I'm not really given to going to events just to see famous people...except that I kinda am. I mean, it has to be someone I've heard of before, or at least someone who might have something valuable to add to my meagre knowledge of the world. So, I wasn't sure I was going to go to Heather Armstrong's book-reading and signing event. When it was listed in the city, I knew I wouldn't be going, but in reading the fine print, I realized it really wasn't in the city at all. It was right here. Virtually down the street.
If you're not familiar with Mrs. Armstrong, you probably should be. Or maybe you shouldn't be because you'd certainly never read my blog again. You'll find much more entertainment at her blog, Dooce.com. She's probably the most well known "mommy blogger" in the world, although she started out as just a blogger. The mommy part came later.
She recently wrote a book about her experience with having her first child and how it landed her in a mental hospital. Despite the fact that I'm DONE with childbearing and not overly interesting in other people's childbearing experiences, I love the way Heather writes. I love her undeniably strong (strong is probably an understatement) irreverent streak and her brutal honesty. How could anyone who reads her blog not be curious about what this woman is like in person? It turns out, the answer to that question is: Her fans really are curious.The bookstore was packed. They'd gotten out all their chairs, but there must have been almost twice as many people there without chairs than the number sitting in the chairs.
And Heather? She was just what I expected except that despite her complaints about her second pregnancy and feeling like she's the size of a house, she still managed to fly all over the country promoting her book (which just made the NYT Bestsellers List) and look fabulous, glamorous, stylish...all those things most pregnant women don't feel at all. I guess maybe she doesn't either, but you'd never know it.As is always the case with book signings, I only had a split second to actually talk to the author, so I took that moment to thank her for coming to this little city, despite the fact she got hate mail for her publisher advertising it as the big, not-so-nearby city. It was a fun event and it was great to see this fabulous, twangy-sounding woman in real life. It's a nice reminder than while the Internet is often kind of anonymous, some people manage to give us a tiny piece of themselves through that medium. I know it was fun to see that Heather Armstrong is a real, genuine person. She isDooce, but she's also a real human being who is everything you've come to know about her, and doubtlessly a whole lot more.