Booksigning at Boston University Barnes & Noble
I woke up at 4:30 am that morning. I wanted to be able to dress nice, gather my things, and hit the road in time to skip the morning traffic and get to Framingham in time to catch an early train to South Station. My goal was to hop on the T from there and get to Barnes & Noble at, or slightly before their opening.
I hit the road a bit later than I would have liked, and had a few complications on the way, but it didn't make me too late.
By the time I got to the bookstore, it was about 9:15 – slightly after they opened. I was pleased to find out that they were taking names on a list, so that the 200 people who arrived first would be guaranteed to meet Tori. When the girl with the clipboard took my name, she said that I was somewhere around number 75. I was relieved and excited that I was on the list. She said that everyone on the list just needed to be back at the store around 4 to receive a wristband.
I had assumed that it would be less organized than this, and that I would have to sit or wander the store for the day. I wasn’t sure if they were going to allow backpacks or anything, so I had only brought a small Barnes & Noble bag with my copy of the book, my camera, and some other things like pens and granola bars.
I wasn’t sure what I should do with my time. I explored the store for a bit (there are five floors there!), then I settled in to a table at the café.
I saw several other people that I was certain were there for Tori. I struck up a conversation with a girl that was crocheting a scarf. She finished it pretty quickly and said that she was going to give it to Tori. Her name is Stacy, and it was great to chat with her. Sitting with her was a guy named Adam, who was really funny and sweet. At the next table over, I met a girl that looked very familiar – probably because she has been to a ton of shows. Her name is Susan, and she joined our conversation, too. Later, a girl named Rebecca showed up and joined our little group. Both she and Susan are from Boston themselves. Rebecca is actually the one who posted the review at the Dent: http://thedent.com/more.php?id=2331_0_1_0_C
We hung out for the day, and it was wonderful to spend all that time chatting with people who felt the same way about Tori and her music. We hung around mostly in the café, but we also went over to Bertucci’s for lunch/dinner.
As the day went on, I was getting more and more nervous about meeting Tori. I bought a couple of blank cards from the store, and chose one to write a letter in. I knew that would be a much more effective way to get my thoughts across.
I didn’t go into a ton of detail, but I tried to explain how much her music has had an impact on my life and rescued me from some really tough times. I joked around about how the weather has some vendetta against me and that was why I had not met her at a meet & greet yet. I repeated a bunch about how words could never truly express what her music has meant to me.
Shortly after 3 pm (after we returned from the restaurant), we decided to head up to the 2nd floor to see if they were handing out wristbands yet. We found that the bookshelves had been rearranged so that there was a path around the perimeter of the floor. A line had already developed there.
Those who were not on the list were asked to allow those who were on the list to move in front of them, as they were the 200 guaranteed signings. I was surprised by how far this moved us up in the line.
We waited patiently in line and met a few new people to chat with. One of them is attending Emerson College, and knew of my boyfriend’s father. It was great to chat with him. Though he never had a class with him, he had heard so much about him through friends that were in the science classes. He said that he had never heard of a professor that cared more about his students. It was wonderful to hear all of this from him. It felt kind of strange because I knew that the next time I would be in Boston was only a few days later, at the memorial for him (Josh’s father) at Emerson.
The student I mentioned above had some trouble with his name being on the list, and they were trying to throw him out of line. There had been some mix-up with the lists (there were several clipboards collecting lists) and his name wasn’t being found. Fortunately, those of us who were around him and knew that he was there early stood up for him, and one of the employees there (also a Toriphile!) was really nice and sneaked him a wristband.
Joel came by to scope out the crowd, and said hello to our little group. We told him that we were going to miss him, and Susan chatted with him for a bit. She later got a great shot of him with his ice coffee (Frappaccino, maybe?). Check it out on the Dent’s page about the signing: http://thedent.com/more.php?id=2331_0_1_0_C
Around 6:20pm, Tori arrived and the signing begun. I tried as best I could to look around the bookshelves while I waited in line, but I’m just too short! I wasn’t able to see her until I was further up in line.
My mind was drawing a blank about what I had wanted to say to her. Between the lack of sleep, the nerves that had been building up, chatting about Josh’s dad, and the amazement that I was finally going to meet Tori for the first time, I was such an overwhelming mix of emotions.
When I got to the front, I must have been glowing. While Susan took her turn with Tori, someone from the store took my things and put them in a basket for me to pick up later (I was relieved that they were doing this, it felt awkward carrying my jacket and so much junk). Smitty, the new bodyguard greeted me, asked how I was, and said that I looked happy.
It was my turn. I gave my card to Joel, who put it in a box where all of her cards and gifts were being collected. I turned to Tori, who took my book, and asked my name. She must have noticed how much I was beaming.
I was so glad that she guided the conversation, because I had become speechless.
“Lauren”, I said quietly (with a huge grin, most likely).
“ ‘Happy Lauren’, huh!” she said with a bit of a giggle.
I laughed, a bit embarrassed, “yeah, definitely. It is so wonderful to finally meet you.”
She asked me if I was a student there. I said no.
She asked what I did (for a living).
This is when I began to babble about random stupid little things like what town I was moving from (as if she’s ever heard of it, lol) and how long my boyfriend I had been together and junk.
SO RIDICULOUS, and SO not what I wanted to say, but I don’t know where my mind was.
Anyway, she congratulated me on my relationship (which is when I realized that I had been babbling) thanked me for being there.
I thanked her.
She gave me a hug and told me that she hoped to see me during the tour. I told her that I definitely would, and stepped aside to retrieve my things and meet up with the group downstairs.
I was in such a daze. I was so incredibly overwhelmed with joy that I had meet her, and annoyance over my silly conversation. I’m so glad that I wrote the card.
I had a glow for the rest of the night and probably for the following week. :)
I couldn’t get any good photos of Tori that day because I am short and we weren’t allowed to take pictures past a certain point in the store (which meant no posing with Tori and such).
Here are a few that Stacy caught (Stacy, if you want me to take them down, just say the word!)
(photo by Stacy McAulay )
(photo by Stacy McAulay )
(photo by Stacy McAulay )
And one great pic of our little group for the day!
From the Left: Stacy, Me, Rebecca, Susan, Adam