Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Post in Which it Turns Out to be More About Him Than Her

I read that she was coming.

And I impulsively bought the cookbook, though most often I use her site for downloading family-friendly recipes. And my husband eagerly persuaded me to attend the book-signing here in our city, but I hedged about making sitter arrangements, for I wasn't really sure about actually meeting her. Great crowd of people I don't know? Meeting a celebrity? That's way outside of my comfort zone. But he assured me I wouldn't want to miss it and that it would be good for me, and he's almost always right about these things, and besides, it was a wonderful opportunity for some *together time*, so I made plans.

And so the cookbook lay on the counter in the kitchen where I whipped up some Chicken Spaghetti for my children and the babysitters, and then it lay by the door, where I grabbed it as I walked out, earrings pulling at my sensitive, it's-been-too-long-since-I've-worn-these ears, and I caught his hand and took a deep breath and we left.

And when we arrived, we waited. And waited some more. And waited even longer. (And by the way, if you live somewhere that you think she might not be as well known, think again. And you might want to show up really early.)

And here I am, realizing that I'm surrounded on all sides by people I don't know, and I'm beginning to pull inward, and I'm also remembering that I'm going to meet this generous lady soon and have to say a few words to her. {Gasp!} And I'm burying my face in his shoulder, and he's laughing at me and pulling me close and speaking strength in my ear, and snapping pictures of me as we wait and telling me I'm beautiful.

And I didn't know this night was going to be such a gift.

We had stolen away, blessed by two ladies who spent their evening reading and listening to our children. (emphasis on the listening!) We even left the long line and drove to a nearby restaurant for a quiet dinner, though it was past nine, and then slipped back in to stand with a new friend, whom I had previously engaged in conversation without realizing it; bolstered, perhaps, by my beloved's presence.

I hadn't even met Ree yet.

But when the moment came, and the butterflies had settled down during the forty-five minutes of standing in the next room and watching her sweet smile and tired eyes (for we were an hour past the deadline, and there were still many waiting), it was my turn. Ree's sister-in-law, Missy, snapped a picture of my husband, commenting on his good natured attendance of this nearly all-female event, and Ree herself said, What a good sport! as he smiled and held up the camera to snap a picture. Me? I crouched low, shrinking behind the table while she signed the book, and whispered I made your chicken spaghetti tonight... and she smiled and said Oh, good! Yummy! and handed me my book and it was over.

And when I looked at the inscription, and laughed at what I saw there because I realized how tired she was, I knew I couldn't have said it better myself.

To "the Hooper".

Because it was his idea, anyway.

12 fellow travelers shared:

Deidra said...

I love absolutely everything about this post. SO happy for your wonderful evening. It sounds divine! And if I knew that YOU were in town, I'd feel the same way! ;)

Kristin said...

Ahhh...I must say I envy the night out with Hubby more than meeting The Pioneer Woman. My hubby, of course, not yours. :-) But alas, that must wait until Little Man is not clinging to me desperately at the mere mention of leaving him. And it is alright... for I know the day will come soon enough.

Wonderfully tender post!

Andrea said...

oh Elise..
you are so very sweet and dear...
What a great "date" night!
I love that your "Hooper" made you go!!!
Don't we need someone in our lives like that: to *make* us do things we know are good for us.
Thank you for sharing your night!

Quinne said...

Hi Elise :) What a great story and what a lovely adventure! Ree is a great favorite here. Love you, Q

Jenny said...

How much fun for the two of you!
My 4 daughters and I went to see her. We arrived 10 minutes early to standing room only! I had never been to a book signing before... They were sold out of cookbooks and we could not make the drive in for an added signing, so I will have to order from Amazon I guess.

Tracy said...

Elise, I loved this post! I had no idea that you were so shy. What a wonderfu levening for you and your husband. He is indeed a trooper!

Melissa Stover said...

that's sweet. i think i would be the same way. too shy to even speak.

Linda said...

I agree with Deidra, Elise. I would definitely wait in line to meet you.

You always capture my heart when I read what you've written. I am a grandmother, but I still feel all those same things you've articulated so beautifully.

Your husband is a dear. I'm so glad he made this wonderful evening possible for you.

Bekki said...

Glad y'all had fun and got to have a quiet dinner together. The picture cracks me up b/c you are so tiny. Love it.

Cathy said...

What a fun post! I love PW, too, and feel like I should show people the cookbook and tell them a "friend" wrote it (as we all get to "know" each other like friends in blogdom).

The only sad part is for Ree as she had no idea the incredible woman meeting her. Yes, YOU!

Beverly said...

This was so sweet! My parents are getting me this cookbook for Christmas. I'm very excited! You and your husband are such a wonderful pair. :-)

Anonymous said...

You know she posted his pic on her blog, right? Said he was sweet! :)

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