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Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm Having Dinner with Jonathan Franzen--get excited!

The term “long shot” is put out there a lot.  Funny thing is, it’s probably not put out there enough.  Winning the Lottery, living to 100, getting into a Creative Writing MFA, sigh dating Natalie Portman—all solid examples of long shots.  So how would meeting a world-renowned writer at an intimate dinner and impressing him into writing a letter of recommendation for you be classified?  A long-johns shot?  Scratch that.  Nevermind.  Bad. 

The St. Louis Scribe, himself.
Just two days ago my Dad called me to say that his company is sponsoring a literary lecture that features Pulitzer-Prize nominated novelist Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom, The Corrections—crack open a book some time people!  Anyway, he’s so big that he turned down promoting his book on Oprah, so that should color inside the lines for you.  Anyway, anyway, whether you know him or not, the take-away is this; how often do your parents have dinner with a big time, world famous writer, who incidentally is also a damn good writer, and then offer to flip the bill for your plane ticket home as long as you let your mom show you the new trick she taught to the cat (baloney, she taught the cat anything)?  Answer: not very often.

Blamo!  So I’m flying back home tomorrow for less than 48 hours dragging along my best business-casual dinner party gear—spoiler, it’s a sweater vest!  I’ll have to banter-battle with maybe ten or so other guests for Franzen’s ear, and even if I do, I’m going to have to squeeze a lot of impression into a relatively short amount of time with him to seal the deal, whatever that "deal" may be.  After telling this tale to my friend who works as a banker, he said that a deal is exactly what this is.  A sales deal.  I will be selling myself to Mr. Franzen, almost door-to-door style.  I’ll have to be aggressive without taking 'no' for an answer, in a non-threatening, charmingly befuddling way, of course.

It will be amazing simply to meet Franzen.  Period.  But I can't afford to go star-struck school girl here because perhaps more than anything, this is an opportunity.  This is certainly a long-johns shot.  And what do I have to lose?  I said I’m going to put everything on the line this year with my applications, give ‘em everything I've got, and take every chance I can take.  This counts.  I’ll let you know what happens, next week. 

So remember kidos, same justdumbenough time, same justdumbenough channel— excelsior! 

He's the 2nd one from the left.  Seriously, he's so famous the Simpsons cartooned him!

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