For those who have always wondered what happens when you lunch with your agent – this post is for you.
And for all you who wonder what it’s like to say “I’m having lunch with my agent”, know that my head will Never be the same size.
So anyway, I called Caren and told her I was in NY (this is the day I arrived and I am still jet-lagged but in the good way – when you come over from Europe you are all full of energy from 4 am until 4 pm and then suddenly you keel over.) Anyhow, I was still awake so I called Caren and she said “Great – let’s meet at this restaurant in Union Square. I’ll call and make reservations for two!”
and I said, “Well, I think I’ll be bringing my daughter.” and when I said this, my mom made all kinds of waving motions that meant ‘me too, me too!’ so I said, “and my mom will be there too.”
“And Sam!” my mom said loudly.
Caren said “What?”
And I said, “My mom wants to come. And Sam will be there too. He’s my step brother. Sort of. Well, you’ll see.”
But she was cool and said, “Great – see you tomorrow!”
And the next day we got up before the sunrise (jetlag the right way, remember) and caught the train to the city. We did the NY Times crossword going down – my mom is a whizz at that – and my daughter looked at the Hudson river and asked “are we there yet?” a hundred times. And then we Were there, in the city – and we took the subway to Union Square because the subway is the only way to get around in the city. (when you’re on a budget.) But it was Hot that day – hot and humid. There was the Gay Pride parade on 5th ave. so we stopped and watched for a while. We got to the restaurant (a Cuban place on 17th street) and we met Caren and she had brought her boyfriend. He was raelly cute, and he was from Westerville, of all places. You find out how small the world really is when you find out your agent’s boyfriend is from the town your sister lives in now. Weird.
And the conversation went like this:
Me: How do you like being an agent?
My Mother: So, when are you going to sell Jenny’s books?
Caren: Well, I sent them to some editors and…
My Mother: And did you read her Iskander series yet? And the Promise? You have to read the Promise, my kids love it.
Caren: Your kids?
My Mother : I teach English in a maximum security prison and I use Jenny’s books for my classes. So, when are Jenny’s books going to sell?
But like I said, Caren was cool, and she just laughed and didn’t grip her knife tighter or anything, and she told my mother where she’d sent my books and which editors were reading them.
Of course that’s when I knock over my black bean soup and I don’t get to hear the last part because the waiter is looking Daggers at me, and my daughter is laughing like a loon because she heard the waiter say ‘Oh Great’. I try to mop up the mess and make it worse, and then Sam comes in and takes over the conversation, thank goodness, because I’m really shy and shyness makes me nervous and when I get nervous I get clumsy, & I’m just sure my mom is going to make my agent wish she’d never signed me on. (Just kidding. Honest mom.)
Sam tells us about his brother’s Tony awards (yes, awardS with an S – Jason won Two!) We’re all impressed. Sam calls Jason and tells him how impressed we are. VERY. I wonder briefly where Caren sent my books. Figure mom will tell me later. (she forgot – thought I was taking notes.) Ha.
After lunch we all walked down to SOHO, Little Italy (for some ice-cream, of course) and then to Chinatown just for fun. (It’s like going to a foreign country – so amazing – they sell these huge frogs in a bucket and there were kids reaching in to grab them with tongs!) And then we took the subway back to Penn Station – it was almost 5 pm and I had keeled over mentally about an hour back. (Sorry Caren, anything I said after 4 pm made no sense at all, but my brain was fried) My daughter was asleep on her feet. Mom adored Caren from the minute she saw her and she kept saying “Your agent is so nice!” she also thought she was awfully young. LOL. That part is true – she is young. Thank goodness. Sam made sure we got our train (he is so sweet!!) and we went back to Hudson – my daughter and I fell asleep on the train – jet lag is such a pain.