I just finished up the tour for LIFE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES and thought I’d tell you a little bit about it.
First of all, if you came to see me, thank you! Thank you so much! What an honor and thrill it is that you spent your time listening to me and getting a book. I never, ever take that for granted, and I so appreciate you! Truly. Thank you. I’ll stop now (but thank you!).
O’Hare is one of my favorite airports. I wandered around, wondering if I wanted to eat something, and saw a sign for a yoga room. A yoga room? Obviously, I had to investigate, and there it was, a tiny little room with a mirror (no need, O’Hare, okay? We all know how flexible we are or aren’t). I went in, since I had time to spare, parked, my bags, turned off my phone and did a little stretching. Next to me was a young man who had to be part snake, because he was doing all sorts of joint-defying poses. Me, I excel at corpse pose. Still, it was nice to do something different.
Part of LIFE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES is set in Downers Grove, Illinois, because I fell in love with that town in tours past. It was so nice to be back! Snug houses, lots of little bungalows like the type Pop owns in the book. The town is the type of place that seems to welcome people from all walks. Kansas City seems like a lovely place to live. Good trick-or-treating neighborhoods, pretty gardens, lots of barbeque. Michigan looks a lot like Connecticut, strangely…pastoral and calm, at least in the parts I saw. Houston was so humid my glasses steamed up, but the food was amazing, and I got to see my friend Heidi (this book is dedicated to her!) and her lovely daughter, Dylan. As you can see, we all wore stripes that day!
On airplanes, I always look around before sitting and see where the kids are, in case we go down. This is so I can use my body as a human shield and save the little ones. I envision my funeral—it’s beautiful, FYI—and settle in to play solitaire or read before takeoff. I can’t sleep on planes. I might watch a movie or show on the free Wi-Fi. To wit, I’ve never had so much as mild turbulence, but on one recent flight, a bunch of alarms went off, causing me to text my husband with messages of love for him and the kids, as well as some heart and bunny emojis. The captain came on and apologized eventually; someone had hit the wrong button (so he said. I was still ready to save lives.)
I like to talk to people on airplanes and in airports, and always make friends with my driver. One young man who drove me from O’Hare to my hotel was shocked when I said I loved airports. “Me too!” he exclaimed. “I want to be a pilot someday!” People love to share their stories to an interested party, and I have a friendly face. It’s part of my job, listening to stories of people’s lives, jobs, marriages, losses. The act of talking to a stranger is becoming more rare, since we all have phones now. I did see a young man walk into a pillar because he was staring at his phone. It was deeply satisfying, I won’t lie. I did ask him if he was okay. I’m a mom, after all.
As I write this, snug in a blanket on my porch, since the weather had turned, book tour seems far off. It’s very quiet here, just the birds and the occasional plane overhead. I’m not wearing makeup, and I’m in my pajamas, my good doggy at my side, McIrish reading the Times. Book tour was fun and fantastic, but there really is no place like home.