Spotlighting my Filofax geekdom, or, how to embarrass yourself in front of your favorite author

Many of you know that I'm a big reader. In fact, you can even keep up with whatever I'm reading in real time in my "Currently" section. What you may not know, however, is my favorite author. That answer would be Augusten Burroughs, hands down. I own and have read all of his books, finishing Running with Scissors long before it was made into a film. I actually haven't even seen the film because I'm afraid it won't live up to the book.

I knew Augusten had a new book coming out, so I scoped out his website for more details. And then I was shocked to see that not only was he doing a book signing in Chicago, but that the signing would specifically take place in the  Chicago suburb I live in. Cue CRAZY excitement. So of course I called the bookstore and purchased my copy of his newest book:

This is his first "self help" book, if you can call it that. I'll admit that I'm not too far into it (I just started it last night) but it remains true to his honest, in-your-face writing approach. With chapters that detail issues like overcoming molestation, fatness, lushery, and the like, this is going to be another great read.

So, after calling and securing my copy and spot at the book signing, I began impatiently awaiting Monday night, which finally arrived. I got there a bit early, grabbed my copy from will call, and started the book before the talk began. Augusten's talk was funny, real, honest, and a bit sad- just like all of his memoirs. I couldn't believe how open he was, literally telling the audience to ask him anything. After his talk and Q&A, we all lined up to have our books signed.

While waiting in line, I noticed that a lot of other people had brought their other books, or purchased more of his books on site, to get his signature. "Crap," I thought. "I totally should have brought my whole collection!" Then I had a thought. Since I obviously wouldn't be carrying his book around with me everywhere, how cool would it be to have his signature on something I do have with me constantly? So, I shyly removed a blank page from my Filo and carried it up to the signing table with me. As Augusten was signing my book, I quietly asked if he would be willing to sign the page, since it stays in a binder I carry everywhere with me.

"Sure," he simply replied. "So, what, do you carry a Filofax around with you or something?"

At that moment I couldn't decide if I wanted to run away in embarrassment or hug him for at least knowing what a Filofax was.

In a random moment of boldness, I pulled my Malden out and replied with "Yep, I do!" He looked at it, and laughed as he said "Bless your heart." He even admitted to having a Filo at home, but said he doesn't use it anymore... I was too happy/awed/embarrassed to ask why.

Then he says, "So, do you keep your Filofax on top of your vintage typewriter?"

"Actually," I replied, now probably blushing at my geekiness. "I do have a vintage typewriter at home... it's how I'm addressing all of my wedding invitations."

"Wow, you're just like Mary Tyler Moore," he replied with a smile.

At that point, I was so overwhelmed by actually speaking with Augusten for about a full minute, embarrassed that I had not only admitted to using a Filofax but also a typewriter, and suddenly conscious that there were actually other people waiting in line, that I thanked him again and walked out the door, grinning like a fool.

Later that night, I felt a bit silly for doing something so random, but then realized that I have no regrets- I'm fine being the Filofax-wielding Augusten fan. And maybe, just maybe, he'll remember the Mary Tyler Moore-esque girl from a suburban Chicago book signing.

Labels: , , ,