The other day former male supermodel Yogi Cameron Alborzian visited HarperOne. He was there to meet with Eric Brandt, the editor of his forthcoming book, The Guru In You, and to be shot by videologist Abby Berendt (in the film sense of the verb). Before Cameron’s visit, the last time I was in the room with so handsome man was many years ago in a church basement with John John Kennedy. In addition to being very handsome, John John had the status of a god because he was a Kennedy. That night in the church basement all female eyes were on John John. So were the male eyes, though perhaps for different reasons. I have never felt so invisible before or since. I could have walked around the room and removed the cash from each woman’s purse and no one would have been the wiser. Not that I would ever do such an appalling thing.
Whenever I am around extraordinary beauty I am unmoored. Beautiful woman cause me to behave stupidly, while extraordinarily attractive men make me feel, not to put too fine a point on it, ugly. Well, that’s not all: I feel clumsy, inept, uncouth, and awkward, too. Especially awkward.
“No, Sam,” you say, kindly, “you’re not awkward!” That’s very nice of you to say, but you are full of Boston baked beans. I know that I am awkward, and after several years of fighting reality I have even learned how to handle this fact. I say “I’m sorry” a lot.
Yesterday—Mother’s Day—Kathi and I were on the Brian Copeland Show on KGO Radio. We were talking about our new book, Write That Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now, and Brian asked what we thought about e-readers vs. books. We all agreed that we loved books, but then I was observing that e-book devices did have some useful qualities.
“In fact,” I said, cheerfully, “we are getting Kathi’s mom, Betty Kamen, one for Mother’s Day!” As I said this, I noticed that Kathi was staring at me, agape. This was when I remembered
1. the e-reading device was a surprise gift, and
2. we were on the radio.
Brian said he would never, ever tell me about any surprise party. But that’s the way it goes; I do stuff like that all the time. To paraphrase Darth Vader, it is my destiny to make a fool of myself on a regular basis. Some people are born beautiful; some are geniuses who make great discoveries; and other folks are heroes. My gift is the blooper, the blunder, the gaffe.
Somebody’s got to do it.