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!
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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