Then a delightful woman at another table handed me 27 cents after paying her $43 check and said, "This is for you." Picture how you might respond to a person handing you 27 cents. Now release that image and smile and say thank you.
So when a group of fun gays sat in my section and started joking with me, I was beyond thrilled. It was seriously the only thing that could have saved my night. When I asked why they were in such a great mood, they said they had just come from seeing Amy Sedaris speak at the Booksmith.
Cut to me squealing.
We all started sharing our favorite things about Amy Sedaris (mine being numerous Letterman appearances and her tip to put marbles in your medicine cabinet when guests visit). The guys told me she was still at the store signing copies of her new book, so when Maggie got the green light to go get a copy signed, I took notice. Looking around at my section, I asked Val to keep an eye on my tables and shouted from the door, "Drop a check at 66! I'll be right back!"
Leaving like that felt cinematic. I exited the restaurant and started running down the street. Running. No coat, my apron with check presenters stuffed into it still around my waist, actually running to the bookstore. If life were a movie, this is where a song would play. (Suggestions welcome). The opening riff to Black Eyed Peas "Pump It" came to mind immediately, but perhaps that's too commercial. Maybe something like, Wolf Parade's "I'll believe in anything" is more my speed. Either way, it felt like a moment. Running past slowly-strolling couples, my apron falling down my hips, I laughed to myself. It felt good.
I made it to the Booksmith and walked in to a semi-quiet store. Clearly, the signing had ended. One older woman stood talking to Amy as I waited patiently behind her. Catching my breath and fixing my hair, it occurred to me that I smelled strongly of potato pancake and was wearing an apron with a "Knish Happens" t-shirt. Oh well.
I bought her book and she asked if I wanted it personalized.
Me: Yeah, thanks.
Amy Sedaris: OK, I just need to see a receipt.
Me: [Laughing. Perhaps too hard. Stop laughing so hard.] Could you just make it out to Jess?
Amy Sedaris: Jess? How do you spell it? J-E-S-S?
Me: Actually, it's K-J-E-S-S. The K is silent.
Old woman: KJess?
Me: The K is silent.
AS: OK, well I signed it FAmy. The F is silent.
I had a laugh and then dug around inside my wallet with my shaky hand for the business card I had printed up for my book. They were free. The back of the card says, "Get free business cards @ such and such company." so it's basically a business card for this printing company and not my book, but that's what you get for Free. For $3.99 I could have opted to have the card say nothing on the back, but then they wouldn't have been free. I pulled the card from my wallet [sniff sniff. Who smells like a deep-fryer?] and said with bright-red cheeks, "I know this is cheesy, but I wrote a book. I have an agent, I'm just looking for a publisher. If you could check out my blog, that'd be amazing."
Amy Sedaris took my card [Don't look at the back. Don't look at the back.] and said, "Open-Eyed Sneeze? That's a funny title."
And then I shit my pants.
I said thanks again, and ran back to the restaurant to check on my tables. Because my coworkers are seriously kick-ass, they listened as I told the story and raised their paws for an up-top when I mentioned that Amy Sedaris said the title of my book out loud.
It was sort of a big deal for me.