In my previous post, Marilyn, commented about her e-mail exchange with Sandra Tsing Loh, author of Depth Takes a Holiday and other work... which made me wish that my exchanges with the wonderful Ms. Tsing Loh could have been through e-mail. But, no! I had to make a fool out of myself in person.
Sandra had me hooked after I read her Buzz Magazine article, "The Joy of Temping," where she wrote about working as a temp in the North San Fernando Valley - a "land of flourescent lighting, faux hardwood paneling, olive-green carpet and gummy IBM Selectrics." There, she was forced to wear nylons and eat lunch from the vending machine. Of course, the story was way more hilarious than my second-hand telling... but she had me hooked. I lived that temp life in the Valley!! I knew just that color green carpeting!
Anyway, I began buying Buzz Magazine just for her witty tales of life in the San Fernando Valley.
So, in the mid 1990s, when my husband and I went to a friend's party, and I saw Sandra Tsing Loh there - dancing in front of the band - I knew I had to meet her. And, little did I know, our husbands, both musicians, know each other!
Somehow we (Sandra and I) ended up at the same table. I don't remember how. But it probably involved me skulking over there like a twelve-year-old fan. I cringe to recall the entire exchange. But part of it went something like this:
Me: Yeah, I'm taking a writing class right now...
Sandra nods and smiles.
Me: ...but my teacher, she smells a little musty - you know, she's a little artsy-fartsy...
Right then, I wanted to smack myself in the head. I'd never, ever used that goofball phrase before. What a dork!! I meant my teacher was a little new-agey, touchy-feely, took herself too seriously for my taste. Instead, I just blurted, "artsy-fartsy;" it's a phrase that might sound right coming from a 70-year-old woman who buys her living room paintings from Kmart to match her sofa.
Right about then, is when Sandra began looking around for her husband, the bathroom, a drink, anything. I got the idea every new person she meets tells her about their dream to write, so maybe she just figured I was another writer-wanna-be, one who uses stupid phrases like "artsy-fartsy" and would just shame the writing world if I ever got published.
Well, anyway, that's what I was thinking she was thinking. Sandra was actually really nice and supportive, leaving me with something like "Well, we need more women writers," before fleeing.
Still, I wanted to stick a cocktail toothpick in my eye.
The second meeting was more embarrassing. I'll write about that another time.