Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pioneer Woman meets Womeninc Woman

From the moment I saw that the Mall of America was on Pioneer Woman's book tour, I knew I was going to be there. What I didn't know was how emotional, complicated, exhausting and absolutely amazing the experience would become.

My plans for media access didn't work out and I seriously considered skipping the event. We had a family wedding and the kids were all going to be home. It felt slightly, actually overwhelmingly, selfish to leave my dear ones at home to go stand in line for hours with the goal of spending about a minute with a complete stranger.

But I did it anyway.

However, first I had to lay out Sam's clothes for the wedding, including the socks. It's just what I do.

I had planned to leave at 8 am and arrive at the MOA by 10. But August was up and there's no abandoning a freshly awake, warm, sweet, snuggly toddler...Then I realized that I had no business cards in my purse and had to go to my office and get some. At which time I thought maybe I should have my digital voice recorder just in case an opportunity arose for an interview so I went back home to get it.

I entered Nordstroms at 11 am and made a bee-line to the ground level, quickly found the line, got my wristband and hurried into the "corral." At first it didn't seem like there were that many people ahead and the line grew longer and longer behind me.

Maybe this wouldn't take all day after all. Maybe I might make it in time for dinner at the wedding. Maybe I should buy one more book. Maybe I should have thought to bring a snack.

Time passed quickly in the line--thanks to my "line buddies" Lisa and Catherine. We were lucky enough to be  next to the fountain so were actually able to sit on the edge for the first two hours--and did we talk!!! And Lisa had yummy homemade Swedish rusk to snack on. (Raise your hand if you know what that is.) Hi Minnesota Lisa! I found Cat's blog through facebook

As the time drew closer to 1 pm, the anticipation grew until finally the announcer introduced  her. Here is my first photo--with my thanks to the 8'3" tall man in front of me who moved aside long enough for me to snap this photo:

She's such a pretty girl!

Ree answered some audience questions and was sweet, funny and nervous. Soon the line began to move slowly. It was then I discovered that the first three rows of the zig-zag queue were twice as long as I thought. But there was no turning back or bailing out now. I figured I'd still make the wedding dance...besides, a murmur passed through the crowd to my left...could it be, why yes it was, Marlboro Man!

Hel-lo MM!

Please don't let that be a wide angle lens--if ever I wish they'd invented spanx that covered from the chin down, it's now.

I am SO close! Hi Ree!

Lisa went first, then, me, then Catherine. While Lisa was having her book signed, the gals handling the books and the cameras (who btw did an awesome job) came over and uttered the last words I needed to hear right then. At 3:55 pm. The wedding started at 4 pm. I was three hours away and had to stop home and change clothes.
"She's going to take a quick break right now!"
I couldn't stop myself, I begged them, "Please let me go. I'm supposed to be at my nephew's wedding. In Iowa. In 5 minutes."
They had mercy on me.

She remembered my crazy email--and didn't have me dragged away by security, all-in-all a  good experience.

Lisa was waiting for me as I came off the platform and we were a bit giddy. Then she told me that PW had told her she really had to go to the bathroom.

I felt terrible. Here I was fretting about a stupid wedding while enjoying a mild state of dehydration because I didn't want to drink anything while in line. Ree had polished off a fairly good-sized beverage and been sitting there for 3 hours.

Lisa and I then approached the table where MM and the boys were seated. The little boys were drawing.

Some of the ink made it on the paper--

I'm not sure it will show up here on the post but both boys had ink on their faces.
But then I'm also the mom of two boys who can appreciate their creativity.

I hurried through Nordstroms to my car...but just where did I park??

To be continued

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nina,

    I like how my name was right the first two times but wrong the last :) But that's ok the last way is how I wish it was. Aren't you afraid your sister in law is going to read your blog? What time did you get home at?