She was taller and even funnier than I anticipated, and she had great presence. Very confident in an approachable way that doesn't turn you off. Her southern accent is stronger than I thought, and I struggle with all things southern, but it was ok. I handled it. She's very likable. I laughed my butt off. Also, kick ass heels. Really great shoes.
Heather read two portions of her book, one about her boobs and one about post-baby sex, and then took questions. I arrived an hour early by mistake, so I had a front row seat and was second to get my book signed. It was nice to get in and get out, as it had become a bit of a mob scene by the time she started.
Two things I wanted to comment on about the reading. One is that I sat by a girl who was an EX-TRO-VERT! and she started talking to me when my buns hit the chair and didn't stop until I ran out the front door of Powell's, looking over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. She was a nice person, as I guess some of you extroverts can be, and I like chatting with folks, but this was a serious challenge for me. Lots of talking. Personal details. Use of outside voice indoors.
The other thing is that some of the folks at the reading freaked me out. The way people act around famous or well-known people scares me a little. I get a little star-struck and can't form words very effectively, which is dorky and predictable, but there's another reaction that I find unsettling - the thing where people feel very familiar with celebrities and relate to them like close friends. At a few different points folks in the audience would make comments directly to Heather out loud or respond to rhetorical questions so that the entire group (a couple hundred, I would guess) could hear. It made me uneasy. Hi, we're all here, it's not just a conversation between you and the speaker. Please stop freaking me out. After the reading when my extrovert seat mate left (after jumping out from behind a row of books and yelling, "Boo!" to scare me; oh, that seat mate and I shared some laughs, yes we did) she said to me very earnestly, "Oh man, I want to be her friend!" referring to Heather. I don't know, I'm not saying she's weirder than anyone else, but it kind of freaks my freak.
I guess there was one more item of note. Heather referred to Twitter at one point and I got the vibe that the majority of the crowd didn't know what she was talking about. My mom has invited me to follow her on Twitter. I've seen that unbelievably irritating Kat.hy Lee whoever on the Tod.ay Show talk about Twitter. If you don't know about it, you're more than a late adopter, ok? It's time to come to terms with that.
I wasn't sure if either It Sucked and Then I Cried or the reading would have anything super-relevant to me, single and barren as I am. But I like to laugh just as much as the next guy (actually, probably much, much more), and the other themes in the book are universal - discouragement, insecurities, depression, hope in hell, dogs who eat their own shit. I really enjoyed it.