Did we make t-shirts? Yes we did.
The book store where the signing was held also felt run down and so, so random for a literary superstar like David Sedaris to be visiting. I'd never been to a Hastings before and it was basically a Barnes & Noble meets Spencer's. The signing was scheduled for 2:00, and we got there at 11:30 after a Starbucks run. The area for the reading was empty, so we snagged two seats in the front row directly in front of the podium. One other couple showed up right after us, and a few more people around 12:30, and it was a ton of fun to chat about our favorite author and laugh about how excited we all were. For the most part, the crowds didn't start coming until right at 2 or even after (WHO shows up late for David Sedaris? Come on!). When they started crowing the front of the area we were kind of like, "...um, we've been here for 2.5 hours, no way are you pushing in front of us." David's plane into Helena was late, so he didn't get there until 2:30 or so, and by that time the whole store was packed...with us in the very front row!
He read us a new story he's working on, which joked about how Americans overuse the word "awesome," and then one of the Forensics monologues from the new book. He also read a couple very short diary entries with some great jokes and little snippets from his life in England and on book and lecture tours. He opened the floor for a couple questions, and it was so neat to hear his answers. One person asked about hurting people's feelings by writing about them. Another asked about how funny he is, which he attributes to coming from a large family and competing for his mother's laughter, which was so poignant and sweet.
When it was time for the signing, I was the first one at the table! I had my copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day, my hardback of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls as well as a paperback copy, since that's what he was on tour promoting. I also brought this week's issue of the New Yorker, which I got in the mail the day before I left for Butte and had his essay Stepping Out in it! He was so gracious and signed all of them and we got to chat for a few minutes. My hands and voice were shaking, I was so nervous! A Hastings employee had passed out post-its to write our names on so he could spell them correctly when signing, and he commented that I had nice handwriting and that he liked the name Brandilyn (!). I had bought the paperback copy of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, and in that one, he wrote:
While we were hanging out waiting for the reading to begin, a man walked up and started chatting with Hailey about David Sedaris (I was off picking out a book about trains for Joon). He said, "Yeah, I'm really interested in David Sedaris. He's got that weird voice. I'm not gay, but I'm so interested in people with disabilities like that getting all educated and stuff!" All jaws in the room dropped at that. Just ridiculous. When Hailey had her books signed, she told David that story, and he laughed and then pulled out his little notebook and made a note about it! He signed her book, "From your handicapped friend, David Sedaris," and then "I'm a sofa king we taught it," on another. Perfect.
When we got into the car after it all happened, Hailey and I just kind of stared at each other for a second, and then I burst into tears. It was all just too much! It had been so much better than I ever even imagined it would be, and yes, I'd spent time imagining what it would be like to meet David Sedaris. He was so funny and so gracious, even though his tour schedule must be exhausting.
So I'm back home now, with a couple signed copies of my favorite books and a signed New Yorker to frame, and I think I'm done freaking out about the whole experience...at least online.