Learning to keep it together by practicing on HeadLibba
Kudos, Emily, for the role-playing idea. I think maybe before the Texas Book Festival next weekend it would be prudent to practice how one might go about speaking to some of the illustrious authors that will be present.
So let’s role-play a little:
ME: (holding out my hand like a Liz Lemon automaton) “Hello… LibbaBray… how.are.you? You are so awesome even though your husband once rejected my query for representation.”
NORMAL PERSON HELPING ME WITH THE ROLE-PLAYING: “Um, that’s a little fangirly + stalker crazy. Maybe try less nutjob, and more adorable fan. Go!”
ME: (standing like Daphne from Scooby Doo, if Daphne from Scooby Doo had corny dog mustard in some of her eyelashes) “Hello… LibbaBray… how.are.you? I like your hair. Would you like to taste these crumbs I found in my purse?”
NPHMWTRP: “No, Kari, that’s a bad question, try again.”
ME: (carefully pulling errant hairs from my mouth) “Hello… LibbaBray… how.are.you? May I shake your hand slowly and un-fangirly?”
NPHMWTRP: “Uh, better. Ish. But stop calling her “LibbaBray”. Also, keep your hands out of your mouth.”
ME: (hooking thumbs in my jean pockets, a la Marty McFly) “Hello… Libba. How.are.you? Did you know I’m from Texas, too? Well, obviously, because I live here now. Or, wait, you probably don’t know I live here now. But I do. In Texas. Though, technically, I’m not a for real Texan, because I was born in Georgia. Which is not the reason why I named my daughter Georgia, even though people might think that’s why I——”
NPHMWTRP: “STOP. Do you see how HeadLibba** has just quietly started texting festival security? Reel it back in, Holt.”
ME: (leaning against the corny dog stand, nonchalantly pretending my elbow isn’t being seared off by flying grease) “Hello… Libba. It’s.nice.to.meet.you. I took playwriting courses at UT, too. Though I didn’t win any awards and subsequently move to New York. Mostly, I moved around Far West campus and drank a lot of Josta cola (remember Josta?) and smoked, um, cigars, while I watched bats fly around the trees at dusk. I didn’t write about any of that. Uh. Hook ’em Horns!”
NPHMWTRP: “This is when HeadLibba is all, “Hey, is that Buzz Aldrin?” and she pats you on the shoulder with a brief look of concern/fear and darts off. Good effort, though. I think with more practice you might be able to only traumatize her a little bit instead of, like, permanently.”
* neither of these pictures are mine. They are just random pictures I found via the gloriousness that is the intertubes. So thanks, Strangers, for making your pictures publicly viewable!
** If you are a Battlestar Galactica fan to the point where you read forums with millions of posts, you may know that people discuss both Six and HeadSix (the Six that Baltar sees in his mind). Also, there is HeadBaltar, and HeadEllen, I think. Probably some more out there, too. This is where the HeadLibba reference comes from. Just so you know.