I did a reading of my book at a bookstore the other night. All of the usual suspects were there:
- Young girls...figure skating fans who just discovered old footage of Bolero and think I belong to their generation. They are inevitably disappointed when they realize that Bolero happened before they were born.
- Screaming girls...girls who aren't really there for me at all. Rather, they are there hoping that some of the men in my life will be there with me. They are inevitably disappointed when they realize I am there alone.
- Middle-aged men...men who were young and randy when they saw me do various love scenes in various films, and they developed a soft spot in their heart for me. They are inevitably disappointed when they realize I don't have the energy to care about the love scenes anymore...and neither do they.
- Gay men...what can I say...gay men love me. They always have. And they are loyal and unwavering, and I love that they show up for everything I do! But they are inevitably disappointed that I'm not available to go out for drinks with them after the appearance.
And then there are the sincere and devoted. They call themselves "Abbyphiles," I believe. I have also heard "Phelps Phans" thrown around. These fans (sorry...phans) are calm and appreciative and want to have a conversation with me in which every sentence doesn't begin with, "What was John really like?" or "Are you crazy?!? You should marry George!!" Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful for those questions too...I'm glad you guys care so much! But it is so very refreshing to be greeted with, "Hi Abby. I saw in some magazine that you had to have your appendix out not too long ago. Are you recovering okay? My husband had appendicitis last year and it was pretty nasty stuff."
It seems genuine and it seems...normal. For just one moment, they allow me to feel like I am living a normal life.
Well, apart from the fact that my appendectomy was international news. But I'll claim small victories where I can.