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Trying to Get Inside (Arden). And a James Rutter Junior High Moment.

Since I haven’t learned how to pull into a parking spot properly yet, I allowed a curb to take a bite out of my tire and therefore found myself waiting in the automobile doctor’s office the next day debating whether or not to partake in the free doughnuts to alleviate my anxiety about replacing hundreds of dollars worth of tires, because replacing tires are like Lay’s potato chips. You can’t have just one.

That’s when I spied the large December edition stack of free monthly neighborhood newspapers called Inside Arden.

Yep. I added an arrow in case you couldn't tell a "large stack" from a "small" stack.


Stupid cell phone. Here’s what the cover is supposed to look like:

Inside Arden December 2011 Cover

The last few days, I couldn’t find one to save my life, and all residents are supposed to get a copy in the mail but for whatever reason lately they’ve been sending us their “Inside East Sacramento” version. I think it’s because we live in a sort of No Man’s Land neighborhood that nobody claims and everyone forgets about. We get passed back and forth like a box of Life cereal:

Kid #1: You try it.

Kid #2: I’m not gonna try it, YOU try it.

Kid #1: Let’s get Mikey!

Kid #2: He won’t like it. He hates everything.

Normally, I don’t have a cow about this particular periodical’s publication schedule, only this time, I was in it.

That’s right. An article about me, me, me. And I couldn’t get my hands on a copy. But now, here it was. Two tall stacks of them on the coffee tables in front of me.

And, nobody in that waiting room was reading it!

Somebody should have been thumbing through, stumbling onto page 43, then looking up at me as I humbly busied myself with my laptop, presumably being my awesome blogging self. Yeah, some dude should have been double-taking between the picture in the paper and me, wide-eyed, like I was Dorothy Parker, humor legend, sitting right there, just across from him, being all humble and nonchalant, you know like when you spot a celebrity in public and they don’t make eye contact with anyone. I would just be sitting there in the Lexus dealership waiting area, trying to blend in with the little people, while everyone around me sat with Inside Arden in their hands, open to the article about me, me, me, and wondering, “Is it? Is that–? Is she–?”, squirming, wondering if they should say something.

And instead, I’m the one sitting there squirming, wondering if I should say something. I fought the urge to proclaim, “Hey guess what! I’m in this paper! Here! Everyone take a copy and turn to page 43! That’s me!”

But that would be shameless and stupid and a lot of other non-humble adjectives. So I sat and stewed instead.

But then I thought: what if I just told one person? One nice person here. Would that be so bad?

I scanned the area and contemplated potential nice people. Earlier, one girl asked me if I was using WiFi. I sat there all humble-like and simply said “yes”.

I could have been all: “Why yes, as a matter of fact, I AM using WiFi. I’m using it because I’m a BLOGGER. As another matter of fact, there’s an article about ME being a BLOGGER right here in this paper. It also mentions my 2012 Goat Calendar which is only $12.99!”

I could have said that because on the inside, I am nine years old and I have the ego of a self-centered nine-year-old attention-starved brat.

Anyway, next to this girl was a woman who seemed very friendly because while she didn’t really say much, she sort of murmured or smiled or something that made her seem very agreeable. Like she’d totally buy your stupid marching band fund-raising useless crap because she’s your neighbor and she likes to support the local kids.

She was sitting by herself now, the other girl had gone, so I looked up at her and may have said something and may have not said something, I don’t really remember, but she smiled or laughed or something and before I could stop myself, I jumped up, grabbed a paper off the coffee table, plopped down next to her, began thumbing through the paper and on a Modesty Scale reading of about 1.2, I said, “I have to tell SOMEBODY…I’m on page 43”, like she was my mom and I was looking for validation and you know what?

She totally got on that bus and oohed and ahhed and said, “Wow, I’m sitting next to a celebrity”, just loud enough for others to hear, so I could act all embarrassed. Even though I was the idiot who brought it up. I fell immediately in love with her. Whoever she was.

Well, we got to talking and it turns out, she was the art teacher at my junior high school on the other side of town! And while I personally did not take her art class (I was in band, remember?) I did remember her and I’ll bet some of you lot who went to James Rutter Junior High (holla!) remember Sharon Gergen. Actually, she was Gergen back when I went there last century. Some of you other former Roadrunners may have known her as Sharon Whitton.

james rutter, james rutter junior high, james rutter roadrunners

So we talked about what people always talk about thirty some-odd years later: who’s still alive and who’s dead and who lives right down the street from me now, even though I don’t live in the old ‘hood anymore.

I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my husband because he also attended “Gutter” Junior High. Not only did he remember her, he took her art classes and she was the first teacher to encourage him with his talent. She insisted he enter some city art contest and he won.

But enough about those two, we were talking about me, me, me. You’re probably feeling completely alienated and forlorn because you don’t live in Sacramento and can’t pick up your copy of Inside Arden at the local whatever, but fret not my little nanny goats. You too, can pick up your free copy right on their website.

Did I mention I’m on page 43?


Those of you on tenterhooks about my tire… it was fine. No new tires required. Also? I walked out of there with a complimentary car wash. So, not only did that day come from behind, it lapped everybody and won.

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  1. […] knew you at all. Sigh. It’s like you’re just some chick I read about on page 43 of Inside Arden. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me you really prefer Sno […]

  2. Score! Now I hope Mrs. Art Teacher is going to tell all her friends about your blog? Here’s hoping she sent it viral!

    1. Coincidentally, she and I met up for lunch for today and I brought my husband so they could reunite and she brought our P.E. teacher from the 8th grade – another mini-reunion! And she does seem to be telling people about my blog, so yeah, score! 🙂

  3. Suzi Hileman says:

    Having been in several magazines lately, I know just what you mean.  I find myself leaving them open on the coffee table in case guests might have missed it…. your inner 9 year old speaks eloquently to me!

    1. LOL! So then when people come over and see you all over your coffee table, you can blithely say, “Oh, that? Oh, it’s just another article. About me. They simply won’t leave me alone, the press. It’s just exhausting.”

  4. Sparky says:

    This one had me, me, me rolling on the floor with laughter! I have an inner 9 year old too and can relate. You could take me to the store and I’ll make a fuss for ya. Get another to come along and we could have our own version of “9-9-9”. ha ha ha 🙂

    BTW, this post reminds me of the movie “Soap Dish”. Remember when Sally Field would go to the mall just to have people faun all over her? That scene always has me in stitches.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Was that Soap Dish? I remember a scene with Julie Kavner where they did that, but for some reason I thought it was Punch Line (or something like that). I’m going to have to go back and watch that.

  5. Angela Knutsen says:

    You just keep getting more and more famous!

  6. lgsquirrel says:

    I can’t believe that my comment is going to appear on a celebrity’s blog.  I am thrilled! Really!  And congrats for Page 43.

  7. Joanna Jenkins says:

    “Whatever rocks your goat…”  Ha!  GREAT article, Margaret.  And you look marvelous, darling.
    xo jj

  8. Yourpalpinki says:

    Great picture of you and I loved the article! You rock!!!

  9. That is really a great little article.  Plus, the photo is really really pretty!  I’m so glad I know somebody famous!!!

  10. Linda R. says:

    Congratulations on your celebrity status.  It’s a great article!

  11. Nicky says:

    Congratulations on the article yada yada yada but THANK GOD you added that epilogue about the tire because OMG, I was SO worried and called everyone I knew to tell them about it. 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    What a great article!  And I love that picture of you!

    If I would have been there with you at the dealership, I would’ve opened EVERY SINGLE ONE of those magazines to your page and scattered them all over so everyone could see it!

    1. Bobbi – you’r a genius. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

  13. Nezzy says:

    Now what page did ya say you were on???  Heeehehehhe!

    Woohoo, don’t ya just love it when your name is up in lights?  Ya wanna share it with the world!  Good for you.  :o)

    God bless and have a  fab kinda day sweetie!!!

  14. Nora Blithe says:

    I need that lady to come and sit by me because ever since my article began appearing in a local newspaper, I’ve casually been sitting in coffee shops around town waiting to spy someone reading it.  Of course, I’m not pictured in it so they wouldn’t know it’s me but I would know they were reading it because they would be lauging.  That and the crossword puzzle appears on the same page and it’s easy to spot from across the room.

  15. Oh snap! I can’t believe one of your junior high school art teachers was sitting across the waiting room from you – and you got to brag about your celebrity status for being Inside Arden on page 43.  Woot!!

  16. Pricilla says:

    It is fun to be famous. I know this because I am a Famous SpokesGoat.
    Congratulations on being on page 43.

    Ah-hem. I was once on PAGE 1 of the Mineral Independent.
    Ah hem

    1. The Mineral Independent? Page One??????   I bow to your page-one-upmanship, Pricilla!   😀

      1. Pricilla says:

        Of course the whole paper is only 10 pages….
        There is not much news here.

  17. CorinneL says:

    I can so relate to this. Because every time I walk in a Starbucks in town and they have Sacramento Magazine on the newsstand I want to hand one to everyone in the shop and say “Check out page __.” Hey, I have an idea! Next month let’s go do that together! Both of our inner 9 year olds will be appeased!

    1. Corinne, you’re a genius because of course you know what we should do is announce each other. We’ll be sitting in Starbucks and I just burst out with, “Oh my gosh! You wrote this story???? In Sacramento Magazine???? On Page 28? Oh look! That’s your name! Corrine Litchfield! I read that article – I thought it was FABBBB-u-lous!”

      Like that.

      1. CorinneL says:

        I like how you think. And then we go to a different Starbucks -walking in separately, of course – and I stare at you in line with a puzzled look on my face. Then I finally shout out, “Oh my god! I saw you in Inside Arden AND in Sacramento Magazine! You’re that famous blogger! Oh my god! I can’t believe it! Can I get a picture with you?”

  18. Jayne says:

    Woo-Hoo.  Celebrity fame AND a car wash!   Hot damn, girlfriend.   You are on a roll.   😉

  19. Slommler says:

    That is so cool!!  Congrats!  Page 43 huh?  Ha!!
    Good for you