This picture of me with Rebecca Mead? It’s the best picture of me I’ve ever seen. You can’t tell that my face is 90% gums and ears, and that I usually lose my upper lip completely when I smile. I’m going to post it every single day until it gains sentience and walks among us.
So, as you may know, I went to NYC for less than 24 hours, entirely for the purpose of doing this conversation at the Strand about Middlemarch and My Life in Middlemarch with Rebecca Mead, and to meet a bunch of Toasties in a bar.
IT WAS THE BEST.
Let me break this down for you:
I split a four-person order of jamón ibérico with one other person. I was nervous about speaking in front of a crowd, so I also ate fried sardines and brussels sprouts and endive salad and burrata with Spanish anchovies and toast with tomatoes on it and grilled mushrooms and chicken liver on more toast and croquettes made of bacala and bone marrow with almonds and a quince paste and chocolate with crème fraîche and sea salt and 16oz of white wine, which, incidentally, is one more ounce than they are allowed to serve you in a Utah restaurant.
Then I changed into THAT DRESS in the restaurant bathroom, walked to the Strand, met Rebecca in person for the first time, hastily scribbled some questions on a pink Post-It, and then had literally the most fun conversation with an author you could imagine, and I didn’t drop my microphone or anything, and a bunch of people came (Emily Gould! Katie Heaney!), even people who hadn’t read the book, for which I am very grateful.
And then I walked over to the meetup, and met all of you! I met Michelle Markowitz of Hey Ladies! and I met Jolie Kerr, and I met Kathryn Funkhouser who wrote the Sherlock piece about musicals, and I met John Leavitt, and I met Laura Sook Duncombe, and I met Jenna Leigh Evans, and I met Jaya Saxena and Matt Lubchansky, and I met Abigail Welhouse, and I met Jazmine Hughes, and I met literally a thousand other people and many Toast writers I have not listed here, and hugged all of them and did 31 pushups (one more than I did in San Francisco, and very awkwardly in a short skirt), and then I was still in bed by ten pm. I got two presents! Thanks, Erin! Thanks, John!
And then the next morning my flight was out of JFK’s Terminal Four, so I got Shake Shack at 6:15am, and because there was no wifi on the plane I watched Gravity and 20 Feet From Stardom and CRIED HYSTERICALLY during both of them, because, I mean, have you seen 20 Feet From Stardom yet? It’s the greatest movie you could imagine! And I was not responsible for the conduct of a single toddler, and then I got home and my husband told me there was something living in the wall directly behind our bed that keeps trying to get out, and it was incredibly loud and large-sounding, and then I read the new Chris Kimball thing by Mallory and became worried it was actually a girl made entirely out of nails who will fling me into a furnace of death.
tl;dr I got to experience Reaganing for one day, and I’m very happy and grateful, and thank you for letting me obnoxiously relate my wonderful 24hrs to you and for reading the site and making it a success. Meeting so many Toasties was really special for me, and I love you guys and hope we keep doing this forever.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.