First of all, I must be honest. This blog is titled Two Ballsy Chicks but it is my friend Sandy, aka my publisher, who really has the cojones.
The other day we heard that Delia Ephron, Nora’s sister, was having a book reading at a country club in Boynton Beach. We decided she would love my book The Reverse Commute so we called the JCC, the Jewish Community Center, to find out how to get tickets to the event they were hosting. They told us it was sold out. This did not deter us. A mild inconvenience.
Tuesday morning, bright and early, we got dolled up. Sandy cannot believe how the red lipstick I wore for my Thelma and Louise road trip photo op completely transformed me. That day, I was wearing Mary Jane’s OPI red lipstick called I am Not a Waitress. We’re trying to figure out where to buy it, but in the meantime we agreed on Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow. Sandy said it was a classic red. I felt a little strange wearing it at nine in the morning.
She decided we definitely needed to take her husband’s BMW on this mission. As we pulled up to the entrance with the guarded gate, we ran through several scenarios. Would he ask for our tickets? Our ID’s? Were we playing golf or tennis? Who knew in this post 9/11 world. We might even have to take our shoes off. As we pulled up to the window, he asked Sandy her name, wrote it on a clipboard, and pushed the button to open the gate. We were in.
The main lobby of the country club was lined withs tables displaying dozens of name tags. Of course our names weren’t there. We needed a Plan B to get past the yentas. For those of you not familiar with Yiddish words, a yenta is an old gossip. A meddlesome busybody. We don’t use this word derogatorily. As Sandy says, “all women are yentas. I consider myself a yenta.”
Sandy sat on one of the sofas in the lobby and I wandered around, too nervous to sit still. I was beginning to think this mission was ill advised. This is when my balls began to shrivel a bit. I passed the table where Delia Ephron’s latest book, The Lion Is In, was on display and came up with the idea we should photo bomb my book next to Ms. Ephron’s. I scurried over to tell Sandy and she totally agreed. She could take the picture with her IPad.
Suddenly someone who looked like she could be Delia Ephron’s assistant was standing at the table, rearranging the display. On to Plan C. I joined Sandy on the couch and casually began tweeting, thinking this would be a good time to catch up on my Twitter obligations. A yenta approached us.
“Are you here for the book reading?” she asked.
“Well, we couldn’t get tickets, but my friend said she might have a couple of extras so we’re waiting for her.” Sandy is very good at improvising off the cuff. I was staring down at my IPhone, tweeting.
“What is your friend”s name?”
“I’ll go check,” the lady from the JCC said and headed to the desk with the name tags.
“I think we should go. I’m ready to abort the mission,” I said. Coward that I am.
She peered over her reading glasses at me, then back down at her IPad, ignoring my lack of courage. She drove here, and God damn it, she was determined to get my book to Delia Ephron. After all, she was my publisher.
The woman returned and said she was sorry, there was no Marcy Kaplan on the list, and the event was completely sold out. We thanked her politely. I got up to go outside. Sandy didn’t follow me. I casually wandered around the entrance for ten minutes, hoping I didn’t look like someone who was up to no good. Suddenly Sandy came out, laughing and cackling.
“Well, you gave up too easily,” she said. “I got an envelope with the country club logo on it from a woman who works here. I told her I had a gift for Delia Ephron, put the book in the envelope, gave it to the head yenta and hopefully she’ll get it.”
We congratulated ourselves on a mission accomplished, although I’m feeling a bit like George W. Bush. Not a very familiar feeling for me. But seriously, I’m not sure what this jaunt of ours really accomplished. Delia Ephron, the famous screenwriter and novelist, may or may not get my book. She is a legacy author with a big time publisher. She just wrote a book about three women on a road trip who meet up with a lion at an abandoned bar on a rural highway in North Carolina.
I, on the other hand, am an indie author with a publisher who is actually one of my best friends. I wrote a book loosely based on my life and marriage, much like Delia’s sister, Nora, who wrote the novel Heartburn, based on her life and marriage, but not quite. I recently quit my job, sold my house and moved to Florida, taking a road trip with another best friend of mine, Mary Jane. We stopped at an abandoned gas station on a highway in North Carolina but didn’t meet a lion, then ran out of gas in the rural town of Wade, North Carolina, where we just made it to the pump before the car died and bought lottery tickets but didn’t win any money.
We haven’t heard from Delia yet, but we know she is on a book tour. We envision her reading The Reverse Commute in an airport somewhere in the snowy midwest where her flight may be delayed. Check back here at my blog for further updates. I will be sure to let you know if and when we hear from her.