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Lunch With Margaret Andrews, and, The Pulaski Skyway

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow writer, Margaret Andrews.

She’s the author of the book Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better. And, she’s the author of the blog Nanny Goats In Panties. Oh, and she’s totally-super-awesome.

Since Margaret lives in California, and I live in New Jersey, it’s not every day we can meet up for lunch. So when I found out she was going to be vacationing in New York City, I seized the opportunity to finally get face-to-face with the woman I’ve adored over the Internet for the past several years.

Considering I have no sense of direction, driving into NYC was absolutely out of the question. And, since I am NOT a big very fan of ‘Public Transportation.’ Therefore, we decided on getting together in Hoboken, NJ.

And here’s how that worked out for me…

I’ve never been to Hoboken, so I asked ‘The Internet’ two questions.

1. Where’s a good / not too expensive restaurant?
2. Will I have to drive over any bridges?

I received fantastic reviews, along with a list of restaurants to choose from.

And, I was promised that I would not have to drive over any bridges.

And you people are LIARS!

Well, to be fair, you didn’t lie about the restaurants.

There are a crapton of kick-ass restaurants up and down Washington Street.

But no one warned me about the mother-effin, Pulaski Skyway!

C’mon guys!

Haven’t we already talked about my fear of bridges?



[I have a sneaky suspicion y’all lied to me, because you thought I wouldn’t go. And you would have been right. I would have canceled.]

Now, some of you might not understand my fear of bridges. So I will try to explain it simply. For me, driving over a bridge is just as terrifying as: rock climbing, or skydiving, or bungee jumping down the Empire State building. And while those things may be fabulous, if you happen to be a ‘Thrill Seeking’ kind of person, but I am NOT one of you.

I am not only afraid the bridge will suddenly collapse, without warning, but I also imagine the ‘Worst Case Scenario’. Like what if my tire suddenly explodes, and I loose control of the car, and go careening off the side of the bridge, and drown a fiery death, and the only thing they find to identify my body are the serial numbers on my breast implants.

So, yeah. Meleah + Bridges = Massive Panic Attack.


That being said, I’m going to give you a quick run-down of my drive into Hoboken.

I had borrowed my parents Garmin GPS to lesson the likelihood of getting lost. And let me just take a second here to acknowledge how awesome that little machine is. Seriously, I am buying my own, like immediately.

Anyway, 99.3% of my drive was smooth sailing.

The New Jersey Turnpike wasn’t overly crowded.

I didn’t get lost.

And I didn’t feel nervous.

Hearing that little voice from the GPS tell me, “Turn Right, in 0.2 miles” gave me a false sense of confidence.

After I exited the NJTPK and paid the toll, I prematurely congratulated myself on a job well done. Because that’s precisely when everything went awry.

I drove underneath an underpass, and thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t scary at all. In fact, this is pretty easy. Yay, Me!’

Not less than 5 seconds later I found myself going up an on-ramp. The very on-ramp that led me onto the mother-effin, Pulaski Skyway. I rapidly tried to figure any possible way for me to turn the car around in order to avert driving over the bridge.

Alas, I quickly realized I could not stop the inevitable.





I immediately went into panic mode. My heart raced, and I thought for sure I would to black out. I turned on my hazards. And then, I drove a maximum of three miles an hour, staring straight ahead, ignoring the vulgar language, middle fingers, and car horns blaring in my direction. With a knot in my stomach, shaking hands, and sweat dripping from every pore on my body, I forged ahead.

Now, I also should probably mention, that my car does not have air-conditioning. So I had all of my windows down. Which would explain why the other drivers on the bridge looked at me as if I was a real-live-escaped-metal-patient, when they heard me screaming, “FOR THE LOVE OF WRITERS” on the top of my lungs the whole way across ‘The Longest Bridge’ on the East Coast.

Just when I thought I would die a certain death, the GPS directed me off the bridge.



The next thing I would have to tackle was finding a place to park.

Hoboken is like a mini NYC. And I don’t have a clue how to ‘Parallel Park.’

So as soon as I found a spot where I could go in ‘Head-First’?

I took it.

Wrinkled and sweaty, I walked a few blocks, while texting Margaret. The restaurant we had initially agreed upon was closed. And just as I was about to turn a corner, we spotted each other on the street. We immediately squealed like high school girls, and then embraced.

Margaret is EXACTLY as I had imagined her.

Only more better.

She’s absolutely adorable, super-sweet [but not nauseatingly sweet], wicked smart, and sofa-king funny.

We grabbed a table, ordered unsweetened iced-teas, and lunch, and chatted away for over THREE HOURS. We talked about writing, and blogging, and Broadway plays. I tried my very best to use my ‘inside voice.’ Because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, or sound like a stuttering idiot, while in the presence of greatness.

Of course, like a star-struck fan, I asked her to autograph my copy of her book, and she was more than happy to do so.



I felt so comfortable around her; I may have divulged way too much information. But if you can’t divulge TMI to a fellow blogger, than who can you tell? Am I right? We discussed BlogHer, and conferences, public speaking, Apple Products, and different types of parenting skills. We even shared a few secrets with each other.

And now I love Margaret more than ever.



I swear if I were a lesbian, I’d totally marry her.

After we left the restaurant, we walked back to my car together.

Still overly excited about such a successful lunch, with such an amazing woman, I didn’t even care that I ended up with a $30.00 parking ticket on the windshield of my car.



Honestly to blog, meeting Margaret was absolutely worth the parking ticket AND the heart attack I had to endure while driving over the Pulaski Skyway.

Because she “Rocks the Casbah.”


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  • 🙂

  • Lucy

    I saw your posts on Facebook and was wondering how you ended up on the bridge.  I know I shouldn’t laugh because it is the worst feeling when facing your fear but you told the story with such humor, well, I couldn’t help but giggle a little.  It sounds like the lunch was great and darn it, I am buying the book TODAY.  No more wasting my time.  Hey, does she suggest blogging conferences?  I have never gone and I hear more bloggers say they are great!

  • Lucy

    I saw your posts on Facebook and was wondering how you ended up on the bridge.  I know I shouldn’t laugh because it is the worst feeling when facing your fear but you told the story with such humor, well, I couldn’t help but giggle a little.  It sounds like the lunch was great and darn it, I am buying the book TODAY.  No more wasting my time.  Hey, does she suggest blogging conferences?  I have never gone and I hear more bloggers say they are great!

  • Oh, good.
    You were supposed to laugh AT ME driving over that bridge, Lucy!
    And, you are going to LOVE her book.
    It’s sofa king funny.
    And extremely helpful.

    I’ve never been to a blogging conference either.
    But I am considering attending BlogHer this year.

  • Noemi

    LOL. Sorry, I know that the driving experience was awful, but as usual, you made me laugh with your story. Glad to hear how it good it all turned out!

  • OMG you have me in laugh-tears about you and bridges.  I tend to hit the same panic button when I know I’ll be driving on the NJTPK.

  • YAY!

  • I hate that whore of a highway!

  • She sounds amazing. That you were prepared to face the dreaded bridge for her says a lot. So glad you had such a good time!

  • Followed you from Older Eyes’ site.  Enjoyed reading your blog and about your fear of bridges and your meeting with Maragret.

    Just one question.  Are there really serial numbers on your implants?   🙂

    I’ll visit again.


  • Thanks, Selma!

  • Yes. There sure are!

  • Anonymous

    I am sooooooo jealous! I am sure that Margaret is much better (or betterer as my daughter says) in person and she is super awesome on-line!


  • She is THE GREATEST!

  • How fun that you got to meet such an amazing person, writer and blog buddy! I’m glad you survived the bridge from hell. Holy crap, that thing is huge! I get a little jittery on bridges. That one would have pushed me over the edge.

  • That bridge was CRAZY!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve said it before, you can spin some amazing tales or adventure and excitement.  I’m glad you braved the Turnpike from Hell and the Pullaski Dieway to get an opportunity to hook up with Margaret.  You’re lucky to get to meet up with some of your blogging buddies.  Definitely well worth the anxity and parking ticket.     Now for the bonus question:  Just what route did you take to get home?

  • Gail and I shared a few LOL’s and a couple of LMAO’s over this post!
    You and (Junk Drawer) Kathy share that bridge phobia thing. Makes for funny blog stuff sometimes, but not too funny for you! LOL. Now I understand your comment on Gail’s picture at the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

    How cool that you got to meet Margaret, and how sweet that she gave you your very own little Nanny Goat! Good for you both!

    The only part missing was the story of how you got home. I bet it was the looong way!

  • The GPS took me back the same way!

  • Well the ride home was EXACTLY like the drive in!

    And, yes, Kathy and I also have a penchant for getting lost!

  • Auntkaz

    Dear M.R……I’ve now bookmarked your blog; checked in after reading NGIP.  You write too well to mix up “loose” and “lose”……example: I dropped a stitch, so my knitting was loose.  How did I lose (pronounced looze) my keys on the walkway into the garden?

  • Oh snap! My bad!

  • Roshan

    Ok, I almost peed myself laughing! You are so bad with directions and you are so scared of bridges. Ok,  that was funny but this almost killed me ” the only thing they find to identify my body are the serial numbers on my breast implants.” LOL, hahahahaha
    Please put me in your will – I want your breast implants, which I shall treasure and encase in a glass case!
    “I swear if I were a lesbian, I’d totally marry her.”
    LOL, you’d have my blessings!!  I swear this post made my day. <3 <3 Meleah

  • Okay, Roshan!
    I’ll make sure you get my implants when I’m dead!

  • Roshan

    Really? But ….can I just get the implants + the owner when she is alive? Like right now! 😉

  • 🙂

  • Jules

    How was the drive back across the bridge as you were leaving? 

  • Horrible!!

  • I always thought it would be awesome to meet a fellow blogger in real-life.  It’s awesome that you got to do so.  Congrats on surviving the bridge.

  • Pingback:   Opposite Girl — Momma Mia, Mea Culpa()

  • Ahhh the Pulaski Skyway. Early on my tenure in the area I was graciously flashed by a couple of PA girls that car to car asked me in lower Manhattan how to get back to NJ. I said “follow me” and as soon as we hit the Skyway the passenger girl said “hey Jersey, thanks!” in a most agreeable way 🙂

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