I was exhausted when I arrived at the school, but I pepped up the minute I saw the spread. This school was truly a top school. Oh, I have no idea what kind of grades the kids get, but my god they put on a good spread. I tucked in heartily, cramming smoked salmon blintzes and pesto ciabatta into my mouth.I eyed the (very nice) red wine with longing, but refrained as I make it a rule not to drink before giving an author talk. Alcohol gets me very relaxed very quickly, and am likely to say something like ‘You should buy my book because it has a purple cover’ or ‘I write because I’m a show off’ when I am even slightly intoxicated.
|Okay, so I wasn't quite this bad, but still....|
Then things took a turn for the unexpected. The wife of the rabbi at my synagogue walked in, and sat in clear view in the audience. She wasn’t even a mother at the school! Now, I can talk about sex in front of practically anyone, but to a woman who is Holy By Proxy? Not so much. I was thrown into uncertainty. But still, it got worse. Nikki stood up to read her excerpt, and it wasn’t about sex at all. She read an utterly tame passage from her book about motherhood – quite possibly the only segment not about sex in the entire thing. Looked like I was going to be all on my own. I felt like I was about to be thrown to the lions.
Still, there was nothing to do but press on. Up I rose, and headed with trepidation to the microphone.“This chapter is entitled ‘Sleep Is Better Than Sex’,” I said, and the entire room sat up straight. They laughed all the way through and applauded loudly at the end. I sat down in relief, and felt so happy that I relaxed a little too much, and ended up answering ‘Because I’m a show off’ when asked why I like to write. I may as well have just had the wine.
Afterwards, a girlfriend who was in the audience approached me.“It was great, but you have to keep your legs together when you stand up,” she said. “The whole room could see your undies. Still, at least you were wearing some.”
I poured myself a huge glass of wine. I’m never doing an author talk again.