Today I Saw Myself At the Bookstore
(Alternative Title Un: Channeling, Fist-pumping and Bitches – Oh My!)
(Alternative Title Deux: Today I Spent Way Too Much Time Picking Out What To Wear To The Bookstore)
That’s one of the things I’m going to say in my head when I officially see my book at my beloved Barnsey later on today. Because today, I’m going to visit my book at a real bookstore for the first OFFICIAL time.
(Although you can buy it from Amazon too…but if you do buy it from Amazon, don’t be afraid to post a review…don’t be afraid at all. Just click on the little button and type in phrases such as “fabulous!” or “essential for all teachers” or “I laughed until I cried – everyone should read this book!”)
Now, I say the first OFFICIAL time because, as those of you who follow me on Twitter or have joined my Facebook posse of amazing peeps probably already know, this is not the first time I have seen my book on display at Barnsey. You see, I was told that my book would be released on September 1st. That is today, in case you are not near a calendar. I, armed only with my teacher-esque need to write important dates and times in my planner thereby attaching meaning to them, assumed this meant my book would appear for the FIRST TIME in book stores today. I also thought it meant that all the pre-ordered copies of my book would ship today. Or at least that is what I have been telling people. I mean, that makes sense, right? Why else would there be this big, ominous date looming in my head for the last six months. Clearly, I was wrong.
I now think the date has been looming in my head as a catalyst for many, many anxiety dreams. Many. Some of which involve me standing naked in Times Square whilst people judge me. So yeah, maybe that’s
what the date is for. Nudity dreams. (And not good ones.)
I first discovered that I was wrong about the BIG DAY on Sunday, when Mr. Mimi and I decided to saunter to our favorite, local Barnsey in order to engage in one of our favorite past times…improving our minds through books (read: drinking enormous chai lattes and drooling over the photos in travel books while simultaneously planning our theoretical trip around the world.) (cough cough) As is my way, I nerdily typed “It’s Not All Flowers And Sausages” into that little kiosk/computer/information thingy because the thrill of seeing my book pop up on the screen is a force greater than I. I have very little impulse control. So, as is his way, Mr. Mimi waited patiently at my side waiting for my moment of crazy to pass.
(insert me typing)
(imagine me waiting…goofy smile on my face)
(insert some toe tapping from Mr. Mimi)
BAM! There it is! On the screen – It’s Not All Flowers And Sausages….IN STOCK.
In. Freaking. Stock.
(Insert Mr. Mimi and I slowly turning to give each other a ridiculously wide eyed incredulous stare, pausing for a moment before simultaneously turning and hurtling ourselves down the escalator in search of the correct section.)
It was Sunday, August 30th. A full two days before Tuesday, September 1st! (Not that I’m complaining but still…I so was not wearing my My-Book-Comes-Out-Today-Outfit.)
We flew around the corner and there it was. Right there on the shelf. Five whole copies. (gasp!) Was I actually sharing a shelf with Jonathan Kozol? THE Jonathan Kozol?
Or rather, I start ugly crying a little. Seriously. I cried a little. Then I took a picture with my camera phone. Then I carried several copies to the front of the store and plopped them down on the prominent New Arrivals table for everyone to see. In that order.
And as I stepped back to admire my book (MY BOOK!) sitting on an actual table in an actual Barnsey, I thought of one of my friends. (Do I get a chorus of “Aaawwws”?)
Last year I had a very shy friend. Very shy. In fact, we shall refer to him as Mr. Shy. Mr. Shy was, well, he was shy…I think we’ve already established that. You get it. Enough. Well as is the case with most shy people (geez, I’m really beating a dead horse with this shy thing, aren’t I?), Mr. Shy was reluctant to share in class conversations, volunteer answers or participate in anything that drew too much attention to himself. So of course, on publishing day, Mr. Shy NEVER wanted to read his story out loud. I let him say, “pass” but made a mental goal to try to get him to read ONE story to us before the end of the year.
Now, I am not a shy person. I know. You’re shocked, right? But I do understand how hard and scary it can be to get up in front of other people. (Remember, I do feel a bit as if I am about to be standing naked in Times Square whilst people judge me…and my book of course.) So I worked hard with Mr. Shy all year to get him to see that he did have value to add to our class. I wanted him to know what he thought and felt and accomplished were important to our class. Together we made a little action plan to slowly get him to try to participate more. I was like Pep Talk Sally with this kid. And it worked. Not because everything I try in the classroom works, but because I think he was finally ready to take the risk. Plus, I have always found that little ones are- sometimes surprisingly and always amazingly-supportive and caring in the most crucial of times. The day had come when Mr. Shy was ready to read his story to the class.
We gathered on the rug, anxiously awaiting his tale. He read in a confident and clear, although quiet, voice, never forgetting to show us the pictures. It was wonderful. He closed his book, basked in our applause, and then walked over to hand me his writing. And as he made his way back to his spot on the rug, he (and I swear this actually happened) fist pumped and muttered, “Take that, bitches!”
So, later on today, when I go to visit my book, a book that I still worry about sharing from time to time, I will channel Mr. Shy, silently pump my fist and say, “Take that, bitches!”