There is an added quality to the texts that you read – when you met the writer behind the words – when you hear the writer read those words to how they were intended to be read.
Last night – I finally got to meet another one of my favorite writers, Sloane Crosley, at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca. With a reading – a short Q&A – followed by a book signing – I was in awe and inspired. Sloane read an excerpt from her newly released book of essays entitled, “How Did You Get This Number,” a witty, sarcastic book filled with hilarious fails, recounted memories of childhood and the every day.
She read from one of her essays entitled Light Pollution – and hilarious as it was – there were a couple lines she read that struck a cord – lines which I, as well as my friends, could relate to (and you know who you are).
“We quickly made the transition from amicable coworkers to voluntary friends [pg. 108]. . . If you’re lucky enough to become truly close with a stranger in New York, there will still be a part of you and a part of them that’s reduced to novelty” [pg.111].
As Sloane signed my two copies of her books (I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number), I told her how much I loved her writing, and that back in my senior year of college – I nominated her for my English Department’s ‘Visiting Writer’s Series’ in which case she was voted #1 author – however due to scheduling conflicts she could not make it to my school. She and I also exchanged New Jersey connections – which case in point – means we are bffs.
Fast-forward to my train-ride home, I started reading her book – but couldn’t move past her dedication page because I was laughing too loudly – which caused my fellow train-passengers to make annoyed faces at me – and as to avoid such looks I closed the book because I knew if I continued reading – I’d laugh even louder.
So, if you have never read Sloane Crosley or don’t understand how witty and funny she is – just read this excerpt from her dedication page. I promise you’ll want to pick up her book and start laughing:
To my parents. For Everything*
*Everything except the two-week period in 1995 directly following the time you went to Ohio for a wedding and I threw a party in the house, which is the most normal thing a teenage American can do, aside from lie about it, which I also did, and Mom eyed me suspiciously for days, morphing into a one-woman Scotland Yard, marching into my bedroom with a fistful of lint from the dryer to demonstrate that I had mysteriously washed all the towels, and then she waited until we were in a nice restaurant to scream, “Someone vomited on my couch, I know it!” and Dad took away my automotive privileges straight through college so that I spent the subsequent four years likening you both to Stasi foot soldiers, confined as I was to a campus-on-the-hill when I could have been learning how to play poker at the casinos down the road and making bad decisions at townie bars. I think we can all agree you overreacted.
For everything except that, I am profoundly grateful. I have only the greatest affection for you now. Also: I vomited on the couch.