There’s nothing like people making you laugh. NOTHING.

This past weekend I was one lucky gal, participating in not one but two events as part of Jen Mann’s book tour for her latest release, Working with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Cantankerous Clients, Micromanaging Minions, and Other Supercilious Scourges.

For this leg of her tour, I thought it might be fun to get some of the local contributors to her New York Times bestselling I Just Want to Pee Alone humor anthology series (including me) to join her. We could each do a reading for the audience, yadda yadda yadda: it turned into one long day of laughter.

First, Kris Amels of Why, Mommy? took care of setting up one event in Hackensack, NJ at Morton’s the Steakhouse, which was a total hoot.

Because we were also raising money for our friend Beth Caldwell of The Cult of Perfect Motherhood and MetUp.org (mom of two, wife of one, writer of extraordinary things) who has metastatic breast cancer, countless local businesses donated prizes to the raffle and Morton’s donated all the food during the event so people could give more to the fundraiser instead of spend it on nosh.

(Yes, everyone’s generosity made me cry a little.)

Jen Mann Big Book Tour stop in Hackensack NJ
It was a dark, rowdy room, which makes it hard to get a serious picture. Photo taken by Samara Rose, who is anonymous but I PROMISE you is hilarious and does, in fact, exist.

Then it was my turn to host an event in Madison, NJ.

I invited local vendors to come, too, so there was food and drinks and shopping and a raffle and so many, many chortles.

Jen Mann Big Book Tour Madison NJ by Elly Lonon
If Elly were paying attention, she’d know a BIG laugh was about to happen in 3…2…1…

Here is the full list of speakers, and where to find their work:

Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat
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Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying
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E. R. Catalano of Zoe vs. the Universe
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Shya Gibbons of Vintage Dreams with a Modern Twist
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Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison,NJ via Shya Gibbons
I had to share this one, because though some of us have been doing this for years, I was fortunate enough to capture Shya Gibbons signing a book for someone for the very first time. SO EXCITING.

Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha
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Jennifer Lizza of Outsmarted Mommy
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Elly Lonon
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Samara Rose of A Buick in the Land of Lexus
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Jen Simon
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Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison,NJ with Kim Bongiorno Jen Mann and Jennifer Lizza
Me with featured speaker Jen Mann and a girl who tells one heckuva poop story, Jennifer Lizza.

And ooooh the shopping!

I admit that I picked up a few things:

Goods I bought at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Madison, NJ Girls Night Out Event
A vintage copy of EMMA by Jane Austen, a tee for my son, earrings for me, earrings for my daughter that she’s already wearing, a sweater for me…okay so there were other things, too, and they were all for me BUT I DESERVED IT OKAY?

Thank you thank you thank you to all of our wonderful vendors:

Splendid Junk Vintage
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Anne of Splendid Junk Vintage at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison, NJ 2017 | @splendidjunk #vintage
I love it all and want it all. Her cake stand donation was a BIG hit that night!

Arbonne by Tracy Barbossa
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Tracy Barbossa of Arbonne at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison, NJ 2017 | @tracybarbossa #arbonne
Everyone kept dragging me over to the table and saying, “OK what am I buying?” because I can’t shut up about how much of her stuff I looooove for my skin. (And the lipsticks/glosses OMG SWOON.)

ShellyCakes Handmade Jewelry and Accessories
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ShellyCakes at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison, NJ 2017 | @shellycakesshop #jewelry #accessories
Each time I tried to take a photo, there’d be people shopping/in my way. What a good problem to have!

Stitch Contemporary Women’s Clothing and Accessories Boutique
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Stitch Boutique at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison, NJ 2017 | #madisonnj #shopsmall
I adore when the vendors at an event laugh just as much as the audience! Everything there was fun and touchable and delicious–how I managed to restrain myself to only buy one sweater is a miracle.

Autistic Hero Teeshirts
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Autistic Hero Teeshirts at the Jen Mann Big Book Tour Girls Night Out in Madison, NJ 2017 | #autisticherotees #autisticteen #teesforkids #funtshirts
This mother-son duo is the best! Their table was always swarmed, and their messaging made a lot of people happy that night.

A special shout-out to the local businesses who donated items to our raffle:

Crowley Cupcakes!
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Suburban Shop Shoes
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Chloe + Isabelle with Jennifer Battista
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Cheryl Crouthamel, Author and Illustrator
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I mean just LOOK at the goodies we ended up giving away that night:

Raffle items donated to the Madison NJ event for Jen Mann Big Book Tour 2017

Plus wines and home décor and other things people were handing me up to the last minute to make sure all of the raffle bags were stuffed!

At the end of the night, I was exhausted but smiling because not only did we all have a great time (and end up with some great goodies of our own, between the shopping and the raffle), but we raised hundreds of dollars for our friend, Beth, in the process. Which made it feel even better.

If you’d like to learn more about her wonderful organization, or make your own donation, you can do so at MetUp.org at any time.

THANK YOU to everyone who came and laughed and shopped and gave and insisted I stay hydrated and shared stories and helped promote the event.

THANK YOU to Jen Mann for letting us be a part of her big day! Oh–and if you want to meet Jen, you can find all of the future dates of her ongoing book tour here.

I hope to see you all again soon!
Jen Mann Big Book Tour stop in Madison NJ

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