It’s the last dance, each beat of the last dance…
I have a Frank Sinatra CD and those words above begin one of my favorite songs on the album, and Ol’ Blue Eyes is crooning in my head as I write this.
Is it really my last dance as a 2009 Debutante? It seems like only yesterday I was playing with my string of pearls, tugging my gloves tight and adjusting my tiara, tapping my foot impatiently for my turn on the floor, seeing as I was the last Deb out.
I think I’m ready to take my bow, though.
I worried there would be a post-dance letdown. When I was a kid, I used to build up important, long-awaited events to such an impossible proportion that sometimes the letdown occurred right in the middle of the fun. I’d count the days, even the hours until a vacation and then I’d be there at the beach with the lake water too cold and sand in my sandwich thinking, well, crap this wasn’t as great as I thought it would be.
I feared this for my book launch. It was the culmination of six years of work, and many years of daydreaming before that. I’d even bought a book launch dress, on clearance last fall, and never wore it until my debut night at my local bookstore Schuler Books and Music.
I walked into Schuler – extremely early, because I’m particular like that – and my heart started pounding at the sight of all those empty chairs. It was a hot, gritty day, the kind that feels like you’re standing under a hair dryer every minute outside. Did no one want to venture to their cars in weather like this? Maybe everyone ran out of time at the last minute…
Then my heart jumped into my throat as I saw a woman stroll casually by with a copy of my book – my book! – in her arms. I ducked behind a shelf in case she knew who I was. I wasn’t ready to be “on” yet.
I wandered the store to distract myself from the empty reading space, and by the time I wandered back, I exhaled. There were people. Enough for a respectable turnout. By the time I started reading, the respectable turnout had become “standing room only,” at least until more chairs were fetched.
The audience held friends old and new, relatives, store book club members, aspiring writers, and teachers who knew me from elementary school and brought photocopied yearbook pages. Afterward, we gathered at Pietro’s down the road and I got more time to talk to people who were proud of me, celebrating with me.
Was there letdown? No, actually, not a bit. Because I had an event the next night, and the night after that. They were each special in their own way. Even my most sparsely attended reading was nice because I posed for a picture with a young lady who wants to be a writer, too. To her, I was a celebrity, someone worth a souvenir photo. I hope I get to come to her book party someday.
Book events are spilling over into the fall, too, and now they feel like part of my job. Fun, but not on par with say, my wedding day, or the birth of my children.
I get a break for most of September and then I’m back at it in October. If you want to keep track of me after I take my bow here at the Ball, you can go to my website’s “Events” page, and even better sign up for my newsletter at the Contact page. You can also friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter. I plan to continue blogging Mondays at Red Room.
In the meantime, as fun as this dance was, I’m ready to curtsy and be seated.
These shoes are killing me.