First! It’s Friday, but this is not Ask Team Practical. The thing is, Alyssa has some rather big news these days (Congratulations Alyssa!!!) which means she’s getting the next two weeks off from Ask Team Practical to take a nap. Ok, I can’t actually prove to you that she’s napping during her newfound time off, but I certainly hope she is. So, that means instead of getting wedding advice on the next two Fridays, you’re going to get me telling you about the book tour events, during which I’m totally giving out wedding advice (see how it all ties in??). This is good for several reasons: A) Alyssa gets to nap, B) I get to tell you about life on the road, which makes me feel like I’m carrying all of you in my pocket, C) Pretty pictures. And yes, regular wedding related content (and lots of it) will totally be back Monday. But, the book tour is going to be over soon (I’m already at the halfway point, if you can believe it) and I want to record this moment before it passes.
First, before I even dive into Boston (wonderful, wonderful Boston), I thought I’d catch you up on life on the road, and what I’ve learned. Maybe it will help you for your upcoming adventures, even if they happen in the comfort of your own home. Because bravery and adventure is, well, bravery and adventure. So, now, in no particular order the news:
- You will miss your husband (but it will be worth it). David is coming into New York tonight, and I’ve never been more excited to see him.
- You will miss your teddy bear. Sigh. (Shut up.)
- You will need more sleep than you normally do. I don’t know why travel and unfamiliar places are tiring. But they are. And you will. So take care of yourself.
- Which brings me to: take care of yourself. It’s pretty much your number one priority because you can’t do the other stuff if you’re a mess of falling apart.
- Drink a lot of water, not a lot of drinks. I know. It sounds like a bummer, drinking less. But you cannot wake up hungover every other day because people in every city want to toast you (god bless ’em). Conserve your strength. Because you will need it for things like….
BOSTON. Boston hit me like a sledge hammer in the best possible way. First of all, I stayed with Lauren of Suburbalicious, and yes. You should totally be jealous. I got to stay in their attic, which I was super into. (Why don’t I have an attic?) Plus, her husband cooked for us, and she has a truly impressive booze collection.
The first morning I woke up terrified because I had my first ever radio interview. It was The Emily Rooney Show, and you can listen to me chatting about how to make your centerpieces really memorable (have them accidentally light on fire), and wedding inflation. I went on after two political reporters, which of course just annoyed me because I wanted to talk about Mitt Romney! I have Things To Say! And then I realized that in the hilarious alternate universe that is NPR (a universe I totally live in, by the way) I am the fluffy programming. Me, talking about feminism, breaking out of the cultural narrative, and constructing egalitarian life transitions, I’m the “light” one. HA! Also, when the producer for The Emily Rooney Show walked in, I immediately knew why I’d been booked. I mean, I could tell she was APW people/my people from a mile away. Her name is Frannie, and I love her. We spent twenty minutes chatting after the show, and that might or might not have been one of the most fun parts (I couldn’t say…).
And that wasn’t it when it came to media. No! The next day, I woke up and did some Local Access Television (rad) where the host was super nice and let me talk about whatever I felt like. And then, off to…
Talk of The Nation, on NPR. I don’t want to be all dramatic and tell you that being on NPR was the pinnacle of my professional life to date, but it TOTALLY was. I don’t even know what to say about the experience other than, they put me in a tiny one-person radio booth (I was glad I’d gotten to practice my interviews over the last few days and whittle down my stories) and then suddenly I was on air. Getting the APW message out was fun, but the call-in stories were possibly even more awesome. There was the woman who got married in her teens in a Justice of the Peace mobile home (her kids love the pictures), the woman who had a potluck hoedown for $500 (she doesn’t regret a thing), and the woman who got married with her closest friends on a dude ranch (she remembers every second of it). NPR listeners really are the best people.
And then, my friends, there was the event at Porter Square Books. I’m still totally overwhelmed by it. In short: about 140 people showed up (and the super kind staff looked like they’d been hit by a truck), they sold out of books before I even started talking, and there was a line out the door for signing for 45 minutes. It was… crazy, amazing, wonderful, overwhelming… all of it.
When we were driving over to the bookstore, I was chatting with Lauren and her husband about working outside of the artistic medium that I was trained in. I commented that, since I was trained as an actor, writing just felt like something I did and I didn’t self-identify as a writer (which can be a great thing, since my ego doesn’t get in the way of the work in the same way that it used to). So then I went to the reading and signed books for an hour straight, which totally blew my mind. And when I got back, Lauren‘s husband said, “Do you feel a little more like a writer now?” and the funny thing was, I totally did.
So thank you Boston. For making me feel like a writer, for asking the smartest, funniest, and most feminist questions, and for letting me take off my shoes and use the word vagina a lot.