Phew! The last two days have turned my mom’s house into a full-on mailing center. I didn’t realize when I decided to run this poetry contest it would entail so much…excel spreadsheets, mail merge, labeling, stuffing and dragging everything to the post office where everything had to be stamped BY HAND. But it’s all good, thanks to my little brother (Thanks Chit!!) who was the mastermind of the whole operation (suffice to say I’m no organizational genius), especially since when I said we’d ship internationally, I meant it, and we were so thrilled to see so many of my readers from Dubai, Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Argentina, France, Australia and New Zealand enter the contest! And all the Americans too—it’s amazing to see where you guys are from, to think that people are reading the books in places I have never been, touches me to no end.
So look for the packages in your in-box soon. I also autographed all the samplers. My signature might look wobbly in some of the books since I got a little hand-cramp but have no doubt that I personally signed each one.
The beach was nooooice and we go back this weekend and then spending the rest of August in the beach house. I’m reading my new BFF, Jen Lancaster, who wrote Bitter is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; and Such a Pretty Fat. She’s heeeelarious and good company by the pool. Her first book is about how she dealt with the crash of 2001, when everyone was laid off, including her and her husband, and how they had to go from their dot-com money loft to being evicted from a ghetto apartment. I could totally relate to her story because Mike and I also had a hard 2001, when we were both laid off from jobs that year, and it was so hard to be suddenly struggling after being “thousandaires” as Jen calls it.
We never had a dot-com loft, but I did have a cushy job at Morgan Stanley during the boom, and when that ended it was really really difficult but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Sure, it’s stressful and a downer not to be able to shop, and to feel like you’re on the downside of the fabled American dream, but what I remember most from that time is the solidarity with our friends, many of whom were going through the same thing, all of us on unemployment checks, and how we would all just laugh about it over drinks at seedy bars in the East Village, looking for the cheapest sushi places available, and really… just laughing through the gloom. Because really awful things happened that year too, and losing your job (I think between Mike and I we were laid off from seven jobs that year – we were always lucky enough to get another one, but then that company would fold too, or projects wouldn’t happen) didn’t matter so much since we still had each other, our families, our friends, which is really what counts in life, right? Birkin bags are just icing.
I also bought the new Laurie Notaro book, and Chelsea Handler’s first book, My Horizontal Life. It’s all about funny ladies this August.