The Four Things I Should’ve Said to Kristan Higgins
Have you ever dreamed of meeting your favorite author? You know the situation I’m talking about, don’t you? Not the kind where they have to be pleasant because it’s expected (like at a conference), but the random serendipitous kind of meeting where you look into their eyes, catch them unawares, and for that splint second you think, “Hey, aren’t you . . . . ?” before you say something brilliant and witty so they’ll remember you forever.
That happened to me on Sunday, on my plane ride home from the RWA conference in San Antonio. The serendipitous meeting, that is. The “brilliant and witty,” well, not so much.
Everyone has a favorite author (or two, or three). My sacred triumvirate is Nora Roberts, Deborah Smith, and Kristan Higgins, and all three ladies made an appearance at the conference. I didn’t run into Nora Roberts as I did last year (when I babbled like I’d been anointed with the gift of speaking in tongues), but I did spot Deborah Smith in line at the Amazon Kindle party and took the opportunity to take a picture with her. Ditto Kristan Higgins, who smiled for the camera with me and about 2,000 other fans at the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing event.
Yeah, no comments about my wacky hair, Buttercup. My locks and San Antonio did not see eye-to-eye, not even a little, but I coped by having too much fun to care about looking like a sheep dog.
Anyway, fast forward to Sunday. The plane was blasting toward Atlanta. I was exhausted, happy, and eager to give my much-missed hubby a giant hug and big fat smoochie when we met in the baggage claim area. (The irony is not lost on me that while I claimed my old baggage, my husband was also claiming his. But I digress.) Midway through the flight I decided it would be a good idea to visit the bathroom. Now, I know most planes have their facilities both at the front and the back of the plane, so I made my way toward the one closest to my seat—in the back—but, being the old bagger that I am, couldn’t see the restroom designation. Still, I soldiered on, figuring it must be back there somewhere.
Halfway to my goal, my eyes met those of an attractive woman with a ready smile. My first thought was, “Is there a bathroom back here?” which is what I blurted, to which she replied, “You know, I don’t know.” Two steps beyond her seat my brain, ever on the slow train, caught up with my mouth, and I gave myself a hard and fast mental head slap.
Here I was, in that serendipitous, dreamed-of moment, having a Fan Encounter of the Awesome Kind with the funny, talented, witty, and brilliant author, Kristan Higgins and instead of introducing myself and telling her what a fan I am of her work, I asked for clarification on my Potty Path, as if her sole purpose for being on board was to direct passengers to the toidy.
On my way back up the aisle I stopped at her seat and used the moment to confess to her my blunder. I offered up a bit of self-deprecating humor which, thank God, made her burst out laughing (I made Kristan Higgins laugh! Squee!) It turned out okay as we shared a dose of wry humor, but I wish I hadn’t seen fit to first make an idiot of myself.
Is there a bathroom back here? Really, Lisa? **slaps forehead with heel of hand**
To save you from a similar gaffe, I’m sharing five preferred comments, any one of which would have been ooh-gobs better than, “Is there a bathroom back here?” for when you unexpectedly run into your favorite author. These are my Should-Have-Saids:
1. Read your last book and couldn’t wait to give it away. (Wait. That came out wrong. I didn’t give it away. I mean, I did, but not in a dumping it sort of way, you know? I shared it. That’s what I . . . *sigh*)
2. I admire your work and would love to have insight into your genius. Can we do a mind meld? (Too personal?)
3. I once locked myself in the bathroom for an hour just to read your book without being interrupted by my family. (Like you’ve never done this.)
4. If I promise to leave you alone for the rest of the flight will you name a character in your next book after me? (Damn it. I totally should’ve tried that one for real.)
Okay, so maybe the world will be a better place if my idols and I remain separated by time and space, our connection being limited to the books they write that I so love to read. As long as they keep writing, I’m okay with that. And maybe next year after my own books are published—the first book in the “Fireflies” trilogy, Love Built to Last, debuts in 2015 with Black Opal Books—there will be someone on an airplane who looks at me and says, “Is there a bathroom back here?” One can only hope.
Have you ever had a moment like that one? A circumstance where your mouth ran before your brain gave it directions? Please share with a comment so I don’t feel alone in my mental lapse. I need some reinforcement from my tribe here, people! And of the four Should-Have-Saids, which do you think I should have gone with? If none of these, what would you suggest?
See you next week for more of the Naked Truth!
Hope you’re having an awesome Wednesday –