Friday, May 8, 2009

an americana adventure into tv land

so a few weeks ago, i dragged max and ashley along to meet kate gosselin from jon and kate plus 8. she was doing a book signing in glendale at the americana, a beautiful outdoor mall conveniently located about two hours away. max and i drove all the way from san diego bright and early to get there on time. when i called two days before to see how early i should be there to get in line, the barnes & noble employee told me, "well, she is a bestselling author, so we recommend getting here 30 minutes to an hour early." i'd just watched a news clip of a signing she did in michigan, or minnesota, or montana where 1500 people showed up to one of her signings. i originally thought i might have to camp out for a good spot, so an hour sounded perfect to me.

the main reason i was going was because i love j&k+8. i also decided it would be such a great idea to make jewelry for kate and her daughters. they always zoom in on kate's face during the interviews, and her jewelry is clearly visible. i made kate an anna vi necklace:
and peyton earrings:
i made mady and cara matching madeline necklaces with a blue sapphire, similar to this:

and hannah, leah, and alexis paisley necklaces with a blue sapphire, kind of like this:
because with kids, you know, you can't give them different colors, or they'll fight over them. i know this because i'm an expert on children. i wrapped them all in a single take out box with teal ribbon, similar to this:i enclosed a note (which i would write in barnes and nobel 10 minutes before getting to the front of the line, making it extra thoughtful) and put everything in a kate spade bag. my prized striped kate spade bag. it's the small things, really.

we got our starbucks oatmeal and lattes and hit the road. i called when we were about 20 minutes away to ask, "are there a lot of people are in line for the book signing?" the same employee from two days ago said very seriously, "yes, there are about 30 people in line currently." oh-kay. they told us we each needed to buy a book to get a wristband to get in line on the third floor. i was paying for two books when ashley showed up, so we threw another on the tab. wristbands with the letter "d" put us securely next to the art books. the barnes and noble book club members were up front, followed by the b's, c's, d's, and so on. there were no a's. it will forever remain a mystery why. as more b&n club members showed up with strollers, we got shoved back further and further in line until we were next to cooking.

none too thrilled with our place in line, i decided to take action. i went down two escalators and right to the front of the wristband line. "how many club member wristbands are left?" (they limited those to 75, initially) "there are four left," the nice wristbander told me. there were separate lines for books and wristbands, and about 10 people in the wristband line (technically ahead of me, since i just cut to the front). "i need three of those, but by the time i go pay for a membership, they'll probably be gone, right?" "i'll take them to the register for you, you can go get in line up there." perfect! since i'd already spend something like $60 on books, it was only another $15 or so for a membership at this point. a membership that would save me anywhere from 15% to 20% on books i should be buying for half the price on amazon, but a more important 15 to 20 minutes in line. oh, well. pr expenses.

i returned to ashley and max with the new wristbands in hand. we found an employee and showed them to him. he pointed to where we were to stand in line (behind the club members, in front of the b's). we stood to the side of the line, not wanting to shove our way in, but the people behind us were audibly upset about this perceived injustice. "the d's are back there! this is for b's!" he told them we had member wristbands in our hands, and the woman next to us told us to rip the d's off quickly before a riot broke out. we did as we were told, fearing for our lives. people are very protective of their right to meet kate gosselin. a woman in front of us had been there since 6:30am. good job. we got there at noon, and you'll get to meet her 30 seconds before us. another woman who arrived at 7 was back by the cooking books. you get here at 7, but decide not to spring for a membership? too much of a commitment.

the line wrapped around the entire third floor, and there was a buzz. there were e! cameras there, but i fast forwarded through e! news for a few days following, and no coverage of the event. finally, kate arrived with an entourage, and stay-at-home moms and local fans of the show cheered. we were told that we could bring a camera, but kate would not be posing for pictures. i brought my huge tourist camera, and taught ashley how to use it. the lighting was pretty bad, and i ended up with a bunch of pictures of a blurry max reading a book. we'll call it "soft focus."

we got to the front of the line about 15 minutes later, and a woman a few people up posed with kate, who leaned in and smiled. score! i needed documentation of the event for this very blog. i went up to the table, which was about 12 feet in front of the line, and i said, "hi, kate!" she furiously scribbled her name across all three books (conveniently opened to the correct page by someone with a very important job) and said, "hello, how are you?" "i'm good. i made some jewelry for you and your girls," and i pushed the kate spade bag across the table to her. "wow, thanks," she said, looking surprised. i pointed back to ashley, and said, "my friend is taking a picture of your hair for a client." she said, "it's not the first time, and it won't be the last," and kind of laughed. i almost forgot to pose, but at the last second, i looked back at ashley, leaned in and smiled a shaky smile (i'm so bad with celebrity encounters- even barely celebrities freak me out). "thank you, we love your show," i said as we left.

that is the story of how i met kate gosselin. hopefully she will take kindly to my jewelry and they will all wear it on some magazine cover. or at least to church.


  1. Great story, I hope she wears your jewelry all over the place, she should anyways!

  2. i can't believe someone actually read all of that very long story! but thank you for reading, and for saying such nice things :)

  3. Nice story! This is a long one, but also an interesting one. I think Kate will surely love those jewelry!