Eileen’s Trip to @Jeopardy Part 4: The Morning Of.


It isn’t the fact that I’m up at 6:00AM(okay so it’s 8 in St. Louis) that surprises me. It’s the fact that I really did sleep well last night. I figured I’d be up all night popping Prilosec. But, nope. Slept like the proverbial baby. And now I’m up and almost ready. And chances are I’ll actually eat breakfast—and keep it down. You’d think with all the monumental things that have happened to me(at least from my perspective) one silly game show wouldn’t make such an impact. But it’s Jeopardy!, and I can hear my mom chuckling over my shoulder(right after she gives me a shove for making it on when she never did), and I want to do really well for her.


But first, I have to get on with the day. My clothes are packed. I’m dressed, my hair, if I say so myself, is lovely. And let no one say I’m not superstitious. To go into the game tomorrow, I not only have my husband with me in the bracelet he gave me, but my mom(who would have KILLED to be here), by wearing her wedding ring, and a little extra math and science boost from my friend Dave, whose ashes I’m carrying. I just have to see if they’ll let me actually put him on my booth. Fingers crossed.


When I go down to breakfast with my sister, who’s here to give moral support, I find myself eying the people around us, looking for other contestants. Are they carrying clothing? Do they look like they spend their lives watching Star Trek and working crossword puzzles? There’s one. He looks anxious, and he has a garment bag. There’s a woman staring at her breakfast like it might bite back. We give covert nods, like we’re all spies in an Algiers bar, not sure whether to acknowledge each other farther. Should you be the gentleman sportsman and shake hands, or Bob Gibson staring down a batter? It’s a problem I’ve never had before.


I make a brave decision. I not only nod. I smile. I pick up my bag with Chico’s best, and head for the shuttle. And just like I figured the others follow right along. More tomorrow, and soon I’ll have this all up on my website, where I’m touting TWICE TEMPTED, my November Drake’s Rakes release.