Last night I went to The Pioneer Woman's book signing here in Nashville.
It was insanity. Somewhere in the vicinity of 9000 degrees in the book store, with 450+ people standing in line (last count I heard was that they were passing out tickets for Group 18 - and each group had 25 people). Poor Ree is probably still there signing books.
Thank goodness for my love of planning ahead (that some of you make fun of), because I went and got my line ticket about 3 weeks ago, putting me in Group 2 instead of 16. I wasn't sure how long the whole thing would take, and somehow convinced Josh to go with me, even though his comment was, "Now, who is this person?"
People were loitering when we got there at 6:15, but thanks to the group system, no one was rushing for a place in line or shoving. Plus it was all chicks. As Josh once again so eloquently noted, "She obviously appeals to a very specific demographic."
We'd only been there about 20 or 25 minutes when they started lining up the groups, so I left Mr. PW Oblivious over in the marketing section and took my spot.
There were lots of groups of gals taking pictures of each other in line and I heard someone refer to a picture they took as, "Pre-PW," which is so much more funny and hardcore than me... but that's probably because I was there alone and had no one to be hardcore with. (Since Amanda would take a day off work and drive six hours to come stand in line with me! I kid...)
Thankfully I had another solo girl right behind me, so the two of us giggled and traded comments. Especially when Ree arrived and we saw the number of people who'd brought her gifts...
While in line, I spent a lot of time texting Amanda, who had asked for updates as it went.
A: Does it look like they're going to stick with the group system?
B: Yes. thank goodness.
A: OK, good. Have you had a visual on P Dub?
B: Not yet. I can see the table, though.
A few minutes later, Ree arrived.
She is really cute, and only spoke for a second, something along the lines of:
"I'm really nervous!! And I'm sweating profusely. I'm a blogger, not a public speaker, and I was gonna do a Q&A, but there are so many of y'all and I want to make sure we have time, plus I think most of you already know everything about me. But if anyone has any burning questions..."
A lady right beside me raised her hand and Ree laughed as the woman asked, "Where's Marlboro Man?" (She came to this signing with her sister - "Betsy Wetsy" - and her friend, Hyacinth.)
"Well, we have these things called cows..." Ree said, grinning. She said a few things about her husband - MM - being home and the kids and etc., finishing with, "So, I'm just gonna start signing. And hopefully stop sweating."
Then she got going. And people started giving her gifts.
B: They're all bringing her presents.
A: Oh, mercy!
B: I don't know what's going on!
Yeah. I saw a box from GiGi's Cupcakes and someone carrying a huge plastic container of homemade goods. There were bags of goodies and flowers and key chains and who knows what else that I didn't see. I'm sure it was sweet, but I was unprepared for the giving.
Me and the other solo girl in line were like, "Wow! This is a lot of pressure, I didn't bring her anything!"
Oops. Sorry, Ree.
This bookstore had the whole thing down to a science, with a guy (poor thing) on duty just to take cameras from people in line and get pictures of us with Ree while she signed our books. All very lucky for me, since I was on my own - even though my non-present giving-also-solo friend would have helped me out, I'm sure.
So, before too long (Group 2, baby) it was my turn. I handed off my camera to camera dude, and walked up to the table. And just like I predicted yesterday, I made some stupid comment about not cooking (I think it's possible I cupped my hand over my mouth like I was sharing some sort of funny fake secret *facepalm*) and that my husband did, and forgot to tell her how much I liked the blog and how amused I am by her in general.
She said, "Well, maybe you'll start cooking!" Maybe, Ree. Maybe. One day. Anyway, I also mentioned my girlfriends in Mississippi and she said it was sweet that I was getting a picture for them since she didn't make it down there on this trip.
I don't know what I'm doing in the photo above. I told you, it was 9000 degrees and I'm sure my face was the color of one of Dwight Schrute's beets, due to said temperature. And I always have really cute things to say in my head when I'm in these situations, but they don't come out of my mouth.
Anyway, as she finished signing my book, she said, "Brooke... with an E. That's one of my favorite girls' names!" She was very sweet and I can't imagine sitting there for the number of hours it likely took to get through that line and having a smile for every person she met - which I'm sure she did.
Not wanting to hold up the line for the 400 people behind me, I moved to the side where Betsy and Hyacinth were stationed with the T-Shirts. They asked if I wanted Medium or Large and I said Medium as I fumbled with all my crap like an idiot. They told me not to hurry and Hyacinth said, "Cute boots," then Betsy (who is super cute and has a hair cut that makes me want to chop mine again) was like, "I love your little pom pom earrings." (They're flowers, but that's okay, Betsy... now they can be pom poms.)
I was all, "Thanks!" and thinking of more cutesy things I should say, but couldn't word vomit them out, just as Betsy broke out Ree's camera and snapped a picture of me, to which I responded, "Oh, no!" Betsy (Wetsy) laughed and said, "It's cute!" Then took another one. She must have been Ree's photographer for the night, because she was taking lots through the line. Chances are slim, but if I show up on that blog, I'm gonna laugh.
You know, I don't think I've ever been to a book signing in my life and in the last month, I've hit three. Weird. What's going on here?