I awoke with anticipation and excitement. The day had finally arrived. The day in which I would meet The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
The day started normally – other than the excited butterflies zooming around in my stomach. Right before lunch, however, I noticed evidence of superhuman strength lying on the office floor. What could it be, you ask?
It was…it was…
my glasses. My new glasses…broken. Just in case you can’t fully appreciate the damage caused by brute strength, I’m providing you another angle.
One guess who did it. Here’s a hint: his name starts with a C, ends with a B and has an L in the middle.
This was not a good sign for my day.
But I would be defeated. Not today. No, not today.
After lunch my adventure began. I went to pick up The Fierce Beagle and we were off…well, almost. We had to drop the baby beagles off at her mom’s house. Then we had to go back to the Beagle’s house. On our way to get gas the Beagle realized she forgot her phone…back to her house went. Finally we were able to get gas. And one last stop back at her mom’s to drop off something and off we went!
Luckily, there were no incidents on our trip down. We were so happy to have some time in which we weren’t wives and moms, only worrying about ourselves. It was the first time in a long time we could carry on conversation without a baby on our hip or a child needing help going to the bathroom and eat wherever we wanted without worrying if there will be anything for the kids to eat or whether it’s too girly a place for our husbands. This doesn’t happen often, so we reveled in it.
Upon arriving at the mall, the Beagle, who is more knowledgeable about the world of books and signings, suggested we go buy our books and get our line number. I was given number 158 and the Beagle was given 163. Not too bad. We had to be back at 5:00 – an hour before the signing started.
We went in search for a Christmas gift for Gingernut and then hunted food. For we were ravenously hungry by this time. The BBQ Fritos, Dove bar, and Arnold Palmer tea on the way down had done little to nothing to curb our appetite. So after much searching, we settled on The Tavern at the Mills. It was a great choice.
I had brisket with mashed potatoes and veggies. As PW would say, it made my skirt fly up. The brisket was so tender you hardly needed a knife. The vegetables actually had flavor and were cooked to perfection.
The Beagle had pulled pork, fries, baked beans, slaw and a salad. The fries…the fries were amazing. I know this because she generously shared one.
It was getting close to 5:00 and it was all I could do to not go find the waitress, put my money in her hand and tell her to hurry it up because I had somewhere to be.
We raced back across the street to the bookstore, where they had already started calling numbers to line people up. Luckily our numbers had not quite been called, but we barely made it. As we made our way to the back of the store to join the other fanatics in line we noticed a very long line that started at the customer service desk and stretched out the door. The Beagle noted, “Those people are waiting on line numbers.” Good call Beagle for getting our numbers early.
We found our spot in line a little after five and stood for the next hour and a half almost in the same spot. It really wasn’t so bad. Number 158 may sound bad but compared to number 400, I was in good shape.
Here’s our view from where we stood, waiting for her arrival.
Finally, finally, we heard screaming and clapping. As I caught a glimpse of her I began hitting the Beagle in the arm, I’m sure leaving her with a big fat bruise this morning.
There she is….AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I began laughing like a hyena, except that I don’t think hyenas snort. I couldn’t stop. But then the line didn’t move for almost 30 minutes and I my excited, nervous laughter calmed. Then finally, finally, we began to creep forward.
This is me rounding the last bend before I will actually be able to talk to her! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
We decided that the Beagle would go first and I would take the picture. The Beagle, one who thrives under pressure and doesn’t have to lock up any form of crazy like me, spoke of pecan pie. She and Ree had a lovely little chat about it.
Then it was my turn. Before I begin with my interaction with Ree, allow me to tell you what I wanted to say to her.
Hi Ree. I first heard about your website from my friend Shannon when we were in Italy. We made the apple skillet cake one night at her apartment and I was hooked! And now we have a whole group of people who come over for Sunday lunch and 8 times out of 10 we eat something that is from you.
Here’s what actually happened.
I smiled like an big fat idiot because I could do nothing else. You see, my brain ceased working the moment we made eye contact.
Ree: Come close and we’ll get a picture.
I say nothing!!
Ree: Thanks for coming.
Me: Thanks for coming to Charlotte. WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ree: Do you live in Charlotte?
Me: No, I live in Winston-Salem
Ree: By the end of this I am going to know the entire geography of North Carolina
Me: Blank stare, smile, and no words
Ree: Thanks again for coming.
That’s it folks. THAT….IS….IT!!! My mind went blank, absolutely blank. Here this woman was who I have wanted to meet for about five years talking to me and I SAY NOTHING!!!
But I do have a picture with her.
And I do have a signed cookbook.
Dignity…oh, no…there’s none of that left. But I can live with the picture and cookbook until next time when I will totally redeem myself.
Still trying to find my voice and brain this morning,