“Ok, I’ll be here…in line for 35 minutes…while you duck in and out and have time to hit the beer garden, hot dog stand and find our seats,” I say to Mike, half grumpy, half smiley. As I made my way to the women’s powder room line, I made sure to huddle close to the gal in front of me lest one of the restless females who were whining and not appropriately estimating their wine consumption ratio to that of “it’s the women’s restroom, of course you’re going to wait 30 minutes at a large venue” ratio trying to creep up on me and cut in line. Not wanting to be that girl who immediately whips out her iPhone when she finds a moment to herself, I fought the urge and instead did something even worse and began studying the gal in front of me from head to toe…conspicuously of course. As I studied her face, noticing her mischievous smile, nicely-colored hair, short build and gasp – pearl necklace, I thought to myself – this is it – Jen Lancaster, world-famous author and chic lit extraordinaire! The gal whose books I actually pre-order! The one responsible for me continuing to cuss and keep a piece of sassiness in my step! A blogger! And one sidesplitting, real, unforgettable author!
Struggling not to become Captain Obvious in trying to check her out in the fading light, I began to dream up what I might say. Of course it made sense she’d be at Chelsea Handler as she was the next biggest smart ass if not just as sassy as the gal making a name for herself with celebrity gossip and real life humor. First, I needed to ask her if she WAS indeed Jen Lancaster. If so, then what do I say? “Loved your last read?” LAME! “I see you remembered the pearls as usual.” LAMER! “How are your puppies?” TOTALLY LAME!
Deciding to bite the bullet and take the risk of hitting her up with whatever sentence might fall out of my mouth before she disappeared into the abyss that is the Starlight Theater’s stalls, I turn and mutter, “Ummmm…hiii….” and am met with a complete stranger. Not the author I’ve adored for years, her books the only ones I choose not to turn in for cash flow, but a skinny chic wrapped too-tightly in a pair of jeans and cradling a cigarette. So not JL. Not JL at all.
Sighing, I too made my way into the sopping excuse for a powder room and kicked myself for having hesitated for fear she would eat me alive with the same kind of commentary she used in her books. Pausing a bit longer than usual at the sink without soap of course, I give up and make my way out to what turns out to be another brush with hilariously inappropriate content – but amusing nonetheless.
The verdict is still out on if this indeed was Ms. Lancaster, the self-proclaimed “condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart ass” that has also been labeled “scathingly witty.” At least there is some comfort in that her latest read, “Pretty in Plaid” awaits me on my nightstand when I return home. In the meantime, join me in giggling at these knee-crossing excerpts, will you? And these are only in the first 20 pages:
Oh her eighth birthday: “Suddenly, I’m enclosed by a wall of flames and smocks and aprons and everyone begins to shout at me at once. I look around and I can’t see any of my loved ones. Where are they? What’s happening to me? The noise! The fire! The beehives! The humanity! The…oh wait. They’re not screaming. They’re singing what sounds like Happy Birthday. They’re trying to celebrate me, not assassinate me. And yet this still is singly the most terrifying moment of my entire f*#$&ng life.”
“I may not have been able to tie my shoes or spell my last name, but I knew one thing for sure – I was not what I ate. I was what I wore.”
On her Brownie Troop days: “And while we’re on the topic of crafts, who thought it was a good idea to make Christmas decorations out of the brown paper roll from inside toilet tissue? What am I supposed to say? ‘Hey Jesus! Here’s an ornament from me and the Charmin Corporation. Enjoy your birthday!’ We haven’t actually covered the definition of sacrilegious in Sunday school yet, but I’m pretty sure worshipping our savior with ass wipe would qualify.”
Adore you Jen Lancaster. Adore you.