One thing I dreamed about when I went to Comic Con was seeing Patrick Rothfuss again. I had met him the previous year and it was thrilling (you can read about that encounter here). He is afterall, one of my favorite authors. To me authors are one million times sexier than actors or silly idols. They create worlds and scenarios. They create the characters that people view as sexy. That is so much sexier than someone merely acting out the part created for them. Give me the creator over the vessel any day. And I am enamored with smart men.
I have to insert here, that my husband is the smartest man I know. Thankfully, that sentence is true. He has won trivia contests and it was his cocky brain that first attracted me to him.
With that said, it is quite okay for me to now say I have a crush on Patrick Rothfuss’s brilliant brain.
So, when I saw that Patrick Rothfuss was doing signings on a day we were at Comic Con, I was excited.
The first problem was that I had broken out in a ginormous pimple right between my eyes the night before. I could have put a blindfold over my real eyes and told people my costume was a cyclops and they would have believed me.
The other problem was that it started at 5:30 and ended at 6:30. With kids in tow, that is generally much later than we stay at the convention. It is just too much for them. But I selfishly convinced my family to let me wait in line and they went back to the convention floor to explore the goods there.
My pimple and I got in line at 5:00. It was a multi-author signing panel. My husband wanted me to get Robin Hobb’s autograph in addition to me obtaining Patrick Rothfuss’s signature.
At 6:20, I was almost to the autograph table. I still had to purchase the two books I needed to have signed before I could get them autographed. I have so many items in my house I could have had him sign, but I had been unsure if my family obligations would allow this signing to happen. I was convinced before we had gotten to Comic Con that it would not work out. I was unprepared. But with good reason. As everyone’s own reasons always are.
Patrick Rothfuss came out from behind the long table (he was at the very end) and asked those of us still in line if any of us were waiting for him. There were some of us close to the front that were. But I told him I did not have my book yet for him to sign. He signed my convention pass instead. Then I asked him if he would still be there in time for me to purchase my book.
He was not sure.
This is when the manic set in.
It was not pretty.
Blame it on a long day at the convention.
Blame it on hormones.
Or my third eye.
But always, always blame it on my crazy.
I began to freak out.
When this happens, some part of my brain ceases to get oxygen. You might not believe me, but I have proof of this later. I start breathing harder. I start to sweat. My eyes bug out (just the two of them) and I begin to speak quickly.
At 6:30, he generously said he would wait for me to get the book I needed so he could sign it (I am sure he was waiting for other folks as well. At the time, though, it seemed as if all of the pressure was on me). He also stated he was late for two different bookings.
You would think that knowing he was going to autograph my book for me would calm me down. Make me happy. Instead it further closed the crank to the sanity valve in my head as I stressed about how quickly I could get the book purchased. My common sense drowned. And my absurdity floated to the surface in the clogged pool of thoughts that swirled in my head. How was I going to get my husband’s book signed by the author in the middle of the table if Patrick Rothfuss was waiting for me at the end? How much time did I have?
He was late!
And this was not a cute little white rabbit with a broken stop watch.
This was an important author.
And above all, I was a fan that did not want to disappoint him.
I will warn you, the story goes down as quickly as my sanity from this point forth.
I bought the two books.
I waited in line. I saw that he was signing other people’s items so I thought I had time to get the book signed by another author that had contributed to the book. That author opened the book and said to me, “It’s all ready signed!”
My dam containing Irrational Behavior cracked under the pressure of my congested emotions.
Patrick Rothfuss was waiting for me to purchase a book so he could sign a book that was all ready signed by him! I wanted to throw up. I had simply taken the book that the people in charge of the signing had handed me. Still, I felt like a fool. I did not know what to do. There were people behind me in line waiting to purchase books. Time was a wasting. So, I asked the author to please just personalize it to me. He spelled my name with a “y” at the end. At this point it seemed fitting. “Y Jenni Y?”
Patrick Rothfuss looked up. I was the jerk getting other autographs as he waited for me. I flew into a frenzy that only I know how to do.
I asked the sweet girl who was part of the sweetest couple from Idaho behind me if she could get my book my husband wanted signed for me signed by that author so I could get Patrick Rothfuss to autograph the all-ready-autographed-book.
She looked confused and shocked that I would make that request, but she did it. Because she was nicer than me. And her darn sanity valve had not sealed itself shut.
I made my way to Patrick Rothfuss. I nervously clutched the book in my hands. I could not believe I was going to ask him to sign a book he had all ready signed when he was being so sweet and generous with his time.
But I did.
He did not say anything about it all ready being signed. Another person nicer than me. I asked him to personalize it to my husband and myself.
And he did.
I asked if he would take a picture with me.
He said, “If you can find someone and teach them how to use your camera on your phone.”
I replied like a maniac idiot, “I carried a watermelon!”
Not really. What I actually muttered was, “I don’t even know how to use my phone!”
This is untrue. Just a few hours earlier I had taught my son how to use it, but at that moment all knowledge of my device was gone.
My device that was pink.
This did not make me appear smarter, despite the esteem usually associated with those two words.
Behind me was that poor man who was part of the poor couple who had poorly chosen to get behind me in line. Earlier, before my meltdown, I had asked him if he would take my picture with Patrick Rothfuss when we were conversing about Comic Con and life, so this was not out of the blue.
But when I went to turn my camera on, my shaking hands could not figure out how to turn it from video to camera.
I do not even know why it was set to video in the first place.
I took this video (And no, I was not purposefully aiming for his crotch. I am not that
And this video as I fumbled with the buttons.
At this point you might have noticed that clicking those buttons is not working out for you. That is because it is just a picture of the video. Do you think the girl who could not figure out how to take a picture could figure out how to import a video onto this post?
You are right.
Finally I swiped it the right way and got it to the camera setting. I handed the phone to the kind young man and got behind Patrick Rothfuss. I did not want to appear too big in the photo so I kind of slouched down.
Which is why Patrick Rothfuss looks regal and I look like a weird lurking hobbit behind him.
You might assume that this would be the end of the story, but you would be wrong. Just then the nice wife of the kind man walked up to me to hand me my book that she had gotten autographed for my husband (what a strange train). My fumbling fingers dropped the book. My change from my purchases (which I am now convinced totaled 98 cents in pennies. Not 99 cents that would just be unrealistic) that I had been furiously clutching in my sweaty palms spilled everywhere.
I dropped to the floor and began to crawl around as I gathered it up. Stranger’s crotches were nestled next to my head as I clawed at the ground. Thankfully my third eye kept them at bay. I could not find my dignity. I do not know where it fell.
Maybe that valve was shut off long ago.
Either way, I slunk away from that autograph table feeling like the world’s biggest fool.
Now, did you notice the worst thing in those pictures? The thing that makes this story ironic? The thing that once my pipes loosened in my head again and I could indeed breathe, I noticed right away.
You all ready saw it didn’t you?
Yep. His shirt. Patrick Rothfuss’s shirt.
It says, “Think. It’s not illegal yet.”
I should have
not been arrested.
My husband howled with laughter when he heard the story and saw that shirt.
When I remorsefully retold my story to my son, he patted my back.
He decided to impart some of his wisdom to make me feel better. I am not so sure it worked.
“Don’t be sad, Mom,” he said. “It’s not your fault. It’s your brain’s.”
Now that should be on a t-shirt.