WAYS) and would be the most perfect moment for me to wear my dress.
So Wednesday we left, a little later than I had planned on but I made up for that with SPEED! We got there in a short 3 1/2 hours. The girls were great on the way down. We got there, finally found the right place, and in I went with gift and gigantic box full of dress in hand. The place was filling up and fast. I found a seat a few rows back to the side that was open and had Chris save my spot while I went into the bathroom to change into the dress. I had a panic attack in the bathroom trying to decide if I had enough courage to actually do this. But I don't know why looking back on it. If there was ever a crowd of people to wear this dress for, this was it! They would know exactly what it was and what it meant and would understand! So I put the dress on (white shirt underneath to keep it as modest) and went back out to my little bench seat... Chris was gone.
Seriously? Where did he go? What the heck? I was a little bit aggravated, though no one had taken my spot on the bench... did he leave me there already? Then I looked over and my stuff was sitting on a seat right smack dab in front of the podium... front row. Chris called me over and said he had asked if that seat was taken and it wasn't... so it was mine! I about cried right then. There were already people standing around but this was going to be my seat? The woman I sat beside said she didn't know why she'd been saving two seats, she only had one friend coming. That seat was MEANT to be mine. Thank You Destiny!
Chris and the girls decided to leave and hit up the Mickey D's across the street during the event. After all, Jenny is a bit R rated... funny as hell and sweet as can be, but can cuss like a sailor. Not something for the kids to be around. I quickly realized that pretty much every woman there was just like me. Southern, slightly crazy and all with the same twisted sense of humor. Everyone I met was immediately a friend, and I had all of them sign the inside of my book...
Then I found out that Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, would be the one introducing the bloggess. YAY! Two for the price of one! But there was no price because it was a free event... even better!
I was so excited, I was shaking. I thought about seriously getting up and running out of the building because I was terrified that Jenny would think I was absolutely crazy with my gift of cape and "red" black and pink traveling dress on. After Kathryn was done, Jenny got up, and as soon as she started talking I was laughing and my nerves flew away.
Then it was time to meet her and have her sign my book (kinda for the second time since I had a blookplate!) Chris video taped the whole thing, which I will post on here as soon as I can get him to upload them from his iPod. But I also got tons of Pics of it all. So here you go... Pics
me(book and dress included) and the angel who saved my seat
The most awesome front row ever... all immediately became my best friends.
Jenny's nose. She's behind the red headed guy.
The post it nazi. They didn't pay this woman enough.
Kathryn Stockett, hilarious and sweet and truly a southern belle
She's so pretty!
And freaking hilarious
Kathryn stayed to listen ;)
Jenny signing my book, copernicus sitting on the table and my gift, ready to be opened
Me and Jenny
After she opened my cape, yes she is wearing it, and I'm about ready to cry.
I can't rotate this pic on here (dang it) but that's her still wearing my cape. I hope she loves it and has fun with it and keeps it forever.
And Jenny, if you ever read this, you have seriously helped me through some of the darkest times in my life. You have taught me to be honest with myself and others about how bad my disease it. You have taught me that depression lies. You have helped me to realize the strength that it takes to live with depression and anxiety and how strong I truly am. You have helped me laugh and smile when the darkness was all I could see. To me, you are a true Hero and inspiration. And I am so thankful to have found your blog and to have had the opportunity to meet you in person. I told my husband there is no way he will ever be able to top this anniversary gift... front row seat to your book signing and being able to meet you. UNLESS he could possibly get you to be my friend in real life and have you over to our house for dinner... that'd be the best anniversary gift ever! Thank you for being so awesome!
I adore you whole big tons of massive bunches!
**I had someone suggest I start selling the capes online. If you'd like a cape like Jenny's, Just comment and let me know. Maybe I will start selling them and Maybe the money can go to pay for a trip for Jenny and her family to come to dinner at my house.
Jenny Lawson totally showed off my cape on her blog!