Last night was loads of fun. There was quite a massive crowd at Good Vibes for the book party -- the store was packed with friendly faces. Anne and Cathy got up and talked for a while, introducing the book and their process in putting it together (with some fascinating anecdotes, including some rather disturbing ones relating to Anne being a mother and people's reactions to that). Then they called on me to start off the guests. Meep.
Public speaking used to terrify me. It still does in many ways -- my stomach was churning before I went up there and my hands were ice cold, as usual. On the other hand, those are sort of automatic responses that have very little to do with how nervous I consciously am. At this point, my conscious mind knows that I've done lots of public speaking, that I generally don't mess up too badly, that it's been a long time since I stood up there absolutely mortified at having made a fool of myself (luckily Kevin was the only one of my friends who witnessed that time), and that I even look less nervous than I am. So it's not awful.
Anne and Cathy seem to have decided that I'm a reliable crowd warmer-upper, and I have a feeling that I better get used to going up first. I think I talked a little too long last night, but it was such a friendly happy crowd -- they were predisposed to enjoy themselves, to laugh at all the appropriate moments, and I couldn't resist taking advantage of that. I can see why you'd want to be a comic. It's such a thrill, making people laugh. It's a good thing I don't have delusions that I can be funny all the time, on cue, or my friends would be suffering a lot more.
After I talked, lots of good people got up there. Jane was painfully shy/nervous, but totally charming nonetheless. Heather Corinna claimed to be nervous, but I'm not sure I believed her -- but she was so cute in her tiny frilled black shorts, her fishnets and her Hello Kitty tank top that I forgave her. Todd actually did get up and talk about mouth organ, and though you could tell he was a bit nervous (he never looked at the crowd), he was also interesting, cogent, and funny. A success all around for our side!
Whoops -- time's running away from me, and I better go throw on some clothes. I'll talk to y'all later -- have a good day!