I am home from the Decatur Book Festival, and I’ve gotta say that now that I’ve gone, I will go back every single year as long as I live in Georgia, because that particular gathering is pretty much a book nerd’s nirvana. I will go back, and I will do all of the same things again, EXCEPT that I will not whine at Joshilyn that “We HAVE to have sushi because I NEVER get to have sushi at home!”
Joshilyn did not want sushi. I whined and needled and she acquiesced, and so it came to pass that four of us found ourselves enjoying a lovely dinner at a local sushi joint.
Afterwards we went to a martini bar and hung out with some folks and this was all on Friday night, right after we’d gotten there, and all I could think was, how lucky am I? I’m hanging out with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met, this is SO MUCH FUN.
I was still having fun late that night when I left Joshilyn and Karen in their hotel room and went next door to mine. I was still having fun as I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and climbed into the nice big hotel bed. I was thinking about how I’d just met and hung out with Joss’ writing group partners who’d I’d heard about for years but had only now met, and how I’d met Daniel Wallace and Patti Callahan Henry (whom both Joss and Karen call PATTICALLAHANHENRY —all three names, and at top volume, ALWAYS—so that I am now completely unable to think of her as Patti, she is PATTICALLAHANHENRY and that is that) and how I couldn’t imagine anything on Saturday being even better, because this had pretty much been the greatest evening of my life, so far, already.
About half an hour later I stopped having any fun (or sleep) at all, and while I shall spare you the play-by-play, let’s just say that it didn’t take very long to figure out that I was being punished for insisting we get sushi. PUNISHED. SEVERELY. (And before anyone asks: I had not been drinking, so, yeah, DEFINITELY THE SUSHI.)
I’d had about three hours of sleep, finally, when I called Joss at 8:30 on Saturday morning. Because she and Karen are clinically insane, they had decided the night before to get up at 7 and go to the gym. I figured that by 8:30 they’d be on their way back. So I called and asked Joss if she could bring me a few things—a can of Coke, some Immodium, and possibly a new spleen—and she was very sweet, wanting to know why I hadn’t come to get her, the night before, when I was sick.
“Did you want to watch me puke?” I asked.
“Okay. I’ll be back with your Coke in a little bit!” she answered, brightly.
I took a shower and got dressed and put some cover-up on the circles under my eyes and then put some cover-up on the cover-up, and then some powder over the top of all of that. I still looked like I’d spent the night barfing up tainted tuna, but oh well.
Joshilyn and Karen came back and were extremely solicitous ("Well, you know, you look GREAT in that dress!" Karen told me, and it was probably true, because, you know, I was now four pounds lighter than I’d been when I BOUGHT that dress) and patted me and told me everything would be fine.
We made our way over to the festival and met up with Kristen and then Joss sat in the audience and looked encouraging while Kristen and I did our panel. It went okay, I think, although I was very shaky and worried that people would think that was because I was nervous, not because I was completely dehydrated. (These are the sorts of things I worry about. Don’t you wish you were me?) We talked and read and then went and sat outside and signed books, and after the last person had left I thought, “Yay! It’s over! We did it and I lived and now I can go TAKE A NAP!”
Except that there was too much stuff I wanted to see, so I never did go have that nap.
(I did find out, however, that a couple of other people who ate at the sushi place that poisoned me had also fallen ill—Karen and Joss didn’t eat what I ate, and were perfectly fine—and that was strangely comforting. Prior to that I’d wondered if maybe I was SO INSANE that I’d given myself PSYCHOSOMATIC FOOD POISONING because I just can’t be happy. Heh.)
And then, of course, I wrapped up Saturday by giving my husband the WRONG HOTEL NAME so that when he drove out to Atlanta 1) he went to the wrong hotel and 2) upon finally reaching the hotel was greeted by me in my pajamas saying, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so stupid, I’m sorry, okay, I have to go to sleep now.” Five minutes later I was snoring and drooling and he still seemed happy to see me when we woke up this morning, confirming that—poisoning aside—I am pretty lucky OR Otto is a glutton for punishment.
Tomorrow I can tell you all about what country bumpkins do when they have a child-free day in Atlanta. And how they go right ahead and do it even though one of them is still sort of sick and exhausted and not entirely lucid. Woo!