The night before last. I met PW. This is how it went down.
It was 4:30. Our babysitter had just arrived for an intriguing game of Candyland. The kids were thrilled, babysitter was ecstatic, and I was running to get out the door, to the post office, and down to Third Place Books by 6.
I did my daily postal drop of orders, cranked up the music, got on the road and headed south. As soon as I arrived at the book store, I knew this was going to be big. Epic. HUGE. The lot was full. Dang. I pulled into the lot in search of a parking spot and just then, a blue Camry pulled out of a prime spot. Score! I knew that was a good sign.
I grabbed my cookbooks and with all the adrenaline rushing through my body, I made a bee-line for the restroom. As I turn the corner, I stopped dead in my tracks. I heard her voice. Yes, Ree Drummond was IN. THE. BATHROOM. O.M.G. That’s when my adrenaline really kicked in and the need to use the potty escalated. I turned the corner and right there was The Pioneer Woman, her sister Betsy, and her nephew Elliot. And here I thought my luck of the night would be snagging a good parking spot.
Ree was talking with all the other women in line and then made her way into a stall to do her business. I went in the stall next door and did my business. We ended up washing our hands together and it’ll be a moment forever in my mind. Me, Betsy Farmer, washing my hands next to Ree Drummond! I’ve never, ever, been that excited to wash my hands before. I managed to contain myself and not stutter or stare and walked out ahead of them. Once out of the restroom, her sister walked right behind me and so I naturally had to introduce myself to another Betsy. We clicked immediately. Naturally. Then we posed for a picture on my cell phone. Wow. Ree just watched us and smiled. It was great.
Unfortunately, we had to part ways so Ree could prepare for her speech. I headed to the packed commons area and snagged a stand up spot near the podium. That’s right, no back row for me.
Ree was fantastic. She joked about her life on the ranch, about sweating too much while giving public speeches, and entertained over 1000 women for 45 minutes. After taking a few pictures, I finally put my camera away and just listened. Watched. It was just plain awesome.
After she was done, she walked right past me to go to ‘The Den’ where she would sign books. Again…amazing.
At this point in the night, the bookstore started their organizing. Each person had to have a ticket to have their book signed. Tickets were available if you brought your book into the store or bought a book from their store. Each ticket had a letter on it and they would start with letter A. There were 50 people per group and you could bring one friend with you per ticket. So, basically, there were 100 people per letter group. I was group G. Eeck.
I found a nice soft spot on the hard floor for a while. Read some books, played with my phone, got a butt cramp, and decided to walk around. I grabbed a bite to eat, went to Ross, and realized I could be here a while. Finally they called letter G. All these women (and a few lucky men) got in line and we all became the best of friends. We knew we were going to be standing next to each other for a good 45 minutes. Slowly we started making our way closer….
5 hours after I first met Ree in the bathroom, I ‘officially’ met her. The anticipation of inching closer and closer was killing me. Would she remember me? Would she like me? Would she want to be my new best friend? Then, it was my turn.
I walked up to her with my books in hand and she says, ‘Hey, it’s Betsy from the bathroom’. I thought I’d faint right there. I smiled, tried to act semi-classy, and said, ‘Ya, it is’. I don’t remember anything else she said after that. Nothing. We talked for about 45 seconds, posed for a couple of photos, and that was it. Best 5 hour wait ever.