I posted Monday morning that my sister Brandy, galpal Val (I know…clever, right?) and myself were hitting the road, our anticipation gaining with each mile under our wheels. Well, apparently, us and about 500 other people all had the same idea. To meet and greet with the Pioneer Woman at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR.
I should also add that while I was extremely pumped at the chance to meet the dazzling Ree Drummond, I was also pretty tingly at the idea of eating a meal without my children. Never one to thumb my nose at a “grownup” dining experience, I readily agreed when my travel partners suggested California Pizza Kitchen.
Can you sense my excitement? It’s building up there, and virtually explodes upon the visual of my cobb salad and herb & cheese foccacia making its way to my table.
My ladies were excited, too. We’re all unapologetic fans of food. Especially eating it.
After linner (lunch/dinner, original isn’t it?) we headed towards the bookstore, cookbooks in hand, to await our supreme goal of the evening. And as far as waiting in line goes, I’d say we had a pretty easy time of it. Being such paragons of promptness we were only 50 or so PW junkies back in line. And despite onlyone or two episodes of perspiration (the air was a bit stifling) we weathered the waiting game with grace. Except for the part where I was fanning myself with a greeting card while sweating profusely. But I’m pretty sure no one saw that.
It didn’t take long for the shindig to fill up.
It’s a good thing we showed up early or I’m pretty sure we’d still be in line to meet our idol.Withthat amount of peoplewaiting to meet Mrs. Drummond what could have been a hot mess was actually a very calm and collected grouping of fans. All the seats having been claimed early,the book signing quickly turned into a “standing room only event” with a large number of people tucking themselves in between the book shelves. We had only one real incident ofa lady forgetting her manners who was promptly reminded that she wasn’t in fact “above any courtesies.” She moved.
And we waited.
In true diva fashion, the Pioneer Woman was late! But, in the polar opposite of truediva fashion, the Pioneer Woman was late because her GPS directed her to take a right instead of a left. (Sidenote…I wholeheartedly believe that GPS units were invented to supplement profits for the blood pressure medication companies. Seriously.) The crowd quickly forgave Mrs. Drummond for her tardiness because 1) she drove herself to the book signing rather than paying Jeeves to do it and 2) she was fanning her armpits once she approached the podiumin an obvious attempt to quell the sudden onset of nervous sweat and 3) she began speaking into an empty mike stand, allwhich endeared her to us immediately.
She began theQ&A session and I was pleasantly and genuinelysurprised by how real this Pioneer Woman is. Ree could have easily been my next door neighbor…that is if I were surrounded by cattle and hot cowboysinstead of ranch-style housing and competing lawns. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her speak and was captivated by her obvious disbelief that shehas fans.
I was so excited to actually meet Ree in person when she signed our cookbooks andshe most certainlydid not disappoint. Simply, I was starstruck. And likea stumbling fool, I almost forgot to hand her the bookmark/shameless self-promotion Brandy and Val had convinced me to give her. Brandy swept in and directed the PW’s attention to my blog info while I ducked my head in embarassment, my armpits suffering from my humiliation.
All in all, my expectations didn’t even come close to actually meeting the Pioneer Woman in person. She’s personable, gracious, humble and the real deal. Totally worth wet armpits.