Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

I got to meet Ree Drummond last night.  What a wonderfully exhausting day it was!  I started out with the intention of leaving my house at 2pm for a 60mile drive north for her cook book signing.  It should have taken me just over an hour or so to get there.  I left later than I wanted to, because I had to get things together for my son to attend a sleepover.  But finally on my way, nearly halfway there, I hit a wall of traffic.  There was an accident on the freeway and it took me over 30 minutes to go just over a mile to pass the accident and finally pick up speed again. 

I got to the book store around 4:45 and got my ticket for my signing group.  I was in group "I".  They were calling us in groups to avoid one huge horrendous line.. very smart in my opinion.  I've never been to a book signing so I wasnt sure how it would work.  This was lovely.   So I set up camp and found a clearing in the shelves where I could see her signing table and waited for her arrival. 

Here she is with her oldest daughter, a beauty just like her mother, right after they arrived, around 5pm.  She apologized for being late but it was less than 5 minutes.. that's not late in my book.  =D  (sorry for the grainy pic, I was zoomed and accidentally used my flash).

For the rest of the evening I passed the time by reading a book, going over to the grocery store to buy lotion for my very dry hands, sitting in my car, browsing books in the store, reading some cook books in the food section and stalking Ree between the shelves while she signed for the earlier groups:

Finally, at 9:30pm, they called my group to line up. I was really excited to be meeting someone I admire, who, although now an 'uber celeb', seems and IS so down to earth and 'normal'.   Surprisingly, I wasnt nervous.  All day I'd been thinking of something to say to her when I got up there.  I knew I had to keep it short but some of the things I toyed with were: telling her how wonderful the book is; gushing about how wonderful she is; saying how her book has made me a much better cook - just ask my husband!; Asking her how she liked Seattle so far and if she was going to be able to do much sight seeing before she had to leave, etc etc etc...

I finally made it to the front.  Here she is signing for the girl before me.

I'm next! Here we are at 10:15pm:
Which witty or poignant statement in my arsenal did I end up going with, you ask??

Nothing.   That's right, nothing.

I still didnt 'feel' nervous but I got up there and she smiled very sweetly and said Hi!  So I said Hi!  She started to sign the book and I knelt down next to her for a photo.  She said 'Thank you for being so patient' and I replied.  "Sure!"  I'd been reduced to single syllable answers.  Thank God I had enough in me to look her in the eyes and reply with enthusiasm 'Thank you SO much!'  And then I was on my way out.  This is 100% me.  I've never been one to initiate conversation with someone I don't know, despite reading her blog daily and feeling like I know her and could easily call her a friend.  That's just me.

So, by this time, 10:20pm, the store was closed and the only people left were the last 2 groups in line and a handful of employees.  I made my way to my car and drove the 60 miles home, exhausted, contemplative and totally without regret.  Sure, I wish I'd said one of the many things that came to mind, but I know who I am and I'm ok with that.


Chloe (Naturally Frugal) said...

Wasn't she so great (and hey, that's me in your picture!) and just as you always imagined? So glad you didn't get nervous like I did - I really can't remember what I said to her and hope it wasn't anything embarassing!

Linda said...

Luck, wish I could have gone.
Enjoyed reading your PW story.
Linda Seattle WA

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous I want to meet PW too! I'llprobably be too tongue-tied to say anything though.

Suzanne said...

I've tried a few of PW's recipes, and they are delish!

Ruth Ann said...

I came over from P-Dub. I'm planning on seeing her in D.C. and I'm SURE I will say EXACTLY the same things to her that you did! I've cooked only one of her recipes but I love reading about her life.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I sympathize so much - when put into some scenarios I also tend to freeze and say nothing!

Tammy L said...

I loved reading about your meeting with PW... and I am the same way when it comes to talking... kinda nice to read about someone else like me. :)