Last week I had a first – a real, live book signing with a real, live author. Not just any author, but Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman – a total web sensation with her hilarious, honest blog complete with amazing recipes, breathtaking photography – yes, and even homeschooling and home/garden stuff. Superwoman? Quite possibly, in my opinion anyhow.
I almost didn’t go. We had Fall Festival at learning center, and I was worn smooth out. What I really wanted to do was sleep, but I had already made some preliminary plans with my friend Amber, another Pioneer Woman fan.We’d have to be late due to a parent teacher conference and my extreme tiredness, but we simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity to do something fun that was also essentially free.
I met Amber at the parking lot of Borders; she had literally just purchased the last copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks that they had in stock. I admit, I was a little envious. I promised Jason I would wait because that is the only thing I asked for this Christmas. Amber and I pulled into the Full Circle Bookstore parking lot and found a prime spot right up front. Surely a good sign, right? This could only mean that even though the signing started an hour ago that the line wouldn’t be long at all, right? I mean, Ree is great, but a blogger, and who reads . . . blogs . . . right? W-R-O-N-G.
So we saunter on into the book store thinking we have it made and look to our left to see none other than The Pioneer Woman herself in all her cute, midnight-blue blouse wearin’, beautiful auburn hair, goddess of the kitchen and creator of giggles glory. Amber, being the confident woman she is, attempts to strut right up to Ms. Drummond when I pull her back and shake my head frantically from side to side. “No, oh nooooo….”I say. “Look at the line!” Amber and I sheepishly backed away from the mob (who looks friendly but could easily turn on us and beat us to death with their cookbooks) and almost tripped over some photographers and began to weave our way through the store looking for the end of the line.
We walked through the store. We walked out of the store and into the mall. We walked past the store, past several other stores, came to some stairs and finally, near another entrance and a restaurant, we found the end of the line. We then also discovered that some of our line mates had already been there an hour, and the line had not moved. Oy Vey.
Still, this would not dampen our mood. Then a woman who Amber and I agreed that we would refer to her as “awkward mousey woman” showed up. awkward mousey woman was not a patient line waiter, and she made that very clear. She loudly proclaimed that waiting this long was “crazy” and that “she (The Pioneer Woman) is just taking her sweet time, talking to people” Gasp! Talking to people? Why I never . . . okay, sorry. Anyway, AMW had a lot of these opinions, and truthfully, she was bringing us down. A bona-fide wet blanket. AMW then decided (on four separate occasions) that she would go “check things out” and would we hold her place in line? Um, she was the last person in a line that moved like a sloth . . . no problem, lady.
After her fourth excursion to go “check things out” AMW gave up and hit the road. And noticeably, the mood lifted. Not long after that, AMW was replaced by a group of fun-loving gals – ALL in extremely cute outfits. As we waited, shuffled, chatted, waited, shuffled, snarfed candy, chatted . . . Pioneer Woman’s own husband, made famous by her wildly popular blog, Marlboro Man came down our way to sign autographs and take pictures. What a nice guy – and handsome too. Ree, wasn’t kidding. That dude makes the ladies swoon. So when I got to meet him I asked if all the newfound fame was wierd for a guy who’s wrangled cattle his whole life. He smiled and said, “For sure!”
Around 8:45 the crowd started to get antsy. Ree had a dinner scheduled at Rococo after the signing which was supposed to be over at 8:30pm. I don’t think they were prepared for 800 people to show up! There were rumors that she was leaving before 9pm and then rumors that she wasn’t. Turns out, she stayed . . . and stayed, and stayed.
Before this gets any longer and you all lose interest (as if you hadn’t already) here is how it went: Amber and I waited 4 and a half hours before we finally got our turn to meet The Pioneer Woman. We considered bailing several times, but then, we’d waited this long – how could we leave now? Plus, we were having fun. See, there’s this thing about women that helps when waiting in impossibly long lines – we love to talk. And the later it got, I just talked more. Think I’m chatty now? God forbid you get stuck with me at midnight; it just gets worse. Sorry, Amber.
As 12:30am rolled around, we finally had our turn. Ree was impossibly pretty and kind. And real. I am amazed that she stayed over 6 hours to sign cookbooks and chat with her fans. I’d hasten to say that’s what class and gratitude looks like. So, was it worth it? You betcha! Did I manage to say stupid thing(s) to Ree? You betcha! While I talk a lot at 12:30 in the am, I don’t make much sense. Bummer.