So This Is What I Meant to Say

I recently started writing again. Of course, part of that process is reading too. I’m always looking for new voices to inspire me, and reading in 140-character increments just wasn’t doing it. Ironically, Twitter was where I discovered Jen Lancaster.

I started with her first book. Bitter Is the New Black. For those who don’t know, in that book, Jen chronicles her life after losing her job when the dot-com bubble burst. Sadly, I could identify with Jen’s story because I lost my job three times in one year. Publishing is not a great place to be during a recession.

I enjoyed the book so much, I headed back to the local library for the rest of her books, which, by the way, are shelved next to Go the F**k to Sleep. And for the past few weeks, I’ve been binge reading Jen Lancaster. Yes, binge reading. Just like when I devoured Breaking Bad and Arrested Development on Netflix, only with more risk of paper cuts.

Why the love for Jen Lancaster? What she writes about is very relatable to me, seeing as how we are about the same age and have had some similar experiences. I love her razor-sharp wit, and her writing is very down to earth. Her writing style is something I aspire to. And I mean, we’re both named Jen. Duh.

About halfway through my binge, I learned that Jen is doing a signing for her new book in New Jersey next week. I did the dance of joy because I’m so excited to meet her. But I stopped mid-jig when I realized I’d actually have to talk to her. I’m not very good at meeting famous people. I usually freeze up (see the time when I met Patrick Dempsey), I can’t think of anything to say, or I think of something brilliant 10 minutes after I’ve walked away.

So I figured I’d plan ahead and try to think of something brilliant to say. This is what I’ve come up with:

Jen, I think you and I would be really good friends. OK, stalker much? There really is a fine line between stalker and fan, isn’t there?

Jen, as a fellow writer, I’d love to pick your brain. Too Hannibal Letcher-y?

Jen, I wish I could be just like you. Now we’re getting to Single White Female territory.

In the end, it won’t matter. Despite all the planning, I’ll just freeze up and meekly say, “Hi.”

So if I don’t get these words out on Wednesday, this is what I meant to say. Jen, sharing your wit and humor (and your life) has been an inspiration to me. And hopefully some day you’ll be reading my memoir.

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