This little homebody ventured out by herself last night. Whoa, Nelly! Since Pioneer Woman (PW) announced the cities on her book tour weeks ago, I’ve had my calendar marked for the big day. She recently published a cookbook entitled The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. And as you probably know, I’m a sucker for a good cookbook. I’ve made a few of her recipes, all of which have been scrumptious. Her magnificent, detailed action shots of the cooking process are quite helpful. PW has written about each of the cities she’s visited for book signings, and as the day approached for her to be in Austin, I found myself getting more excited…and more nervous. I always get freaked out about meeting people I respect, admire, who are authority figures, or people I may not personally know but dream of being friends with one day. I’m a little weird like that.
The signing started at 7 p.m., and I knew people were already arriving as early as 3:45 p.m. to get in line. Simply knowing that made me want to forego the whole thing. But I fought the desire in me to stay home all nestled in with my family. I braved the cold, faced the Austin traffic and the crazy parking situation at the bookstore, and got there at 7:05. As I was squeezing my not-small-enough car into the tight “small car only” space with part of my wheels tucked tightly against the curb, I literally thought to myself, “Oh, Lord, I don’t want to do this. What am I doing here?” But in I went, against all of my own wishes. I felt so out of place.
I entered on the first floor level, was directed to the cashier line to buy the cookbook I’d need in order to get a ticket, and saw in the corner of my eye a familiar face. Is that him? Is that Pioneer Woman’s husband, Marlboro Man? He was behind me browsing some of the book tables so I didn’t have the best angle on his face, so I checked his feet first: yep, cowboy boots. Then I did something I can’t believe I’m going to admit, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind, and I blame it all on Pioneer Woman herself. She writes every now and then about how Marlboro Man’s back end, clothed with a pair of Wranglers, makes her swoon. And then she posts a big ol’ picture of him from the rear for all the world to see. I wish I had the time to search her archives to prove this, but I don’t. Shamelessly, the second most natural thought entered my mind: Look at his bum. Maybe I’ll recognize it from his picture. I. Kid. You. Not.
So my eyes traveled to those pair of Wranglers to see if that would be his tell-tale mark, thanks to his wife. Nope, I didn’t recognize it. Finally, he turned in a direction I could catch his face and confirmed that yes, it was indeed Marlboro Man. Thank goodness that the only man I’ll be able to recognize from his bum is my own husband’s!
I ventured upstairs to receive my purple wristband and came upon hundreds of people, standing and sitting, waiting for Ree to make her appearance. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to stay to get the cookbooks signed as my purple colored wristband would be the last color group to be called upon. If I were 20 again, without a baby to wake up to in the morning, I’d stay. But I’m not that young and vibrant anymore. Simply being swept up by the crowd and anticipating getting to see PW in person was enough for me. And well, there appeared Marlboro Man right before me again. If I’d had the nerves, I would have asked him to sign the book, like several other women did:
My eyes never, never again ventured to his Wranglers!
Ten minutes later, the lovely lady herself appeared to answer a few questions. She would be a delightful person to have for dinner sometime. Would it be rude to make her do the cooking? The Q&A session lasted about 15 minutes, time which allowed us to glimpse her beauty in character and feature, yet unpretentious in demeanor; her humor; and her authenticity. Her four “whippersnappers” were there as well, but this is such an awful picture:
Two questions were asked that I’ve been the most curious about myself: 1) does she read all of her comments (some posts generate up to the tens of thousands of comments) and 2) how does she do it all (a mom of four, wife, homeschooling, blogging about 4-5 posts a day, running a cooking website, etc..,). I’d still like to know. It’s mind-boggling to me all that she does. She works hard, and it’s obvious she has a lot of fun with it, too!
After the Q&A session, I left without anything signed, but content and glad this homebody ventured out for an evening. It was worth it, Wrangler sightings and all.