Saturday, November 2, 2013

Notes from the road: The BAMF Book Tour November 2. That one time I cried by accident

The last few weeks have been a healthy workout for my anxiety and self-esteem. I am in the end zone of this tour now, and last night I performed the most jubilant, cathartic - and admittedly, horrifying - victory dance ever. I had to let off some steam, somehow. It is unfortunate that I chose to do it in public, in front of everyone.

Including my ex-husband's new wife, as it turns out.

In my defense, I didn't know that the lovely woman, who enthusiastically endorsed Amazon Prime and danced near me all night long was, in fact, my ex-husband's new wife. For the record, she has a great haircut, is very sweet, and is one hell of a dancer.

The man has a type, what can I say.

And we danced. Oh, how we danced. Not together, per se, but certainly close enough to have our dancing documented in endless videos and photos which I am just now able to look at without wincing.

I am sure that, for the assembled crowd (even if they didn't realize who the players dancers were) it was all very entertaining. And while it was fun for them, it was cathartic for me. That night in the bar was the topper on a long day, filled with emotion and a lot of weird energy. And not in a good way.

Earlier that afternoon, I had a reading at my home town library. Mom rallied the troops - which is to say, she told my relatives about it. We had a pretty good turnout, all things considered. And yes, the crowd was made up entirely of friends and family, but I'll take it. So we all sat, and I talked a little bit about my experiences foster parenting, and a lot about the system, and then I made the foolish decision to read aloud from the book.

I have to say, at this point, that my book seems to make people cry. I didn't mean for that to happen. But there it is. People read this book and then send me emails and texts telling me that they are sobbing. I never know how to respond - should I say thank you, or apologize? I wrote the book, and lived through all of this, and hardly ever cry about any of it. So it came a huge surprise to me - and a horrifying reality to everyone in the room - when I got almost all the way through the chapter and then started to ugly-cry and was forced to put the book down and collect myself.

Had I simply had a tear roll down my cheek, and sniffled for a few moments, well.......... I could have pulled that off. But no. My mother had to come running over with Kleenex, and it took me much too long (it felt like hours) to regain my composure. I looked around the table at my friends, and family, my English teacher from junior high, my friend's mom, and her friend who was along for what turned out to be a pretty uncomfortable ride. Because, crying.

We - as a family, as New Englanders - do not cry. And we certainly do not cry in public. That is unbecoming. Composure is your most valuable asset, and there should never be a crack in the armor. I am sure most of the assembled crowd was sitting there trying to figure out what in GOD'S NAME would compel me to write a book filled with personal details, and then publish it. But to read it aloud in front of other people? Oh, heavens no. And then to CRY? There would be no further discussion. This little "author event" was over.

I wrapped up the reading shortly thereafter

Embarrassed about the crying thing, I needed to put the afternoon's event's behind me. I went and picked up a friend and we grabbed dinner, then headed to the bar. A band made up of friends from high school was playing, and we knew about 75% of the people in there. Since our friends are all in the mid 30's to early 40s, and most have kids, several people brought leftover Halloween candy. So I sat there at the table for a while, drinking coffee and getting jacked up on sugar. Then I decided to dance. And after that, everything gets a little fuzzy. I blame the Pixie Stix.

I had a great time. In fact, I had one of the best times I have had in a really long while. The memories might be vague, but I remember the evening fondly. However, I could be wrong about that. Was it good for you? Were you there? Seems like everyone was, and they sure looked like they were having fun based on the Facebook coverage. But who am I to say? I am not known for my good judgement.

Or my dancing. At least, not in a good way.

1 comment:

Calamity said...

It's okay to "ugly" cry sometimes. Sounds like you needed it, and a crack in the armor makes you human. Love you.