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I MET DAX SHEPARD AND MONICA PADMAN TONIGHT!!! And no, this did not only happen in my imagination like it normally does. This time I had thousands of Armcherries and my Kid as witnesses. 💪🏻🍒💪🏻🍒💪🏻🍒

Remember a few weeks ago when I “retired”, I told you that I missed the girl I once had time to be so now I was going to remember who she was and go out and be Her. The first goal I set for Her was to meet Dax and Monica and be their inaugural Armcherry on Armchair and tonight I got to check the box on step one of that goal!

Why Dax and Monica? I am a full tilt fanatic of the Armchair Expert podcast. Much to the chagrin of everyone who knows me, I start at least 68 sentences a day with the phrase, "My buddy Dax said ..." or sometimes I'll throw out a casual "Dax and Monica and I were discussing the merits of this today -- what do you think?” Because in my mind, the three of us actually were discussing things. I was driving through Boulder, arguing with great passion and gesturing emphatically to them through the stereo. They heard that, right?

I have three reasons for wanting to be the cherry Armcherry on Armchair. Two of the three are purely, sociopathically selfish but the third has a trace of altruism in it:

1). I fucking LOVE to argue and I want a piece of the Dax/Monica debate action.

2). I am an attention-seeking, narcissistic whore with a blog to promote.

3). One of the things I write about in the blog is mental health and my general lack of it. I am a former major-depressive agoraphobe who at one time couldn’t leave her house or get near a plane or step onto an elevator. Yet, tonight, I stood in an auditorium in front of thousands of strangers and had a fun, casual conversation with two of my idols. I’m not saying I have the cure for depression and panic disorder but I do have some experience at navigating both and I think my knowledge could be very valuable to some other Armcherries out there. See? I’m not entirely terrible.

The day after I set my goal to meet D&M, I found out that Armchair Expert would be recording a show in Denver just 19 days later. I immediately embarked on a campaign to be persistently super-annoying until I wore them down and they begrudgingly acquiesced. I emailed, Tweeted and Instagrammed them both every day, sending blog posts and enticing tidbits that might make good stories for the show.

They received precisely none of these.

But I had a backup plan. I was pretty sure they would do a Q&A after the show so I went to the event prepared. I took a signed copy of my book, “How to Create a Brilliant Family Christmas Letter That Will Make Your Friends and Relatives Think You Are a Genius -- no actual genius required” (buy yours here) and stuffed it full of my new biz cards. Then, as soon as Dax started talking about wanting to get to know the Armcherries better, I bulldozed my way down to the microphone.

My buddies Dax and Monica and I chatted a bit, had a little banter about my weird name; I threw out a quick fact-check for Monica (the last time Easter was on 4/20 was 2014, FYI) and then I asked my question: “You’ve had lots of wonderful Experts on Expert, shouldn’t you have an Armcherry on Armchair?” The audience loved it. We ALL want to be on Armchair!

I told them I have a shit ton of great stories, my buddy Dax responded with, “With a name like Xan, anything less would be false advertising,” and then I presented them with my book and went back to my seat to have a stroke.

I wish I’d had time to share some of my story ideas but 13 other Armcherries were lined up behind me - just as eager to talk as I was. I’ll share the ideas here:

  1. My first-grade BFF, who rescued me from a horrific pee-pee incident, went on to be the co-producer of Boyhood -- one of Dax's favorite movies!

  2. The Hubby and I met when we were 12-years old in the 7th grade. Coincidentally, the same year he went to prison via Scared Straight and inexplicably made it out of there with a "Property of Texas State Penitentiary” shirt as a souvenir. We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary this May. We still have the shirt.

  3. I’m an expert at interviews because I’ve been doing them in my head since I was 3-years old when my imaginary friends were Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett and Chip Moody the 10:00 news anchor. Later, I moved on to Letterman and then Oprah and then Craig Ferguson, Conan and Ellen. I’m very choosy about who I let interview me — Dax and Monica would be in excellent company.

  4. When I met Dax’s good pal Gordon Keith back in 1991, he was named Todd. He was high school besties with my good pal Dave Johnson - they were in a band called The Hemingways together. He probably doesn’t remember me but I’ve got some good Todd/Gordon stories to share.

  5. Hubby and I received an AK-47 as a wedding gift. Seriously. We’re that deeply Texan. It was the kind with the underfolding stock and a bayonet. I’m one of the few people who can say I’ve written a thank you card with the words, “Thank you for the lovely assault rifle. We will treasure it always.”

  6. We lived with our therapist for three years. Not “a” therapist — OUR therapist. We first met her when The Hubby was getting sober, then she treated me for panic disorder and somehow we ended up as roommates and co-workers. That played out exactly as well as you might expect.

  7. The Hubby and The Kid are both dyslexic - we can discuss/argue treatment modalities that run the gamut from legitimate speech therapy to some voodoo-level shit like making your first grader crawl on all fours for two hours every day.

  8. We somehow managed to raise The Kid, a 21-year-old sass-mouthed ginger gal, who is a smart, funny, gorgeous, knife-wielding, petite little badass and works with her Dad on construction sites, carrying 300-lb spools of wire up 72-story high rises while fending off potential Me Too encounters around every corner. And to think, just a few short years ago we were convinced she was going to murder us in our sleep.

Like I told Dax and Monica tonight, I have a shit ton of stories. So c’mon Daxy Dax and Monica Mouse, let’s take that next step. Let’s meet up, chat, become instantaneous lifelong friends who go to Avett Brothers concerts at Red Rocks together every summer.

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