I will be the first to admit that I don’t fully take advantage of all the cool things that happen in Washington. Every day there is another museum exhibit, play, book signing…and I am at home, resting peacefully in my Snuggie (or maybe working. Probably working). Comfortable, yes, but not exactly taking advantage of my surroundings.
But when my friend Michelle told me B.J. Novak was coming to Politics & Prose, something of a Washington institution when it comes to bookstores, for a signing of his new book One More Thing, I said yes yes yes. Yes I would leave my house. Because I could meet B.J. Novak.
However, after a week of being sick, all I wanted to do yesterday was nap. And nap I did–right until the time I was supposed to be all the way across the city. Sigh. I threw on the closest semblance of an outfit I could find and hailed an Uber. I got there just in time to get the second to last signing slip–if that doesn’t show we are MFEO, I’m not sure what does (though I am bummed I missed the reading. please come back).
We waited in line, and as is the plight of a creative writing major at UMW, I saw two of my former classmates there too. DC, where UMW goes to die. Or hang out at bookstores. I nervously tried to think of something clever to say to him that would make him remember me forever. My mind drew a complete blank. Every creative thought I’ve ever had evaporated. I watched Upma joke with him about the metro and he told her that his friend Mindy would like her phone case. His friend Mindy. I died. And I still didn’t have anything to say.
It was my turn. I nervously walked up to him and could think of zero interesting things to say. Doing my fan girl sashay, I made my way over to him and came up with the very original “OMG hi.” I leaned in for the picture and was not shy about wrapping my arm around his back, even though my whole body was shaking. I was touching B.J. Novak.
As I walked away, still wishing I had come up with something better to say, I reveled in the fact that he said, “Nice to meet you, Anne.” He knew my name. Not only that, he said my name. Worth it. I’ll be ready with a clever anecdote when you come back for your next book, B.J.
One more thing: I realized this morning that I should have told him my name was “Anne With Love,” so that he would sign it, “To Anne With Love.” Another thing to remember for next time. Alas.