Haters and Congratulaters – Barnsey Debriefed

Um, hi, yeah. It’s been roughly a thousand years since I posted. I was all shameless self promotion and then I went radio-silent on you guys. Sorry about that. Good reason though…more to come on that.

So I read at Barnsey. (sigh) It was like a dream come true. Picture me entering my beloved Barnsey, only to see a picture of myself and my book in the lobby. Needless to say, Big Mama Mimi lost her shit and started snapping pictures. Unfortunately, Big Mama Mimi is not the most savvy with a digital camera (Accept it mom, it’s true.) but was able to get a few good photos in before security shut her down. Evidently one is not supposed to take photos in Barnsey…even if one’s face is plastered on posters everywhere and clearly has an over-stimulated family in tow. But I digress…

I get downstairs where two lovely ladies show me to the green room. The GREEN ROOM! As in the “green room” that famous people refer to before they go on stage or whatever. It had two big squashy chairs, a small desk, a stack of copies of my book, some gloriously delicious new Sharpies and more water than I should have probably consumed prior to standing in front of a good sized group of people with no bathroom in sight. I chatted with a few people and then practiced reading my passage for the kajillioneth time. (If you are curious, I chose to read the section about the Great Paper Capers in which my Super Colleagues and I stealthily sneak down to the school basement to steal. I chose this part because it is a) hilarious, b) was not filled with curse words or various forms of the word “douche” and c) did I mention hilarious?)

And yes, I was able to get on stage just fine wearing my fabulously high high-heeled shoes. I think I actually saw a couple of people sneak a close up of the shoes….

When I first stood at the podium, I was all cotton mouth and stammery. I’m not sure if the sweat running down my back was noticeable, but I’m praying that people were again focused on the shoes rather than my large puddle of rapidly accumulating sweat droplets. However, I took a deep breath, focused on my fabulously supportive Super Colleagues seated in the front row and began. And, as soon as I started to read out loud, I felt a million times better.

I was in my element.

Have I mentioned before that I heart reading out loud? And when people laugh at me? Granted there were far fewer turn-and-talks and I didn’t have to stop to tell Curly to stop poking Bubbles, but whatever. I was reading out loud yet again to a fairly captive audience. And I loved every second. (P.S. Word on the street is that it might appear on Barnsey’s website. It isn’t up yet as far as I know, but I’ll keep you posted.)

After I finished reading, there was a question and answer period. And guess what?!? No really…guess!

You’ll never get it…

…in a million years…


For real.

Now, I happen to know who sent this little, um, “birdie” but only because I am quick on my feet (and addicted to Facebook). However, their identity is not important.

What IS important is that this person had several nastily worded and very pointed questions all written out in advance. Evidently, hating me has consumed a large portion of their time. In all fairness, this person never truly strayed into the inappropriate – there was no swearing, finger pointing or yelling, but still….girlfriend worked it to get her point across. (And if she’s reading this now, is probably going nuts that I just referred to her as “girlfriend.”)

At first, I was pissed. But you know what? Everyone has a right to their opinion and I think I handled her fairly well…especially when she implied that I was “high on my horse” (probably true) and that I was “mocking people” (um, it’s a satire.) All in all, it’s kind of hot to spark up a debate. Maybe I can add “controversial” to my resume….along with “hip and hilarious” and “fresh and relevant.” Ooo…and then she put the cherry on top of her attack sundae by going on Amazon and writing two very nasty reviews of my book. (Feel free to check those little gems out and to write a little rebuttal-poo if you are so moved.)

I think the best part of all this was that Barnsey security picked up on the negative vibes and was on me like white on rice. Seriously, I had the lovely head of security by my side for the remainder of the event. They even escorted me up the stairs (um, it was like real bad ass, y’all…) and out to a cab.

From there I went to a fabulous party thrown by the amazing Mr. Mimi (He could totally use that for a circus act name, now that I type it…has a certain ring to it…) where I hung out with the always supportive people from Kaplan, my rock star agent, every last Super Colleague and my phenomenal girl friends. It was a great night…thank you so much for sharing it with me.

(Oh, and totally won’t wait three weeks between posts again.)

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  • Don't let them get you down, Mrs. Mimi. You do great work. Your critics are so focused on their jealousy that they haven't noticed that the one thing which is clear in all your writing…is your love of children.

    It's clear…it's inspiring…and it's entertaining. The book is great. I've already bought copies for colleagues' Christmas presents.

    November 7, 2009 at 1:27 am
  • Congrats on your successful speaking engagement… sorry the 'hater' had to hate on you, but just know it was her insecurity that brought her to such a low place. Keep up the good work!


    November 7, 2009 at 1:27 am
  • I saw some of the hating when I read your review on Amazon. I'm not shocked. Any time someone does something big, there will be hating.

    November 7, 2009 at 1:27 am
  • I read your "hater's" review and I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I hardly think that "review" was necessary, especially the part alluding with disgust to how much money you are making. I am really looking forward to reading your book and I applaud your success! I am jealous, I want to BE you, and I am happy for you and what you have accomplished. Your blog posts are always amusing and spot on, so I am sure your book is just as fantastic!

    Well done!


    November 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm
  • I'm thrilled you're doing so well! Gives us hope for the rest of us mortals! I do feel a little queasy by your use of the word "Barnsy.” (It conjures an image of a Playboy bunny snuggling up with a Big Box Book Store…but no matter. My bias, and my bad.) People are always “haters” when someone uses humor to deflate egos and tough situations– we all take ourselves way too seriously from time to time, and you remind us to keep the hubris in check. Thank you.

    November 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm
  • First, congratulations on the book signing!

    Second, OMG! That reviewer on Amazon must be the teacher with the fanny pack! How about DO YOUR F-ing JOB and people won't make fun of you!
    Keep speaking the truth, Mrs. Mimi!

    November 8, 2009 at 11:10 pm
  • I just finished reading your book and loved it!!! I retired in June of 2008 (after teaching first and second grade for 41 years) and some of the stories in your book actually gave me goose bumps. I'm stopping by my old school tomorrow morning and passing your book on to one of my Super Colleagues, a second grade teacher. If you ever speak in Michigan, I'll be in your audience for sure.

    November 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  • You know- I loved your book but as I was reading I wondered how your less than productive colleagues were going to take being skewered even if there were changes to the identities. My big question is what happened to the great binder of lesson plans- is it still in protective/good hands?

    November 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm
  • Hey Mimi, I have been a little out of touch, but I'm stoked that you got a book deal and time at BN. I'm ordering from Amazon tonight!

    I enjoy your humor, and my philosophy is, "f* 'em if they can't take a joke."

    So, kick back, secure in the fact that you have admirers, and remember, anyone who sticks their head above the crowd is bound to take a few tomatoes. It just goes with the territory (and when you get to my age, you truly won't care).

    Stay cool!

    November 13, 2009 at 4:48 am

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