Sunday, March 12, 2006

The t-shirt and the little blue dress

Well, the book signing I went to for Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black was fabulous. The signing and discussion broke up a bit early, I think, because every single book was sold. Like Jack and Mrs. Sprat, we licked the platter clean.

I showed up wearing my silly word cloud t-shirt from Snapshirts, and everyone kindly oohed and ah'd for me. That was nice of them because I basically looked pretty sloppy. I only wore the stupid thing because it was freakishly warm that day, and the thought of wearing the cute, pulled-together outfit I had in mind had me breaking out into a hot sweat, because it involved a long-sleeved turtleneck sweater made of merino wool.

Jen was looking very glam in a peach colored sweater with fur(ry) trim* and lots and lots of cool bloggers/commenters were there: Susie Sunshine, Texas Carol, Wendy, The Other Jennifer, a Michelle who mistook me for Poppy Mom or Tall Poppy or maybe yet another Poppy, but that's OK because I had her confused with Michelle Agnew.

Note to self-aggrandizing bloggers out there: it's easy to set everyone straight when you're wearing a word cloud t-shirt with the name of your blog on it. My t-shirt allowed me the opportunity to clarify that while I am a Mom, I am not Poppy Mom, but Poppy Buxom. "See?" I said, as I stuck out my word-cloud-clad rack for the fifteenth time, "It says right there, 'The Opiate of the Masses.' See? See?" As you may already have surmised, I'm not simply an endless source of amusement on your computer screen; in real life I'm as irritating as a toddler who wants to tell you all about the dream he had last night RIGHT NOW while you're trying to talk to an adult.

So anyway, not that I have difficulty not being the center of attention or anything, but while I was expecting Jen to have a lot of fans around, one of Susie's fans showed up, too. I was very proud of myself because I only acted a little bit jealous that Susie had a fan and I didn't. And when bitter tears welled up in my eyes, threatening at any moment to flood the bookstore, Wendy very kindly informed me that she had me bookmarked.

It's unfortunate that That Stud Muffin I Married and I had decided to go to the opera instead of heading over to Jen's for the book signing party, because the opera sucked so badly that we left before it was over. And we were too depressed over the tale of the decadent Viennese aristocrats set to extremely ponderous and unmelodic music to get much enjoyment out of life, so instead of hopping into a cab and heading to Jen's only to act like BIG FAT BRING-DOWNS we headed north on Michigan Avenue where a jazz musician I know was filling in for the regular pianist at one of the bars in the Hotel Intercontinental.

So we sat there, abusing Richard Strauss and listening to Mark play Gershwin and between the music and the two enormous Manhattans I downed, we managed to become composed enough to wend the rest of the way home without buttonholding perfect strangers and complaining about FOUR HOUR operas IN GERMAN with big-ass ponderous orchestras and static productions and no discernable melodies that cost $175 a ticket even though they're NOT EVEN BY WAGNER.

Did I mention that the tickets cost $175 each?

You know, the life of a culture-vulture isn't easy. Or cheap.

* I have started, but not finished, the book, and while I can tell you Jen's opinion of Pottery Barn sofas and Coach briefcases, I'm not sure of her opinion of real vs. faux fur trim. I am, however, fully convinced that she will approve of this remark being placed in a footnote. Her book has so many she's going to get stalked by footnote fetishists.


  1. Hi Poppy! It was nice meeting you! Your word cloud shirt was awesome, I didn't get a chance to tell you that.

    We definitely missed you at the party!


  2. So THAT's why you dropped the PhD pursuit. You want a doctorate in cool blog chick instead.

    You have to admit, reading blogs is a Hell of a lot better than having to listen to someone drone on and on and on the Patriarchal Hegemony Symbolism in The Epic of Gilgamesh.

    -J., who always knew you were cool even if steadfastly maintain you are not deformed.

  3. Hey Poppy~ Thanks for choosing my blog this week...:)

    BTW, i lived in chicago for about 4 years, and I loved it!! It's been almost ten years since I've been there, and I miss it...

  4. I had a blast meeting you. Next time - ditch the opera!

  5. I also shed bitter tears (get it? bitter?) during the book signing, but it was because I wasn't there. Because I was here. Which is not there. Which sucketh.

    I finished the book but could not tell you for sure how Jen feels about fur, whether real or faux. I may have to read again to find out.

  6. I always leave Chicago wishing Poppies were native to Michigan.

  7. Awww, Poppy, I wish I could've been there. I would've been your fan. I could've even been your stalker. Because then maybe that security guard would've had to rough me up. Heh heh.

    I am still reeling over the price of those tickets. For $175 x 2, I would've sat through the whole thing, come hell or highwater.

  8. Operas in German are not my favorite. And by saying that I imply a whole lot of cultural experience, which I don't have. Anyway, "footnote fetishists" is incredibly funny.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.