My friend Alrinthea, with whom I have shared innumerable adventures since we met (the story of our meeting was recorded here), summed it up best when she said, “It’s like a family reunion.”
So many wonderful friends and family came to celebrate the launch of Ruthless. My cousin Margaret and her husband Stu came from Portland! All of the exclamation points! They came from Portland, you guys! My friend Cheryl, aka Red, and her husband Chip and her daughter Helen came from Tennessee. We’re old horse racing friends and we hadn’t seen each other in many years. I don’t know if it’s because Red has seen me through so many of my lowest times or what, but seeing the Hoye family made me emotional as nothing else has.
Ben LeRoy, awesome person extraordinaire, surprised me so hard I threw a pen at him. I’ve spent less than a total of 12 hours face-to-face with Ben, and yet he’s changed my life in so many ways. Changed my life dramatically, no less. Please read the story here. The fact he was there for the launch was perfectly appropriate and brought me so much joy.
The ol’ crew from Clemson showed up in force, as did my Alchemy comedy sisters and my brothers in stand-up, as did my family – my parents and my siblings were there to help me celebrate. There were so many people there. Including people I didn’t even know! I signed books for well more than an hour, then there was talking into a microphone (always my favorite!) and then dancing and champagne. My mom supplied the champagne and kept it flowing all night – she is the hostess with the mostest! It was the perfect party.
And then, because it’s me, I lost my keys. But other than that it was perfect! Well, there was another sad note – my poor sister Becky had gone to get me food and missed all the talking into the microphone. Her sacrifice was appreciated, though – I was starving.
Afterward I retreated, exhausted, to my house with Ben, Al, my mini me Courtney Colella (she’s my niece, she comes by it honestly) and my longtime sister from another mother, Lisa DeWaard, who had driven down from Chattanooga. We decompressed with a bunch of storytelling, Ben serving as an extremely patient audience.
The thing is – it’s not just the people who came to the launch party. Friends and family have come out of the woodwork to spread the word about Ruthless. Every day I am becoming increasingly acquainted with the feeling of my thanks being inadequate. As Conor McGregor said (because OF COURSE it comes back to Conor) – there is no such thing as a self-made man. He said that just a couple of weeks ago. I got it, appreciated it, and appreciated his gratitude toward his team. But just fourteen days later I suddenly have a whole new understanding of just how deep that sentiment goes. There is no such thing as self-made. The success Ruthless is currently enjoying has as much to do with the love of my friends and family as it does with the words I put on the page. I am left feeling unable to thank everyone enough.