As a die hard Gleek, as soon as I heard that Chris Colfer was going to be doing a book tour for The Land of Stories, I knew I was going. Didn’t matter when or where the signing was taking place, I was going to be there.
On the day wristbands went on sale at Mrs. Nelson’s, I called right at ten. And was met with a busy signal. I redialed, only to get the same response. I double checked the number and kept calling.
After 20 minutes, and over 200 calls on 2 phones, I finally got through to someone. She said that people had been calling since 7am, they had several people on hold and the best thing for me to do was order online and notate that I was attending the signing.
The day before the event, Mrs. Nelson’s was tweeting about parking and the line up situation. They claimed there wouldn’t be a line allowed until 3pm, so we decided to leave San Diego around 1:30. We got up to the store just before 3 and the line was about 2 1/2 blocks long.
We picked up our books, tickets and wristbands and were told by the staff that the line was only going to be 2 hours long. Chris was only going to be signing from 6-8. Period. Later they would elaborate that he had to catch a plane from LAX at 10:30.
Around 6:20, some of the staff walked through the line telling us that Chris was stuck in traffic in east LA, was doing his best to get to the store and that it would be about a hour. When I asked if he would would still be honoring his signing time of 2 hours, they said that they didn’t know, but not to panic.
And so we waited some more…
While we waited, some of the staff passed a copy of The Land of Stories for the people in line to sign for Chris to commemorate the signing. By the time it got to us, the front and back cover has been filled up. We flipped to a random chapter we took turns leaving our notes for Chris.
At 7:15, we heard screaming. Serious, shrill screaming, so we knew that Chris had arrived. The line started to move pretty quickly. Every couple of minutes we moved up a few steps. Until finally we could at least see the front of the store.
And a few minutes after that, we got up to the front door. [I did forget to mention that the store had set up two huge water coolers with cups for everyone who was waiting. I thought that was pretty cool.] There were staff lined up all over to stand in front of windows, etc and when we could finally actually see Chris, there were some serious screaming from girls behind us. And jumping up and down.
At that point, I hoped to see some hysterical girls weeping.
The only disappointing thing about the signing was that there wasn’t any sort of personalization. We had even asked if the line moved quickly, would they allow it. The girl said no because that wouldn’t be fair to the people who showed up early to get in line if they let the people near the end of the line personalize.
I wasn’t expecting to be able to take photos with Chris. Hoping? Absolutely. Definitely not expecting. But after hearing that Chris personalized books and stayed for all of the stand by/extra people who waited while at The Grove event the night before, I thought for sure we’d be able to get personalization.
They let us into the store in small groups. We were only allowed to take pictures from the line up to the signing table.
A staff member took the book and handed it to another person [I’m guessing it was one of Chris’ people because they weren’t in the bright orange “I’m a reading Gleek” shirts]. His person handed it to Chris, basically said hi, gave an adorable smile and slid the book across the table.
Hubs went first, so he could take pictures afterwards. Walking up to Chris in a Batman shirt triggered a brief conversation about the new movie. They were trying to shoo Hubs away and simultaneously usher me over to him. And while I was in front of Chris, he was still talking to Hubs about mother fucking Batman, so all I got was a “Here you go, sweetie” and the adorable smile.
We were both quickly ushered of to the side. There was a small corral of people taking pictures, but security kept saying, “One picture and move on”. Outside in the parking lot, there were even more people trying to get pictures. I wanted to wait to see if the screaming-in-line-girls were going to exit weeping.
We hung out for a few minutes before leaving and I came to the conclusion that Hubs doesn’t get to go to signings anymore.