On Saturday, I went to St. Catharines, my hometown, to do a reading & signing at the Chapters at the *NEW* Fairview Mall. I say "new" because that's what it's now called, and I was excited to see why, since growing up, the Fairview Mall was the secondary mall, to the larger, more impressive Pen Centre. The Fairview Mall was always one of those malls that isn't quite a mall, that has a Zellers and a food court and a lotto stand, but the rest of the shops sort of come and go, and are the type you can never really remember the name of.
Since we were early getting to Chapters, my stepmom and I decided to walk around the mall for a few minutes, which is all it took. The lotto booth was still there, though it was doubling as a funeral and gravestone flowers express pickup, which struck me as sort of odd. I mean, people die suddenly, and that's awful, but is anyone ever in such a rush to get the flowers on time? But what do I know? All I know is that they also removed the movie theatres -- which makes no sense to me! Don't malls usually ADD super amazing theatres to help attract people to the mall? Those theatres were home to many crushes on boys over the years. Boys who, now that I think about it, never liked me back. So maybe it's fine that they're gone.
My dad and stepmom did an amazing job of inviting everyone out for the signing, and then hosting a backyard reception afterward, which was so fun. In preparation, however, there was apparently some all-nighters being pulled by a certain male parent who shall remain nameless. Apparently he felt it necessary to finish reading a certain book that I wrote, perhaps so that when the neighbours said "Have you read the book?" He would be able to say no, without lying.
This is because he is a very honest person, who taught me you should not lie. Except when you're writing FICTION, people. FICTION! So anyway, he finished reading the book the night (or morning) before I arrived, and had this to say when I walked through the door:
He: "Fiction, huh? Even the part about the Apple IIC?"
Okay, so maybe we did have an Apple IIC. And Print Shop. And orange paper.
Me: "But it's funny, right? Right?!" Besides, I wanted it to be authentic and how could I write about a Commodore 64 if we never had one, for the exact reasons that Mara never had one (that you can only play games on them and not do your homework). For the record, I think my father was secretly flattered that his computer had a cameo appearance in the book.
During this debate, I asked my stepmom what she thought. She shrugged and smiled, remaining neutral -- or so I thought -- until I returned from golfing the next morning with my dad to find her on the couch reading my book. Aha! I'd caught her. She hadn't gotten involved in what was slightly modified reality because she hadn't read the book. But she was well-rested for the signing, and it was a good thing, because guess who arrived... the mayor!
I think the mayor is super. Okay, okay, so I'm not actually important enough that he came just because I was an author who'd written a book. He may be related to me. Sort of. He's the Hubs' second cousin-in-law thrice removed. Still, it was super sweet that he and his wife and family came, considering Dan Akroyd was having a wine event and there was a potato stomp and a million other events that day that he also had to get to.
But the best part was that he brought his bling!
He: "I see you've got some bling." (pointing to my faux fat pearls). "How about I put on my bling and we get a picture together?"
Here we are.
Then we sat down and talked about how they're going to make a cat commute boat from Toronto to St. Catharines so that Mr. Baz can zip across the lake to the country whenever he wants to, unaccompanied by me, and he doesn't have to whine about how hot he is in the car when we're stuck in traffic for three hours.
Okay not really. That was fiction.
PS: Thanks also to the Cupcake Shoppe for the fabulous cupcakes and to everyone that came out!
And now, I'm off to tell only the truth for the rest of the day.