Jack got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble for his birthday, so last night the boys and I headed there to buy some books. When we arrived, we could barely find a place to park. Most of the patrons getting out of the cars were adults, so I figured a book club or book signing was the reason for the overflowing lot.
When we got inside, the greeter asked if I was there for the book signing. I said I was not. "Who is it?" I asked. "Laurell K. Hamilton," she replied. "Really?" I was excited.
I first heard about Laurell K. Hamilton books about a year ago and bought the first three in the series. What most excited me about her and her books when I first heard of her was that she lives in St. Louis and that her Anita Blake series is set in St. Louis. I thought it would be interesting to read how vampires live and are hunted in my city.
"There are still spots available if you want to by her latest book and get it signed," said the greeter. My hand, having a mind of its own and obviously thinking how cool it would be to have a brush with a celebrity and get a signed copy of a new book written by said celebrity, began to reach for the pass the greeter was offering. Then my boys started running circles around me chanting, "Kids' section, kids' section," and my hand was slapped back into mommy reality. I imagined trying to sit in a chair with my wildingtons on either side while Ms. Hamilton read from her latest book and, I tell you, that's a nightmare not even an author of vampire novels wants to imagine.
So I politely declined the spot and headed to the kids' section. As it often does, Jack's running around and excitement got things moving in his belly and he proclaimed LOUDLY that he needed to use the restroom. So LOUDLY, in fact, that a woman looking at books a couple of aisles over came up to me and told me where the restroom was.
So off to the restroom we went. Why, I wondered, was there a group of 6 people standing around the women's restroom? Because I'm a mother, the fact that Laurell K. Hamilton was in the bookstore didn't stay in my head from the front door to the kids' section to the restroom. That fact was replaced with other, more pressing items, like how I was going to get Luke out of the store with only one stuffed animal and no tantrums (I failed, by the way). One of the 6 people looked at me, as if I should know better than to try to enter the restroom, and said, "Can you give us a minute?"
I said, "I don't have to go, he does, and he can't wait." I'm sure Ms. Hamilton has written about some gory things in her books, but until she's cleaned poop off of a boy's butt and legs in a public restroom and tried to wash pooped on clothes out in a sink so he can get out to the car without being naked, she's got nothing on me.
And I don't blame her for having the women's restroom blocked to others while she was in it. I'd feel very vulnerable if I had to worry about being accosted by a well-meaning fan with a pen and a book while I was in a stall. And, honestly, do fans really want to see celebrities in that most human of situations?
Thankfully, it was Jack and not Luke experiencing the call of nature so he was able to go into the men's restroom without me and take care of business. He made it in plenty of time, even with the pause at the entourage. Too bad. Maybe if he had an accident I would have gotten that signed book after all. Or a plot twist in the next book revolving around a mom trying to escape a vampire but she can't because all the bathrooms are locked.
And as Luke and I were waiting for Jack to come out, we saw Ms. Hamilton come out of the women's restroom (only then did it dawn on me the reason for the entourage around the restroom - my mommy brain was sllooowww that night).
So there you have the totality of my brush with celebrity. Catching a glimpse of the back of a famous author as she leaves the restroom as I sit on the floor with my 5 year old as my 7 year old takes care of business in the men's room. I hoped it would be more glamorous, but it was very apropos for a mom of two boys.
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