Sunday’s usually start with breakfast at a diner. Any diner. It’s not just bacon and eggs. It’s breakfast, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sudoku, and Lisa Scottoline’s column, Chick Wit. This is our end-the-weekend ritual that throws me for a loop when it gets interrupted by, well, anything. Nothing got in the way this morning, and I was happy as a pig in, well, happy, when Jeff remembers that Lisa Scottoline is doing a book signing at Barnes and Nobel in Cherry Hill. This is, what, a few miles down the road. So after egg beaters, deep fried home fries and toast (the egg beaters balance out the deep fried home fries, in my mind) we head to the bookstore to see a book signing. Sunday with a twist.
I am beside myself, mostly because I am star struck, and Lisa is a star, and I love her books, and I am on cloud 9.
So Jeff and I get there at 12:00 for a 1pm signing. Little did I know that others had gotten there at 10:00, or so they said, and we had to stand off to the side and wait. That’s ok. It’s Lisa Scottoline. I can wait. So we wait. Thank goodness for my iPhone. And we wait. And after playing several games of Words with Friends and Free Cell, and hoping that I won’t need a bathroom, Jeff spots her, and her daughter, Francesca. They make their way through the crowd, Lisa, Francesca, and their dogs, and I can’t take my eyes off of them. I realize that I am a little jealous, as well as star struck, and I wish it was me up there, hawking MY book and telling My jokes.
Who am I to be jealous? What have I written? I’ve started about a hundred stories and have gotten no further than chapter one. Wrote some poems and now I can’t even find them. Still. Jealous.
So I listen to them doing what they do. Talking and laughing and making everyone else laugh and I think, “Man, they are so normal.”
I think, “If we lived in the same neighborhood, Lisa and I would be friends.” I really believe that. She is funny, and fun. Witty and hilarious. Personable and real. I loved her. And Francesca? Hel-loooo. So pretty and smart and funny and real. That apple didn’t fall far from that tree.
When it was all over and it was time for the signing, we had to wait – again. That’s ok. It’s Lisa Scottoline. I can wait. So, wait we did. Again. And we waited and waited and finally, it was our turn. I hugged Lisa, and she signed my copy of “Best Friends, Occasional Enemies” and Francesca told me that my name was one of her mom’s favorites, and I thought I would lose my voice. But, since that’s never happened and probably never will, I yammered on a little about one thing and another: being Italian, having a mother that also loves Lisa, blah, blah, blah and then it was time to move on. I handed this nice young lady my iPhone and asked her to take our picture. Lisa said to give my mom her best, she thanked us for being so patient, and move on we did. But not before I told myself, “Yes, Lisa and I, another world, another time, friends.”
Thinking back on it, I realize, they probably make everyone feel that way. But I like to think Lisa and I could have been friends. Thanks, girls. For making it real.