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.