So I have a new crush, in addition to the ones I have on Doogie Howser, Seth Cohen, and Horatio Hornblower.
This one is different though, because it's on a real person, and not a fictional character.
Since I'm married and so is he, our love can never be, of course. Um, especially since he's never even met me.
And even if a deadly virus did break out and kill everyone on earth but me and my crush, including our spouses (as I was fantasizing earlier today), we still couldn't get together, because my crush is British (okay, Welsh) and I've dated British guys before, and no offense, but British guys seem genetically incapable of forming mature, monogamous relationships with women. Even if everyone else on the planet but me WAS dead, I'm sure a British guy could find a way to cheat.
And that's not even addressing the larger problem of how British guys call chips crisps and fries chips and think American television is “crap” and that we care too much about it and watch way too much of it.
I'm sure British people are going to be upset about the above, and claim it's wrong to indict the entire male population of a country for the misdeeds of one man. But really, what am I supposed to do? It's not like any other British guy came along after that first one to say, “Hold up, Meg. We're not all like that git who broke your heart. Some of us are stand-up blokes. ”
No. No nice British guy ever said that to me. I got no official apology from anyone in the UK for how my ex treated me, and until I do, I'm blaming the entire country for it (well, the males, anyway).
Let this be a lesson to you, girls: Never date a guy just because he has a cute accent. See, just because he SOUNDS like Mick Jagger doesn't mean he IS Mick Jagger. And if you can't believe anyone would ever have a crush on Mick Jagger, well, all I can say is that it was the 80s. You had to be there to understand.
So the guy I have a crush on NOW is Jasper Fforde, author of The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, Well of Lost Plots, and this coming August, Something Rotten. I have long admired his books, but I had no idea the author was soooo CUTE! Last night I tore myself away from the book I'm frantically trying to finish and went to Mr. Fforde's book signing on the Upper West Side here in Manhattan.
It was very strange for me to go to a book signing and sit in the AUDIENCE for a change. The booksellers who are hosting the event always make the author wait in the back an extra ten or fifteen minutes so that everyone has a chance to get there. Still, if you are an audience member who was on time—or an hour and a half early because you got the time wrong, like I did–this can be irritating. I never realized how irritating until it happened to me, last night.
But my friend Jen, who also likes Mr. Fforde's books, and my mom, who's never read Mr. Fforde's books but who likes to go to things, and I all had a nice time talking about home improvement shows that we like (House Doctor, Sell This House, House Hunters, etc).
Then FINALLY Mr. Fforde came out, and Jen and I were like, “Phwoar,” which is British for “Yowsa,” and elbowed each other very hard. He was very tall and still had all his hair (even if he didn't, it wouldn't matter, he'd still be hot) and had on jeans and an olive-colored shirt with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows.
In other words, he looked GOOD. Not like most authors, since we are generally subterranean mole people who never come out into the light except for book tours so we never have any color in our cheeks and are generally listless and pale and our clothes never fit because so few of us work out and we all just wear sweat pants all day with elastic waistbands so we never notice we've gained ten pounds from all those Thin Mints until it's time to put on our book tour clothes and then they don't fit and we have to rush to the Gap at the last minute and end up looking all stupid in whatever was leftover from the Fall collection on sale.
Mr. Fforde does not appear to have this problem AT ALL. Sadly, however, our glimpse of his jeans was only a fleeting one, as he quickly hid his lower half behind a podium.
Jennifer says she would like to join me in saying: PODIUMS SUCK!!! Podiums should be abolished! When I go on book tours, I NEVER stand behind the podium, because I have worked very hard at coordinating my outfit, and I want everyone to see it. In Mr. Fforde's case, the podium unfairly obscured his lower half, which some of us were quite interested in viewing. PODIUMS = BAD.
Anyway, Mr. Fforde then proceeded to give a witty and amusing speech, which even my mother, who had never read any of his books and who had no idea what he was talking about, could enjoy. I happen to know that last night's book signing was the second to last one on Mr. Fforde's US tour, but he didn't seem burnt out on his speech, or like “God, not this speech, AGAIN. I've given it 15 times in the past 8 days and I'm so bloody SICK of it,” the way I must admit I sometimes feel when I'm on tour. He gave his speech with all the enthusiasm and charm as if it were the first time he was saying it.
At the end he took questions, and I have to say, the people in the audience were asking stuff I never would have asked in a million years. Instead of asking the stuff Jennifer and I wanted to know, like, “What's your favorite TV show?” and “Boxers or briefs?” and “Do they call fries chips in Wales, too?” they were asking stuff like, “Why 1985?” and “How did you come up with the name Thursday Next?”
WHO CARES??? What does he wear to bed? That's what Jennifer and I wanted to know.
Finally I could stand it no more, so I raised my hand to ask a question (I tried to make Jennifer ask it, but she wouldn't).
When Mr. Fforde actually called on me, though, I chickened out. I mean, he has these blue eyes that seem to pierce your soul when he looks at you, until inside you are just a quivering mass of—
Well, needless to say, I couldn't ask how many televisions he owned, or if he thought he'd be PARTICULARLY devastated in the event a deadly virus wiped out everyone else on earth, including his wife and children, except for the two of us.
So instead I just asked what was going to happen in Book 4 of the Thursday Next series, Something Rotten.
And he looked RIGHT AT ME and told me. Something about Hamlet. I don't know much more than that, because when his gaze met mine, little cupids and hearts came out and started flying around my head, he'd rendered me so deeply in love with him.
Then the Q and A was over, and the book signing part started, only we had to go, because we were hungry, and because I already own signed copies of all of Mr. Fforde's books anyway, having bought them from the Black Orchid this past summer on the Upper East Side.
In addition to which, MEETING your crush is never as fun as FANTASIZING about meeting him.
After we'd eaten and Jennifer had gone home and my mom and I went back to my place (she is visiting for the weekend, even though she is forbidden from talking to me so I can finish my book) we walked in and found my husband and my mom's boyfriend (aka my ex teacher) watching college basketball. Since my mom and I have no interest in college basketball, we went and watched House Hunters in the other room.
Then it was time for bed and my husband, who still hadn't turned off the television (because let's face it, his love for it is almost as deep as mine, even if we watch different shows) said, “You know what would be cool for the house in Key West? If we get a built-in deep fryer in the kitchen. Then I could mak
e home-made potato chips and French fries all the time. Also, we should get one of those televisions that appears as if from nowhere, like Ozzy Osbourne has in his bedroom. Only ours should be in the dining room. So we can watch television while we eat the fries. And when we have guests we can lower the TV and no one will ever know it's there, and that we like to watch TV while we eat.”
And I knew then that the love I felt for Mr. Fforde could never rival the love I feel for my husband, a man from my own country, who so obviously has his priorities so straight.