A few weeks ago, I drove to Austin for the weekend to attend a Happy Hour Live event (one of my favorite podcasts) with a few of my best friends. The night included Noonday jewelry, guacamole salsa, and an interview with one of my favorite writers, Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama Blog, whose launch team I just happened to be on.
As expected, the evening was awesome. But honestly, they could have just laid out a huge pallet and told us to hang out/nap and I would’ve paid all the moneys for it. Just hanging out with my best friends sans kids is so good for my soul. And my kids’ souls, truth be told.
So when the event was over and lines began to form to meet the featured speakers, my friends thought I needed to go introduce myself to Melanie Shankle because being on Melanie Shankle’s launch team probably means Melanie Shankle wants to be my best friend. So I waited around for a while until the line went down and then hopped in just as everyone was finishing clean up duties.
I walked up having not rehearsed anything I was going to say (#introvertfail) and proceeded to tell her I had applied to be on her launch team because MY MOM LIKES HER.
I never said YOU ARE CRAZY TALENTED AND MAKE ME PEE MY PANTS WHEN I READ YOUR STUFF AND I JUST FINISHED YOUR LATEST BOOK AND LOVED IT SO MUCH. Instead, I told her my mom had always read her blog and talked about her so “I thought my mom would think it was cool if I was on your launch team.”
So basically I used all my best compliments on her and made her day.
Like, this is why I am a writer. Because I don’t know how to talk.
Regardless, she was precious and laughed and told me she loves my mom (Yay, Mom!). We even took a picture together “so I can show my mom.” You guys. I don’t have social skills.
We left that evening, and all six of us agreed that Melanie was our favorite of all the speakers. She was down-to-earth and hilarious — two of my very favorite things.
However, if I could go back and re-introduce myself to her, I’d probably revise the script a bit.
I’d make sure she knew her stuff makes me laugh as hard as the first time I saw Anchorman (which was really hard, BTW). I’d tell her I just finished her latest book, Church of the Small Things, and cried the last two chapters like all three of my babies because it was like she was speaking to my soul. I’d try not to get too deep on our first encounter, but casually insert that I too struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough and not making a big enough impact. I’d tell her I also have “all these feelings of being inadequate and questioning why things happen the way they do and wondering why I wasn’t good enough for this or that.” I’d tell her her words mattered to me.
And then I’d make sure to slip in that she has a rare combination of wisdom and approachability that makes me want to stalk her until she realizes we are MFEO and I just might be the Amy Poehler to her Tina Fey.
Last thing I’d say is that my mom loves her. Because that’s also true.
But I wouldn’t lead with that.
I tell you all this to say, if you’re looking for a hilarious read that regularly drops well-packaged truth bombs, start here. And don’t forget to sign up for the FREE online bible study that goes along with the book.
Until then, I’ll just be over here chatting with my mom about how much we love Melanie. The both of us.