by Nancy Martin
My husband made me a sandwich on Saturday.
Ordinarily, this is world news--right up there with Britney going into rehab and Cate Blachette playing Indiana Jones's next squeeze. Normally, a husband-produced sandwich would be a knock-me-over-with-a-feather development at my house.
But I've gotten accustomed to people taking care of me.
See, I've been on a book tour to promote the newest Blackbird Sister release, A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH.
For a week, I was flown around the country, chauffeured to luxury hotels, signed my autograph a few hundred times, been given gifts by booksellers. I've eaten room service for a week, flown first class, let others carry my luggage, done my makeup in television green rooms. I stayed in a suite next to Justin Timberlake and his entourage. (They ordered a lot of bottled water from room service. Not exactly rock star behavior, huh?) Desk clerks say, "Ms. Martin? Would you like a glass of wine while I locate the fax from your publicist?"
Yeah, it was a taste of the good life.
Mind you, it was also some of the hardest work I've done in a long time. Accustomed to sitting at my desk for hours--sometimes days--alone with my characters and my story outline, it's a stretch for me to be "on" for a week. I tried to be gracious to readers and booksellers and hotel employees. I tried to engage complete strangers in meaningful conversations. I needed to speak intelligently about books with writers. Be scintillating with a talk show host. I had to make my life sound interesting (!!) to people who are skeptical. Sometimes I "worked a room" until 11pm, then crashed into luxury linens only to get a wakeup call at 5am so I could catch another plane or get to a cable television station in the boondocks.
The most sinful part of a book tour has to be the media escorts. They're often retired TV news readers who are now stay-at-home moms who hanker to do some part-time work. Their job is to make an author feel like a celebrity. They have immaculate vehicles and know the short routes to radio and telvision stations--even the safest places to stash a car for a few minutes without getting a ticket. They drop me at the bookstore door instead of forcing me to walk 20 feet from a parking space. They keep me on schedule to the minute. They keep a cache of bottled water and granola bars in case I get a pang, but they don't let me hit the loo if we're running late to a signing. When I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, they bring me cold drinks, lend me their eyeliner pencil or fetch whatever my heart desires.
And I could get used to it.
So when my husband offered to make me a sandwich on Saturday, I didn't say, "Oh, no, let me make one for you instead," which would have been my usual reply. I let him do it for me.
I wonder how long it will last?