- S.B. Pearce
The Pantsless Pirate
Last Saturday, I had a fantastic first. I am still floating on cloud nine. I had my first-ever book signing at Broadway Books in Ashland, Kentucky. I am forever grateful for the opportunity granted to me by the owner, Jill Donta. I spent weeks designing a poster, ordering more goodies to give out, and marketing the event across my social media. As the date drew nearer, my anxiety kicked into overdrive.
I organized the books. I carefully crafted podcast postcards and framed them in self-standing acrylic frames. I printed an 8x10 with a picture of me and all the social icons where you can find me. I looked at outfit after outfit. I went through all my jewelry multiple times to find the perfect pairing. I did my eyebrows. I derma-planed my mustache. I applied a gorgeous set of nail wraps that were selected to best accentuate my all-black ensemble. I even pulled out the boots of all boots: my magic boots.
They are a gorgeous display of complex embroidery in shimmering shades of aqua, gold, and red that wrap my entire calves up to the knees. Trimmed with black leather, they lace up the front like a fine French corset. These are boots for special occasions. These are the boots that go directly back into their box after wearing them. These are the boots that I want to wear during my cremation because these boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk right over to the other side just to say boo. They are that fucking fabulous.
The morning of the signing, I carefully twirled my hair and layered on my makeup to be picture ready. I donned my Red Jasper and Carnelian necklace to be grounded yet powerful. I dangled my giant hoop earrings from my lobes then hit the road with a giant mug of coffee. My daughters joined me for the day, promising to behave like angels in exchange for a new book from the store. A two-hour drive is a bit much for a day trip with them. They aren't toddlers. They are cynical teens that get bored easily.
As we sped along I-64, I asked our ancestors to make us invisible. This girl has no time or money for a speeding ticket. I was scared to death of arriving late. I chatted with my sister as I drove and as she showered and dressed to meet me there. We made it to Cannonsburg safely, stopping at the Flying J for drinks and a snack. I couldn't even eat half of my sausage, egg, and cheese croissant. I was too nervous. Plus, I didn't want to arrive with giant pieces of pork and egg stuck in between my teeth. I had forgotten to bring floss.
Everything was quiet when we arrived. I met the owner and she was absolutely lovely. Her store is gorgeous too. It was a mix of old-world architectural charm and cozy modern chairs and shelves. She had a table set up and ready to go right next to the door. My sister helped me set up my display as my daughters headed to check out the book selection.
I had given myself pep talks all week and made sure to set my expectations low for a first signing. I would have considered myself lucky had I sold just one book. Just as we were unloading, I received a lovely text from my dear friends who wished me congratulations and sent me love from the comfort of home. Their kind words set my heart a little more at ease as I bustled into the store to get ready.
I settled in for a couple of hours of staring at my phone but low and behold, my bestie of over thirty years arrived right on time. I was so tickled! She said she was coming but we are both adults and I know sometimes life gets in the way of even the best-laid plans. She made it! I was giddy to see her beautiful face! She stayed with me the whole time.
Then another of my long-time besties arrived. She too said she would come and she did! Then my cousin came. I didn't know that she was even planning to! Then my other bestie and her husband arrived. And then an old beloved friend from college. And then, my bestie and sister of all things profane arrived right as we were wrapping up. He went live on Facebook and did an impromptu interview with me there on the spot!
I was floored. I can't even begin to put into words how incredibly touched I was, and still am, by the amount of love and support that surrounded me that day. The number of miles and the hours of time that so many dedicated to me really rocked my world! I am humbled and in awe of my beautiful friends and family.
When I scheduled this event, I wasn't sure what would happen but I was going to do it anyway. Even if it had been a flop, it still would have been a glorious experience. Every new challenge comes with new knowledge. That day exceeded my expectations by a monumental landslide of epic proportions.
By the time we packed up and I squared away the sale with Jill, we were starving. My sister, my bestie, my daughters, and I all had lunch at Fat Patty's. The service was awesome, the laughs were welcome, and the high was better than anything I could have imagined. I could not cram that awesome Raspberry Popper Patty into my mouth fast enough! It was delicious! Sweet and Spicy, just like me. Our server was incredible and attentive. Could this day be any more perfect?
We finished up and got back in the car to make the next stop on our trip, my sister's house. I brought a change of clothes with me as we still needed to tour Morehead State's campus before heading home. The temperature was freezing so I was glad to get out of my dress clothes and into something cozy and comfortable. I took off my blouse and tugged on my softest tee shirt and my avocado green Grandpa cardigan. I reached into my bag to get my black leggings and pulled out...a black pajama top instead.
Oh shit! I have no pants! My options are to put my blouse back on and freeze to death or wear a pencil skirt with athletic shoes. Neither of those sounded appealing. Thankfully, my sister had a clean pair of leggings for me to borrow so we were on our way in no time. The tour was fabulous and our Starbucks was tasty as we hit I-64 to go back home. I checked my makeup in the rearview mirror and saw that I was only wearing one giant hoop earring.
That's right. All day, while chatting with folks and taking pictures, I paraded around with just one giant silver earring, like a freaking pirate! I remembered that I had removed the other while still at home to take a call. It was still sitting on the kitchen counter where I had left it.
With my magic knee boots and single hoop earring, I had inadvertently become a pantsless pirate. Of all the things that I worried about, that particular scenario was nowhere near my radar.
I guess I'll just say "Arrrrrr, me matey!" and call it a most fantastic day.
PS: If you find yourself in Ashland, please swing by and spend all your money at Broadway Books and Fat Patty's!