Obviously, this is another RT story.
Because everything from last week turned into a continuous blur, I can’t really separate the events by the days, so I think I’ll group things together this way.
On my first night in NOLA, my roommate and I decided to walk around the block to find a restaurant to eat at. We found one. I can’t remember the name of it, however, the waiter, I’ll never forget.
When we were first shown to the table, it was quite clear the table was way too close to the table next to it so without thinking it would be a problem we moved the table. The waiter (not the host, but the waiter) who had already come to check on us stood behind her with a horrified expression–he was even reaching for the table, but before he could suggest we move it back as his open mouth would indicate, I plopped down. The food was good–even with the waiter’s infused thoughts on hot sauce. As it would happen, he’s a Louisiana native who hates hot sauce, particular tobacco sauce–except on spinach and artichoke dip… (Yes, I was a little miffed at this, too.) Now, being born in Louisiana, myself, I was in shock. I’d never met a native who didn’t love hot sauce. Weird. During the meal, he came about every 3-5 minutes to ask how it was and try to take something. When he wasn’t at the table, he’d wait with his hands behind his back just a few feet away. Apparently, he likes to be thorough. He did have pretty blue eyes though… (Only kidding about that last part. Sort of. But he was definitely watching us.)
On the way back to the hotel we witnessed our first of three lovers’ spats. But I’ll get back to that later…
While there I got to play the witness to three lovers’ spats and instead of giving them in chronological order, I think I’d rather rate them from not-so-great to quite entertaining.
3. While walking down the street, we noticed a car that pulled up and parked on the side of the road. Before it even completely stopped, the door flew open and the woman started yelling, “This is where you want me to get out?” (It was quite loud because I wasn’t right there for this one, I was still about two or three buildings down.) The guy must have said yes, because she climbed out, then bent down and put her head back into the car and started railing at him again. I’m honestly not sure what she was so upset about or saying, but I’m assuming she wasn’t happy because her voice got louder and grew more shrill. Just as we got up to them and went to walk around the spectacle she made of her self by being half out of the open car door, she stood up, yelled more and slammed the door. Lovely.
2. By the end of the week I was on the look-out for these little jewels and wasn’t disappointed when about 10 feet in front of the hotel entrance this guy turned around toward his girl, threw his hands in the air and yelled, “What do you want me to do? What could I possibly do to make you happy?” While this wasn’t quite the most amusing of the three, it totally caught me off-guard because it was different than the other two since it was the guy who was having an outburst. The woman’s answer? “Nothing. You can’t make me happy.” Ouch!
1. First night, returning to the hotel, love was in the air… But just not for the man who’d bought his girl what appeared to be a Wal-Mart bouquet of brightly dyed carnations. Apparently, she wasn’t so impressed with the flowers because she started yelling and using a word that starts with an “F” and that was coined as an acronym to be yelled at or stamped on those who’d been tried and punished for crimes involving sexuality (for having knowledge of something they shouldn’t…) My assumption is that he didn’t any of that “knowledge” later that evening–at least not from her. Not only was she yelling at the man using such an indelicate word, she began to hit the guy with her flowers over and over as petals flew away as she yelled, “Get the (cough, cough) away!” “Leave me the….alone!” “(Naughty word) you!” Over and over, she kept shouting and beating the man with the flowers he’d given her, sending a spray of orange, green and blue petals through the air.
While there was so much excitement outside of the hotel, there was also some inside the hotel in the form of book thievery!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I try to always be on my best behavior while at these conferences (and at home). I do vow to live on the straight and narrow, but I *might* have been part of the book thievery…
I’ll admit my part in this first, but I will try to justify my action and you all can be the judge and jury of if I was within my rights or if I should have just walked on by.
Before I went, I had 2,400 copies of Secrets of a Viscount sent to be put into all of the registration bags. Sending books to conferences isn’t anything new, plenty of authors do this and attendees, myself included, love to get the registration bags and see what’s inside. The thing is, not everyone is going to like every book and I totally understand this. Many times when going to these events people will casually “misplace” or “forget” books they’re not going to read but maybe someone else would enjoy. I even went to one conference where there was actually a table where people could “leave one and take one”. So, I mentally prepared myself for the prospect that I could find a few of my books on empty tables or chairs, on the floor with not a person in sight, in the bathroom, etc. On Wednesday, it happened. Like the hawk I aspire to be, I spotted little haphazard pile of books on a bench near the hotel restaurant. I narrowed my gaze to see if I could make out the covers from so far away and as I got closer, I noticed one of them was a book that featured a woman wearing a poofy blue dress on the front with gold writing! Naturally, I picked up my pace and made my way toward the bench and took a seat on the one next to it and peeked over at the book. Nobody was in sight so obviously, the person who’d abandoned my baby didn’t want it, so I…so I…I reached over, plucked it up and shoved it into my tote! Releasing a deep breath, I looked around the room, praying nobody had seen me take the book! I did later pay it forward, however, and gave it to the “bouncer”, which was a lady, at the House of Jazz who was checking off names for the Amazon Author’s Party.
On a side note, that was the only copy of my book I found in such a manner. Score!
The second incident of book stealing I witnessed didn’t involve me. Well, it did, but I wasn’t the one taking the book! In a workshop I won a book and was told to come up and claim it. When I arrived, the author was signing it, so because there were like six authors up at that table (panel) who were each giving away a prize, I moved off to the side so she could finish. A moment later, when she looked up, someone else stepped right up and took the book that was meant for me! I was kind of shocked, but more embarrassed because what the heck do I say then? Obviously, I can’t say, “Excuse me, that was my prize!” Nor could I say anything to the author who’d just made an innocent mistake, but at the same time I was standing up in front of the room and had to walk back to my seat empty-handed with people staring at me like, “Why the devil did you go up?” It was definitely one of those “awkward moments” we’d all like to avoid. But it’s totally funny now.
More stories coming soon!