Warning: Long and sappy post ahead.
On Sunday, the 6th of July, we had the incredible opportunity to meet the bestselling author of international bestselling books Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and the upcoming Isla and the Happily Ever After. This event was hosted and organized by National Bookstore.
I was so thrilled when I heard about Stephanie Perkins' upcoming visit to my country. This would only be my second author event and I was beyond excited to meet one of my favorite authors in person. My friend, Joy, was a first-timer and she came to her first book signing because of me. She has not read Stephanie Perkins' books yet and I'm so jealous that she's going to experience reading the books for the first time.
On the day of the signing, we were up so early so we wouldn't get caught up in traffic and we could score a reasonable place before the event. It was extra early for an insomniac like me, and it didn't obviously help that I was still awake at an ungodly hour the night before because I was too keyed up to sleep. I don't even know how we managed to get to the venue at such an early time, but we did, and we're so surprised to see a queue already! I just knew right then and there that we would have a very long day ahead.
|We're already on the 250's. Crazy line!|
The event registration was not until 10 AM so we had a couple of hours to kill...sitting...on the pavement. My friend and I entertained ourselves by listening to the buzz all around us. There were some pretty lively discussions happening behind us and we were so entertained by this person we named as "OMG Lady". They talked about books and I badly wanted to join the conversation, but I'm painfully shy so I just listened and took some book selfies with my friend.
You can only take too many selfies before you get bored, but then Stephanie came riding in a black car, smiling and waving at us. I was so stunned that it took me a few seconds to realize it was her, and she had already rode past by our spot before I even managed to wave back.
|These couches were really comfy.|
|I see lines everywhere. Not people.|
By the time the registration started, we were pretty hungry and quite impatient to get our sign passes so we could already eat. We decided to eat out and this was the most boneheaded decision we made that day. All we could think about was food so we didn't realize that by leaving the venue, we would be losing our place near the stage/platform. Now, I could attest that hungry people really make stupid life choices.
Even this ice cream couldn't assuage my annoyance towards my pathetic decision-making skills.
|This parfait makes me want to cry.|
At around 1 pm, we went back to the venue only to find out
our stupidity there's no breathing space on the first floor already, so we had to settle in a place where we could still see everything. We decided to sit on the second floor and obviously, this too would become a very bad idea.
I spotted this lovely lady while waiting and she's kind enough to let me take a picture of this cute bracelet she had planned on giving to Stephanie.
|We're too far up!|
At 2 pm, the small, compact space came alive with this electric energy that could light up..I dunno..New York? Paris? Then Stephanie came in, and the crowd broke into cheers and screams...and it was awesome. We couldn't really see Stephanie from up above because of that blasted ceiling, but we were joining the lucky ones below with our own shrieking and fangirling. I have no decent pictures, but the worst thing was we couldn't really hear the interview. *sniffs* Since we couldn't really hear anything, I just stared at Stephanie until the interview was over.
Then some people were called on stage to be recognized. Those people happened to have lined up the day before, and Stephanie dropped in around midnight to meet them. Talk about dedication! But I really lost my cool when ARCs of Isla and tote bags were given out. I almost melted into a puddle of want.
|The dedicated people with the coveted Isla ARCs. Photo courtesy of National Bookstore.|
But there's still the signing and surprisingly Jarrod would be signing, too. We practically flew down the escalator so we can get in line to have our books signed by the man whom Stephanie's books were dedicated to. Jarrod was so nice, and warm, and cute, and adorable, and..wait, sorry I got carried away. He signed my books and even wrote DFTBA. He then looked up waiting for my reaction. I smiled my best polite (clueless) smile and thanked him.
I immediately went to my friend to ask what DFTBA meant. She didn't have any idea, either. Thankfully, a cool teenager told us that DFTBA meant Don't Forget to be Awesome and I almost went back to Jarrod to say I will and to return the sentiment. Gawd, the day I feared finally came. I can no longer understand teen lingo and I only lost the -teen in my age last year. *shifty eyes*
Then my moment with Stephanie finally arrived. As I got closer and closer, I had to keep wringing my hands to expel some nerves. Good thing, the OMG lady was behind me and she did all the freaking out and fangirling for both of us, to which I will forever be grateful, because I got to keep a calm facade.
|All smiles. Look at that gorgeous lady on my right.|
We got home at past 10 pm that day. Our feet were ready to walk home by themselves, our legs were carrying us by sheer mental power, and we braved the train. I could barely keep my eyes open as I crashed in bed, unmoving, and I oddly felt empty and full at the same time. And I know someday, I will tell my kids that I hugged Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins in one year. That's one awesome record, don't you think?
July 6, 2014 is a day to remember. Before the event happened, I'd always referred to it as the Stephanie freaking Perkins' Day. But I think this demands changing to: Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day.
|Swoon. Photo Courtesy of National Bookstore|
Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day is the day everybody witnessed how adorable a pair Stephanie and Jarrod are. The day everybody (especially me and my hopeless romantic friend) learned to hope and believe that something called true love can happen in real life and could touch or—if we are as blessed as them—stay in our lives. The day when Stephanie and Jarrod's bright smiles and enthusiasm for us (all 700+ of us), made all the exhaustion—the early commute and the late travel after, long lines, sore feet, and the humid weather—bearable and worth it.
Needless to say, Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day will always be remembered.