Okay, this is a petty sort of triumph, but I'm going to wallow in it because darnit, one must take one's triumphs where one finds them.
A few months ago, I gushed about the fact that Perfectly Revolting happened to be right next to Ayelet Waldman's Red Hook Road in Laurel Books, my favorite local bookstore. On the "these books are cool, you should read them, and they're alphabetized by title" shelf. Such an ego boost, since I'd been listening to Ayelet on NPR and admiring her success at speaking her truths and telling her stories, controversial as they may be.
Well. TODAY. My book is back on the memoir shelf and guess what, it's right next to Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs! He's her husband, in case you didn't know. They live just up the road from me and Dave, in Berkeley, a more erudite, more granola, more There There city than sunny Oakland. They're like a magnified, creatively successful version of us.
Ayelet writes and speaks candidly and craftily about abortion—whereas my bold, groundbreaking novel on the subject sits unsettled and unsure of itself in a box in my basement. Michael tells all in engaging, charming essays about life in his hip New York Times bestseller—whereas Dave tells all in engaging, charming essays about life in his unedited blog with a readership of about ten. They have four kids, we have one. Their kids go to a utopian private school with an amazing playground. Ours has always had plenty of blacktop at his public schools.
I know this because last Sunday I went to that cool private school, where the East Bay Mini-Maker Faire bloomed in a labrynth of wonders—full-sized Lego Jeeps, atomic earrings made by 6th graders, a guy playing a spam-o-phone... and drew COMICS with and MET Michael Chabon!
Actually, I accosted him after a wonderful, laughter-filled class of kids and adults jamming on a super-hero named Jack O'Lantern (see my version of his sidekick, Pumpkin Pie), and asked him to sign Dave's copy of his book. He was happy to, but then I started blibbering on about how Dave is his doppelganger and has a school picture exactly like the one on the cover and Jean Shepard and bla bla bla, I realized just what I was doing: acting like a stupid schoolgirl with a professional crush.
Then I tried to switch gears and talk to him like the up n' up Oakland Parent that I am and asked him about the ages of his kids. And how old is the youngest? So they all go to one school, how wonderful and convenient is that? Oh, your oldest is in high school? A private high school? In San Francisco? What's the name of the private San Francisco high school your oldest goes to? What is it again? I didn't catch that... can you repeat it? One more time? I realized Magnificent Michael was probably starting to feel like I was stalking him. I let him excuse himself to go find his family— although what I really wanted was for him to take me along and introduce me, his new friend from across the tracks, but, ya know.... I'm not. He doesn't know anything about me. I'm just another fan of the Waldman/Chabons.
And the worst kind of fan, too. Truth is, I haven't even read their books yet. Even though they do rub covers with mine. Twinkle, twinkle, and la-dee-dah.
Causes Kristen Caven Supports
350.org, IdleFreeOakland.org, Public Education, Public Radio, Department of Peace (ThePeaceAlliance.org), Planned Parenthood, Room to Read.