Yesterday I went to Hannah Hart’s book signing at the Housing Works Bookstore on a whim and had my mind blown. I’m honestly still picking up the pieces.
I first watched Hannah’s Youtube series “My Drunk Kitchen” in 2011, after just moving away from my parents for the first time to start college. I remember feeling so awkward and insecure as I tried to adjust to my new environment and all these new faces and names that all had already become a blur. Still unsure of my footing, I convened in a room with one of my new friends and she started to show me all of her favorite Youtube channels. Suddenly Hannah’s face was on my computer screen and she had me laughing at the fact that she was trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich without any cheese. It was like a light bulb turned on in my head. Instead of beating myself up about not being able to remember someone’s name or getting lost on the worlds smallest campus, all of these moments could be turned into comedy! Hey if you can laugh trying to make a cheese-less grilled cheese then you can laugh at anything. This mindset got me through a lot of my freshman woes. Not because there was a girl getting drunk in her kitchen and “cooking”, but because here was a girl who was being authentically herself and getting others to laugh along with her the whole way. She shamelessly threw out cringeworthy puns with such gusto that it honestly felt like there wasn’t anything that she couldn’t make funny.
Fast forward three years later to present day.
Hannah just wrote and released her book My Drunk Kitchen: A guide to eating, drinking, and going with your gut. And I found myself unexpectedly at her book reading at the Housing Works Book Store on Crosby Street. I am really thankful that the stars aligned for such an occurrence to happen. Because had I not found myself at that event I might not have been able to rekindle this one-sided relationship I had had with Hannah through the computer screen. I mention this because I had the fortune of talking to other people while waiting in line and this was a familiar feeling. Everyone felt close to Hannah because she had been there making them laugh at their lowest point or telling them it was okay to be different and that it takes a lot of courage to be yourself while always repeating “you are worth it!”
And it kind of hit me that while I have come a long way in 3 years, so has Hannah. She was like super Hannah sitting up there on the stage behind a mike. Telling a tale of finding success and rolling with it even though she wasn’t sure it would work. And now look at her, with a new book just launched, rocking a new hairstyle, and a level of self-assurance, charisma, and genuine kindness that can’t help but attract a trove of the most loyal followers.
Her book is broken down, fittingly, into 4 sections: Kitchen Basics, Adultolescense, So This Is Love, and Family And The Holidays. And I just need to quote a section of the Foreword by John Green, yes The John Green, before I get into the second half of this story… and yes there is more!
“Hannah’s YouTube channel rocketed to popularity not merely because she is punily hilarious and knows how to make a fine drunkin meal, but because like the best food writers, in the process of teaching us how to cook she teaches us how to live.”
The story could have totally ended here, but it didn’t. I decided to wait in line to get my book signed despite the fact that I found myself towards the end of a long snaking line of people all clutching their Drunk Kitchen Bibles. So what do you do in line? Well I don’t know about you but I try to make a line buddy. And to my luck, I met one of the coolest dudes. We got so close to each other that by the time we reached the front of the line we decided we were “line married.” And I proudly called him my line husband. We even found out that we knew someone in common, which was crazy because he was visiting New York from Wisconsin and I have lived in New York my whole life. Anyway this was the coolest thing to us and we could hardly contain ourselves when we reached the front of the line. We talked briefly to Hannah’s publicist, still glowing about our chance encounter with each other. “You should tell Hannah. She’ll get a kick out of it,” she said.
Now I think it was the adrenaline and the fact that I was boosted by this new friend but I went up to Hannah, just as I would with any friend, and beamed, “We have become line best friends,” and she laughed.
Hannah, my line husband Josh, and I
And then I told Hannah that I didn’t have a smart phone but I had an iPod that could only take front shots, so if she would do the honor of taking a selfie with me I would be forever grateful and then this happened:
I walked away with this adrenaline, like “what just happened?!”, in the moment throwing my arm around my new line husband and we walked out, very fittingly, arm in arm.
Had I just talked to Hannah Hart like I would any other person? Had she just accepted this behavior and even laughed at my joke? Did we just take a selfie? YES.
And then reflecting on this moment, I realized that the beauty of it was in the fact that I had been able to make a woman who had me rolling on the floor laughing so many times laugh at my joke! And just like that, life felt like it had come full circle.
To sum it all up, always talk to people when you are waiting in lines, Hannah Hart is an amazing person, and you should go buy her book RIGHT NOW.