December 7, 2006

Proof of Life at 80 Proof

Scott is out of town. I am now on day ten of Scottlessness, and, you know, it seems like I should now be MORE than ready for my special jacket with the long long sleeves that go ALL the way around. Twice. And the type of fat crayons that can easily be held between the toes. BUT…I think I am doing pretty dern good. For me.

I shall now present to you the evidence, and you shall decide my fate. Numbers represent all the circumstantial evidences that prove, on some level, I am completely losing my crap and should be darted from a safe distance and put somewhere quiet with the soft walls. LETTERS will be bits of evidence from the defense, offered up to show that I am fundamentally maintaining at least a small PACKET of crap and should therefore be given a an ENORMOUS adult beverage (with OLIVES) as an attaboy:

1) At the Atlanta Press Club cocktail party thing last night, signing books, my invite said something like FESTIVE HOLIDAY COCKTAIL WEAR which to me means “break out the ‘scrutiating shoes and the universe’s shortest skirt.” Which I did. And I wore these objects with a satin and knit keyhole top in a color so scarlet Hester Prynn probably would have cut it up to make herself a fancy Christmas A. BUT! When I got there, everyone was in suits. With sedate blue ties. Even the girls. I looked like a hooker and pretty much either kept my coat on or sat behind my signing table, hunching down to hide as MUCH of me as humanly possible and winding my lower half in the table cloth.

A) Even so, I did NOT sneak over to the UPS party in the next room and hit their OPEN (not cash, mind you, OPEN) martini bar that featured PEPPERMINT MUDSLIDES in a martini glass rimmed with little minty candy crystals that my new BFF Connie assured me had been soaked in delicious mescaline. EVEN THOUGH I WANTED TO and I feel like just ONE of those would have made me forget my inappropriate attire. TWO and I might have forgotten my NAME.

2) I met a snarky and delightful creature named Connie (featured above) and after fifteen minutes of conversation I told her she was new BFF. Then I signed her book in pink gel pen with a little HEART over the i in Connie. OH YES I DID.

B) SHE gave me the pink gel pen and said use it to sign, so, dude, I can really only be blamed for the heart.

C) I went to Publix and, with the nutritional requirements of my growing children in mind, I righteously selected a one pound packet of 92% lean ground sirloin, organic, from cattle raised with NO antibiotics or hormones, especially that human growth hormone which I am CONVINCED is the reason 2/3rds of the girls in my son’s third grade class needed FREAKIN BRAS last year.

3) In a weepy fit of MUST FEED THEM SOME DAMN THING BEFORE PARTY exhaustion and desperation I combined the above with a box of Hamburger Helper Cheesy Texas Noodle Thrill. I think it had been in the back of my pantry since 1993.

4) I got CCORNERED by an AWFUL and self important person who published her book with a TRULY horrible publisher that is pretty much a vanity press.

DIGRESSION: There are HORRID "publishing houses" out there. This one pays a DOLLA|R for your book you spent 18 months writing and screws its “clients” on rights while using language that makes the writers THINK they are being “traditionally” as opposed to “self” published. Their authors get rooked six ways from Sunday. And here let me say, if you EVER decide to self publish, then for the love of Pete, use LULU or some other legit business that is up front about what you get from them and who does NOT touch, take, borrow, steal, look at, or even lick the very tippy corner of your rights.

4 Con't) Anyway, she came up and spoke to me SO PATRONIZINGLY. She picked up my book, glanced at it, said it “looked cute,” and then went into a pitch about why reading her “SERIOUS” book would probably make me a better person and a better writer, and I sat there and let her. Just sat there. Let her earnestly explain that New York publishers (um, like MY publisher for example) only spew out reams of dumbed down stuff that panders to the masses while things with true literary value fall through the cracks.

WHY! WHY! WHY did I not give her the hairy eyeball and say, deadpan, “That’s TERRIBLE! I had better alert John Updike. He is going to be DEVASTATED.”

WHY????? Nope, I sat there ate her spoonful of poo and smiled and said NADA.

D) OKAY. So I doormatted until she went away on her own recognizance. ON THE OTHER HAND! I did NOT go leaping over my table and rip out her throat with my teeth and then prance around gargling her blood and shrieking NOW WHO IS CUTE??? HMMM, LITTLE SORRY PUDDING? NOW WHO IS CUTE?

Which, with Scott gone – DAY TEN WE ARE ON --- I SERIOUSLY think I deserve maybe FOUR sanity points for that. So…padded room or olives. Ya’lls call.

Posted by joshilyn at December 7, 2006 9:41 AM

I'm going to give you FIVE, count 'em, FIVE of my own sanity points for not throwing poo on that, ahem, "serious" writer. And then I'm going to go directly to the liquor store and see if I can figure out how to make those peppermint mudslide thingies. Never mind the fact that it's 10am.

Posted by: liz at December 7, 2006 9:58 AM

You deserve something with an olive in it (but not the peppermint thing...ummm, gross.)

And while it would have been VERY funny if you had said the John Updike thing I do not think it would have really made any difference to her. So you did the right thing.

And I defintitely do not think it is too early for that martini.

Posted by: megan at December 7, 2006 10:28 AM

SUITS?? That stinks.

Again, I say: You are as mentally well as a person in your situation could possibly be. And I would like to make you a drink as a reward, but I cannot decide between one with olives and that peppermint mudslide thing (and really, I do NOT think that would be good with olives).

Posted by: Mir at December 7, 2006 10:30 AM

O, you deserve something yum with at least two olives in it! Particularly for not ripping out the "serious" writer's throat. Next time, you should cutely ask your new BFF Connie to take care of "serious" chick for you.

I, too, am spouseless (day 6) and I have to go to a party tonight during which I'm supposed to accept some kind of award, which they won't tell me what it is for, but they want me to say something, and the party is in CANDLER, NC, on someone's farm, and I have no clue what to wear to a holiday farm party where I have to speak graciously and impromptu. Help!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at December 7, 2006 10:56 AM

Dude, you so sound like me when Shane is gone. You actually FED your kids? You get at least 8 points for that. See, when my hubby leaves, I get lucky in that I have a totally freakin-A wonderful 14 year old babysitter, cloaked in the disguise of eldest child, that literally runs the entire house for me. Seriously, she cooks, she keeps the scum off the floors, she makes sure the other 5 children do not leave the house in dirty or mismatched clothing. In all, she's prolly a better Mom than I am sometimes. Plus, while he was gone and I was doing NaNo, she actually moved the coffee pot upstairs to my room, so I never even had to leave my bed for almost a whole week. Which is pretty good, because, I can assure you, when he's gone, I really shouldn't even try to do anything more than breathe. and sometimes, it's even hard to remember how to do that.
It's actually kinda sad though. Before I met him, I was this really together and VERY independent fully functioning adult woman. Now, so many years later, i just get weepy at the thought of him gone. I'd think it's sick, but i guess it's better than the alternative, which is that i just don't care if he ever comes back. Right?

Oh yeah, and that peppermint mudslide thingy sounds totally delightful!

Posted by: dee at December 7, 2006 11:00 AM

OLIVES, my sweet. OLIVES. I think you've done astroundingly well, under the circumstances. Myself, I don't think that your attire at the party should get a number. Since when does Festive Holiday Cocktail Wear mean an ordinary suit? BAH to the Atlanta Press Club for their blahness. I have no doubt you looked at least FIVE GOLDEN OLIVES worth of fabulous.

Posted by: Aimee at December 7, 2006 11:01 AM

Geez...if suits are their idea of festive holiday attire, I'd hate to see what they wear for a really somber occasion. Long, black hooded cloaks, maybe? Or (tailored) hair shirts?

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at December 7, 2006 11:47 AM

Wow, you should get way more than 4 sanity points for that. I can't believe that you didn't "accidentally" smack her upside the head with your "cute" book!

Posted by: Melanie Marie at December 7, 2006 12:08 PM

Despite what you think are poor mental health numbers, my dear you conducted yourself with much adult restraint and decorum. I would have steared clear of the UPS' Peppermint Bar too (you should have sent Connie instead, while you signed her book.)

I think think this calls for a trip to the nearest Flirtini bar for a girls' night out.

Posted by: Cele at December 7, 2006 12:08 PM

I find your book so incredibly CUTE that I have purchased a copy for my sister as a Christmas gift. . .and sat up way too long last night reading my favorite parts again. I say you go find a room with a padded table--not walls--that also contains a massage therapist on stand-by with the best peppermint aromatherapy and an olive oil leg wrap. Then go home and color with Maisy.

There--I dissed the cute remark, got your padding thrown in, combined olives and peppermint in an inviting way, and threw in a crayon too. :)

Posted by: Roxanne at December 7, 2006 12:57 PM

I think the phrase, "ya'lls call," might just be the most wonderful two words I have ever read and then said in my head over and over again because it just sounds so darn fantastic. I want to call up a southern friend and have her say this to me repeatedly. Oh course, were I to do that, I would most certainly lose sanity points. Don'cha think? It's really ya'lls call!

Posted by: Sara at December 7, 2006 1:36 PM

OLIVES. pre-soaked in something sinfully alcoholic. and then placed an a vat of something deliciously sinfully alcoholic.

Posted by: JenA at December 7, 2006 1:42 PM

Ok, I take away a couple of points for you huddling in your coat (I think you should have ROCKED the holiday outfit since you were the only person there who understood the freakin' MEANING of "festive holiday cocktail wear!!") and for not hitting the UPS party, which sounds like it would be fun.

But I give you triple-bonus points for the self-control you exhibited by not ripping out ObnoxiousWoman's throat as she so clearly deserved.

And I think the organic lean beef and antique Hamburger Helper totally balance each other out,so no points taken OR given for that.

So my call is olives!
Or a peppermint mudslide.
But never, EVER at the same time.
Just sayin'...

Posted by: DebR at December 7, 2006 2:34 PM

See, what happened was they said "Ohmygawd, that hot Joshily Jackson is on the list! Let's say "Festive Holiday Attire" so tha SOMEbody will have 'scruciating shoes and free-range hotitude among our colleagues who don't know festive from festschrift." You can forgive them, surely?

And your pure white soul is unsullied by the poo-spoon ladie's aura, having been protected by the Force Field of Behaving Well -- and then telling us about it. Well played, Jackson -- well played. Have one for me.

Posted by: rams at December 7, 2006 3:36 PM

I didn't think you were a serious writer. I thought you were a hilarious writer ba-DUM-BUMP. Thank you, goodnight.

I can highly recommend the Divina green olives stuffed with red peppers. They are just...better somehow. Maybe mail order.

Next time, drink the mudslide and take off the coat. Trust me on this one.

Posted by: Suebob at December 7, 2006 3:58 PM

Well, I would have hit the UPS party, most definitely, WITHOUT the coat, and had the peppermint mudslide and since I am not supposed to drink Vodka ever again because it makes me weepy, emotional, and prone to do bad things, let's just say if it were me, the night would have been a disaster, although everyone else would have had somebody to gossip about. So while I would give you olives for your upstanding behavior, I truly skieve olives (how's that for an 80s word?) and cannot give you olives no matter how much you deserve them.
The longest my husband has been away is 2 weeks. And awful things happen while he's gone, like the basement floods & my 5 1/2-months pregnant self has to wet vac it every 1/2 hour. Lots of stuff like that. Hang in there.

Posted by: amy at December 7, 2006 5:03 PM

Um, is it too late to get the Sorry Little Pudding's home address so that I can rip out her throat with my teeth and gargle in her blood? Because I would so very much like to do that.

CUTE. What a maroon she is... I hope she gargles spoonsful of poo for all eternity. Spoonfuls?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at December 7, 2006 8:55 PM

Oh total olives all the way around! Only a padded room if you really really want it.

I've been without my Significant Other for just four days and I'm crabby and cranky and viciously ill-tempered, so you're a veritable PARAGON!

What is it that makes companies think it's okay to split families up for whole huge hunks of time in December? Grrrr.

But I agree with the rest - you should've had one of the peppermint mudslide thingies and then gone back and just strutted your stuff at the press club! Show them the TRUE meaning of "festive holiday cocktail wear"!

And don't let me anywhere near Ms. Snark and her vanity press. Or rather, let me near her when Tammy's around to hear that nasty and incredibly ignorant drivel. Especially after Tammy's had one or two adult beverages herself! That I'd be able to sell tickets to!

But she was just jealous that she couldn't get a real publisher and you did, so she was trying to make you feel bad. Ignore her completely.

Nope, I think you have complete bragging rights as a coping adult. Very well done indeed!

Posted by: Fran at December 8, 2006 12:02 AM

You were a Southern Lady,girlfriend. Plain and simple. I bet SHE was from New Jersy, or somewhere else just as terrible. What you should have done was go to the UPS party!
I think yur purdy and smart and Ms New Jersy was drunk and jealous of all your purdy-ness.

Posted by: Desi at December 8, 2006 4:58 PM

here are all you gals yodeling after the husbandus absentium and I am like, "I would give ANYTHING if his agoraphobic self would simply exit the house--perhaps even make it out of the driveway!--for five damn minutes." Ten days gone? I would make ritualistic blood sacrifice to achieve that.
Are any of these "work for us so you can be separated from your families for days and days on end" companies hiring? I've got his resume right here. And a bottle of Absolut in the freezer. Expensive olives the size of my thumb in the fridge. Joshilyn, you deserve jars and jars of them. Stuffed with the gourmet condiment of your choice. Bleu cheese? Jalapenos? Cocktail onions? We got 'em.

Posted by: Elena at December 10, 2006 9:02 AM

Speaking as a person who has read thousands of books, Gods in Alabama included, many of which were "serious" novels and non-fiction, I would rather read a "cute" amusing but underlyingly deep book like yours than the piece of crap undoubtedly written by the person at your book signing.

You undoubtedly deserve the beverage of your choice with at least two organic olives stuffed with garlic -- make it a double and use the best gin.

Posted by: healingmagichands at December 10, 2006 11:35 AM