Awk-Ward! More Tales from RT2014

As most of you have noticed, I’ve been very lax in my blogging recently. I’d love to say that’s because I’m this close to finishing Passions of a Gentleman, but alas, I am not. Instead, I’ve been taking a little time off of my writing to be there for a friend in need.

That said, I have a few more RT stories to share! All of these have one common theme: they’re awkward. Consider yourself warned.

1. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but in case I haven’t, I’m not a hugger. I know, that is SO strange considering I write romance novels, but yeah, I’m not a touchy-feely kind of gal. Of course I’ll hug readers when they request it, but overall I’m not the kind to initiate hugging or close touching. As you might guess, I’m not a fan of crowded elevators. They make my blood race, so in short RT is a little nerve-wracking for me just for the elevator rides alone. So on Friday when I was in the elevator and the door opened and a group of people got in, putting about 10-12 people in less than five square feet of space, I went into what I call elevator mode. This is where I just hold my breath, clasp my hands together and stand up as straight as I can so I’m not touching anyone and nobody is touching me. Well, imagine my surprise when I hear what appears to be a slight squeal followed by the words, “We’re in the elevator with Rose Gordon and I’m trying not to stare!” from a young lady who is directly in front of me staring quite intently at her feet!

Shocked anyone even recognized me, all of my defenses fled and I of course greeted her and when she mentioned a hug, I can’t remember what I responded but a second later I found myself hugging someone in an elevator!

[As a side note, I do remember promising this young lady I’d bring her a book to my signing at Club RT later that day, but I didn’t see her so if she’d like to contact me, we can work it out. I do remember her first name, but I won’t post it here since that’s the only way I can identify her.]

2. I didn’t participate in the large book fair this year. I’ve done those huge signings before and have trouble with them so I wanted to walk around and help any of my friends who might need help or just to show support. While waiting in the longest line in the world to be able to go into the book fair, I looked at the map of where everyone would be located and started putting checkmarks by anyone who I knew or even just knew OF and wanted to make a point to see. As I was scanning the list one name stood out to me and created another blood bubbling moment. Unfortunately, sometimes authors aren’t always nice to other authors and this particular one had stooped to a low I’d never seen before with something she did to one of my books (sorry, I can’t give details). As it would happen, we’d never actually met before or talked online, and every time I’ve seen her name these past two years it’s kind of put a sour taste in my mouth. In truth, it was controlling me. We had 50+ mutual Facebook friends and every time she’d comment on something someone posted, I suddenly felt like I couldn’t. It was controlling me in a weird way. So I had a decision to make: let just the mere sight of her name fill me with dread and distaste and keep me from chatting with my friends on FB and cower in the corner when we were in the same room together which was inevitable since we both show no signs of bowing out of writing anytime soon OR put it behind me.

I chose the latter.

After going to see everyone on my list I wanted to, I sucked it up, walked straight up to her table, grinned and said, “Congratulations on your latest book and all of your success. I’ve seen your books floating around the charts with mine and I just wanted to come introduce myself–” I thrust my hand out for her and let her take it, then said– “I’m Rose Gordon.”

A few more words were exchanged, but I can’t write them for fear of incriminating this person (I’m safe enough with what I already have because I had a similar speech with about 5-6 people other people who I introduced myself to). However, at that moment when I said who I was, something changed. Her grip on my hand tightened, something lit in her eyes–she knew–and a strange sense of peace and indifference came over me. Now, a month later, I can proudly say that my pulse doesn’t race and irritation doesn’t bubble inside of me when I see her name. Nothing. I can comment on FB without caring that she’s going to see me. Truly, I had nothing to hide before, but I’d still been uncomfortable–almost like I was so overcome with the shame and embarrassment that she’d tried to inflict on me previously that I couldn’t. And now? Now it’s not there.

3. With only a day left in NOLA, I decided I needed to go get my husband and kids some trinkets. Just as we went into this one store, my phone rang. It was Bob, who never calls me, so thinking there is something wrong, I answer it immediately.

Apparently, he just wanted to chat…

So while he’s chatting about something, I’m mindlessly walking around the store, not really paying attention to what I picked up or looked at. Then suddenly I hear giggling… (And not from my husband.) Casually, I try to look around the room to see what’s so funny that I’m missing out on and still giggles continue in one ear while my husband chats in the other. Finally, I shrugged and turned back to whatever thing I’d picked up earlier…and that’s when it all clicked. I looked down at what I was holding and gasped in horror, and yet, my hand wouldn’t release what appeared to be a Mardi Gras necklace with seven large pieces of rubber shaped like male genitalia (including some black squiggly marks on the whirligigs) and here I was holding the center phallus!

When I gathered my wits enough to know what I was touching, I dropped the staff and walked off, trying to pretend I hadn’t just been spotted with such an…interesting find. I immediately got off the phone so I A. wouldn’t unintentionally do the same thing again and B. so I could go back and snap a picture of it. Unfortunately, but the time I got back over to where it was, there was a little trio of teenagers snickering around it so I just left.


Once again, we’re wall human–even me. I get nervous in large groups or crowded spaces; I have feelings that can be shattered and have to overcome my own fears; and well I do embarrassing things like get caught holding a rubber tallywag while in a gift shop. I’m human, too!

5 thoughts on “Awk-Ward! More Tales from RT2014”

  1. Well, you were talking to your husband when you were holding that thing, so it’s not all bad. 🙂 And leave it to a bunch of teenagers to giggle like that. (Having been the exact same way as a teenager, I know why they giggled. I also know why the adults would look over at me and my friends and give the eye roll.)

    You probably won’t believe it since I initiated the hug with you in Arizona, but it takes a lot for me to do that. I only got used to greeting women that way because of church and other conferences. It seems that everyone wants a hug. My style is more to wave. So now it’s a force of habit, but I only do it in those settings. I don’t do it anywhere else. Usually, I’m the person who is stepping away from someone who is too close to me in line. I prefer my personal space.

    As for the author, your method for dealing with it was best. Sometimes all you can do is smile, say hi, and go on to the next table. I’m glad it led to a feeling of peace. I have had to engage with a couple authors online who I knew weren’t speaking so nicely about me “behind my back” (the internet is a small place and it’s hard to hide anything). I just acted cordial and answered their question then went on my way. It’s definitely nerve wracking at the time, but later on, it’s freeing.

  2. I tried not to hug you in Arizona, but I messed up that last time. LOL. Thanks for allowing it. I’m just so used to everyone else doing it. I will say, I’m very picky about WHO I hug. There are just some people who give me the heebie-jeebies for some reason.

    I really can’t understand all the nastiness between authors. It’s just senseless and usually stems from jealously. I can’t help but wonder what this person said or did concerning one of your books. In the same situation, I don’t know how I would feel or react. I almost want to say I would ask them point blank why they would do such a thing. But I’m just not sure. I don’t like confrontation, but at the same time, I like to get things out in the open and over with.

  3. Thank you again for sharing your adventures and your triumphs with all of us! Isn’t wonderful when a trauma is overcome and peace sets in? Congratulations!

    I will have to remember, when we finally meet face to face, NOT to hug you! 😀 While I like my personal space hugging is getting easier as I get older. Although I can relate to your “elevator mode.” I hope your fan does get in touch with you!

    Hope your friend’s issue is working itself out and I am sure they appreciate your help and time! have a wonderful summer and enjoy your kiddos!

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