The event in the newspapers and on social media had me more excited than usual—it was all about ME! It was my first book signing at Barnes & Noble in Phoenix, on my own turf.
The happening was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Hair and mani-pedi were marked off my list the day before. On Saturday night, I laid out my ensemble—a lovely silk-chiffon dress with a stunning black and red print. My colors. Black high-heeled sandals and matching purse. So exciting.
I wore my good gold jewelry and left home feeling confident. After all, I looked great and did my homework. I had my notes and a copy of the book with little ribbons in between the pages where I planned to read certain passages aloud. I also bought a small bouquet of flowers for the lovely young woman in charge of events who was gracious enough to provide me this opportunity.
I parked my car, checked my hair and makeup in the rearview mirror, applied more lipstick, the same gorgeous red as the dress, then headed across the parking lot to the bookstore. My favorite fragrance floated around me. I absolutely felt like a million dollars. Love that American cliché.
People stared at me. I was certain it was due to my self-assured carriage and attitude. Surely my elation and confidence oozed from my pores. And why not? After all those years I would be sitting on the other side of the table, signing books. My books.
Inside the store, more heads turned. People looked. The red and black chiffon was a knock out.
I walked up to the information desk to announce my arrival. While waiting in line, a tentative hand touched my shoulder. A tiny, older Asian woman stood behind me, smiling sweetly. I smiled at her too. Gotta be a fan. Right?
She stood on her tippy-toes and whispered, “Ma’am, your dress is stuck in your underwear.” She turned quickly and left.
My what was what?
The man in line before me was finished at the counter, but hadn’t yet walked away. Of course. Why would he? My back was turned to him and he had an unobstructed view of my backside. Et tu, Brute?
Somehow I managed to find my voice. I smiled at the young man behind the information desk and said the only thing I could, “Sheesh, lucky for me I wore red underwear, perfect match.”
I pulled my dress out of the panties and smoothed it with my free hand. “I’m Maria Grazia Swan. I’ve arrived for my book signing.” Boy, had I.
I didn’t cry until I got back in my car after the signing. Anyway, I did sell 15 books.
P.S. Post one of your embarrassing moments on my Facebook Page and on Saturday, the person whose post gets the most likes will receive a signed copy of one of my books—your choice.