When I was in middle school, I had a problem. (Make that LOTS of problems. Tonight we are just talking about one.) When I had to speak in class, even from my seat, I blushed. If a boy talked to me, I blushed. If I stood up in the lunch room and people appeared to be looking at me, I blushed. I had maybe five guys I "went out with" in middle school (not that we WENT anywhere) and whenever I would see them in school and do the obligatory parade our boyfriend/girlfriend around the hall thing while holding sweaty hands, I blushed. And sweated. And then blushed some more.
Mostly this is a beast I've conquered. Every now and then, I'll run into some situation where I find myself reverting back to my blushing ways. Knowing I'm blushing just makes it worse. Then I get all sweaty in the armpits and, well, it's just terrible.
So guess what I did when I went to the Young House Love book signing? Yup.
Here's the thing: it wasn't so much about meeting the very down-to-earth John and Sherry Petersik, who couldn't be less intimidating. (And yes, they seemed exactly as fun and adorable and nice as they do online.) It was something about the public-ness of the whole thing, having to talk to people as if you don't know all the details of their lives from reading their blog meanwhile there are 100 people behind you in line watching and listening and about to do the same thing. Plus I kind of thought this might happen before I went to the book signing, so the dread just built up all day.
Feisty and I had fun in line eating cookies (COOKIES!) but my dread grew and grew and I sort of knew I was going to be stupid. When we finally got to the book-signing table I became a ridiculous dork and wouldn't make eye contact or talk like I normally would. To make it worse, last night when I was procrastinating other stuff I SHOULD be doing (cough: writing ebooks : cough) I decided to paint two tiny paintings and then decided to gift them to John and Sherry. Lots of people gave small gifts at their various signings, which I'm sure makes the book signings more fun and personal.
I had the paintings in my purse and almost didn't hand them over (because while it seemed like a neat idea, it also seemed very dorky and brown nose-y), but then at the last minute as I was walking away I sort of threw them in John's lap and was like, "I'm embarrassed. Here's a gift. Goodbye." Or something brilliant like that.
Of course then they looked at them and started shouting things (nice things, not expletives) and I became, in Feisty's words, Kiki Tomato. It was walking down the hall with that guy Ben in 7th grade all over again--red-faced and sweaty-pitted and I tried to hide behind a display.
[I'm sorry. But this is the best photo in the world and makes up for the next photo of me looking horrified and horrible. Clearly Sherry embraces her emotions and happily dorks out. Lesson to be learned here: just embrace it.]
I guess we all need a trip back to middle school now and then? Maybe not. Oh, and also? Don't try a Pinterest hair tutorial for the first time before you plan to have pictures taken of yourself. And remember mascara. For the love of all that's holy--REMEMBER MASCARA.
At the end of the day, I'm glad we went and I can laugh at my Kiki Tomato moment. As long as I don't have another one for like 10 years. Plus, I can look back at Sherry's face looking at my painting and then I get happy.
Ps- I am selling mini-paintings this Christmas season. $40 for a pair and $22 for a single. 3x3 inches on canvas in acrylic. Check my shop page for more details and email me with inquiries. The pair I gifted John and Sherry seen below. (in stinky iPhone photo)