Authors Being Awesome: Jennifer Weiner Edition

20 Apr

Imagine that you finally have the opportunity to meet one of your idols. Author, actor, singer, whoever. What would you do? I’d totally freak out. I’m thinking something in the style of a screaming teenage girl at a 1960s Beatles concert. Or, more likely, I’d be so paralyzed with anxiety I’d simply creepily gawk at them from 200 yards away.

Want to know what Jennifer Weiner, author of some really wonderful women’s fiction (In Her ShoesGood In Bed), did when meeting one of her idols?  The story starts with her getting drunk and ends with her talking to him about penises. For real.

Weiner had dinner with an author she absolutely loves, Jeffrey Eugenides, after she did a reading at Princeton a few years ago. He was teaching on the faculty at the time. She was terrified of talking to him at first, but thanks to over indulging in some liquid courage, she worked up the nerve to talk to him. With spectacular results.  And then she wrote about it on her blog in the wonderfully self deprecating, charming way that only she can do.

“I had a glass. Then another. Then a third, putting me two and a half glasses over my limit (I’m not much of a drinker). Finally, I touched his forearm and said (or possibly slurred) “I loooooved MIDDLESEX.”

He smiled politely. “Thank you.”

I bared my purplish-stained teeth at him in a grin that was meant to be friendly but probably looked feral.

“I read it right after it came out. Right after my first daughter was born.”

This factoid was greeted with another polite smile. Please, said the look on his face, please let the poet start talking to me again. But I was undeterred. (Also, possibly, drunk).

“And, you know, even though I’d had amnio, and I knew she was a girl, I made the doctor look extra-close to be sure.” (MIDDLESEX readers will remember that much of the book’s plot hinges on an aged pediatrician’s failure to properly recognize male genitalia when presented with it. “Because,” I concluded triumphantly, in a whisper that could probably be heard in West Windsor, “nobody wants to be the mom who missed the penis!”

At that point, Jeffrey Eugenides was looking at me with an expression on his face that could only be characterized as unmitigated horror, with a soupçon of disgust. I took another gulp from my wineglass.

“Oh, c’mon,” I said. “I can’t be the only mom who’s ever done that!”

Yes, said the look on Jeffrey Eugenides’ face. Yes, you can.”

Source (thanks to Jezebel for the tip).

Authors…they’re just like us! You can check out more of her lovely blog here.


2 Responses to “Authors Being Awesome: Jennifer Weiner Edition”

  1. mollyspring April 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    One of my favorite authors lives in my hometown, and I often see her at the coop grocery after working out at my gym. I’ll say “oh doesn’t that asparagus look divine?” and she’ll agree and smile but somehow I can never bring myself to say “I love you’re writing and hope to publish something as half as good as your book someday!” but it’s just hard to transition from produce to fangirling without looking like a crazy person, especially when I’m sweaty and wearing yoga pants. Though I’d probably be like Jennifer if I ever ran into a favorite author at the bar!

    Thanks for sharing this fun story.

    • HelloKatieO April 21, 2012 at 1:52 am #

      Ahaha I feel your pain. You should just go for it! I’m sure it makes her happy to hear it.

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