So the universe was trying to mess with me yesterday. It knew that I was on my way to see the trifecta that is Jessica Williams, Phoebe Robinson and the amazing Gabrielle Union. For once, I was early. I refused to be late for this event, as I am for pretty much everything else (sue me). When I got to the train station, I saw that the next train was going to be 30 minutes late. No problem, I thought, I’ll take a different train. It left as I was scrambling through the turnstile. Ok, now what??? My blood pressure was starting to rise, and I could feel myself getting angry. Luckily, my mother, who I happened to be on the phone with when the second train left me in the dust, kept me sane. “You’ll make it, stay calm.” I did just that, and the universe decided to reward me by dispatching all of the train gods to get me to Gramercy Theatre (and a surprise VIP seat close to the stage) on time.
Once I found my seat and settled in with a glass of prosecco (because why not?), I patiently waited for the melanin glow of 2 Dope Queens and a goddess to arrive.
Let me tell you something about sitting in a VIP seat: it’s more expensive for a reason. When Gabrielle, Jessica and Phoebe came onto the stage, they were so close that I could see how unbelievably flawless they all were, particularly Gabby. She. Is. Stunning. She radiates sunshine and platinum-coated unicorn tears and does it with minimal effort. But there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Ms. Union.
During the talk about her new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated and True, Gabby touched on several subjects that had most of us in the audience laughing, commenting and nodding our heads in approval. She touched on subjects like colorism, prenup negotiations, and living in Cleveland with her husband, basketball player Dwayne Wade, who has reunited with his ace, Lebron James. Gabby was forthright about these issues and others close to her heart without being syrupy and fake. She spoke to Phoebe and Jessica, and the audience, with a candor that made the entire event feel like a sit down with a good friend.
One of the things myself and the audience were surprised to hear from Gabrielle was how insecure she felt about writing the book. She said that she felt for years that her words weren’t worthy of a book, which is why she waited until now to publish it. This revelation only endeared us to her that much more.
But let me not forget about Jessica and Phoebe in all of my gushing. These ladies were the perfect hosts, with their easy banter, hilarious jokes and comfort with the audience, which kept the energy high and the flow moving, until we realized that, unfortunately, time was up. Afterwards, Gabby, Jessica and Phoebe took a video selfie with the audience to memorialize the beginning of what will be a full-fledged book tour. Before the talk ended, Phoebe asked Gabrielle what she wanted readers to take away from her book. She said it simply and beautifully: “I want them to say ‘she’s a real one.'” We think she is already.